PEP Oct 2018

Latino Heritage: Focus on Activism

October 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The midterm elections and Hurricane Maria were the focus of the union’s annual celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. DC 37 kicked off its 26th annual celebration of Latino heritage and history with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at union headquarters on Sept. 12. After opening remarks by Isabel Figueroa, former vice president of Local 420 and a DC 37 retiree, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido spoke of the Sept. 20 first anniversary of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico. He called for economic and environmental justice for the island. “We renew our commitment to push elected officials to be true to their word,” Garrido said. “But being good to Puerto Rico is not just showing up to a parade or a hashtag in your Twitter. It’s voting and pushing for what the island needs now. The people deserve it and have earned it.” On Sept. 14, Local 420 held [More...]

Union Speaks Out for Sick Time for WTC Heroes

October 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE In a recent hearing before the New York State Senate Civil Service and Pensions Committee, several DC 37 local leaders and members called upon legislators to give city workers the sick time they need as a result of the work they performed at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of 9/11. Earlier this year, the state Senate passed a bill to extend unlimited sick leave, now received by state and local first responders suffering from 9/11-related illnesses, to city workers. The bill has languished in the state Assembly. At the hearing, Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay, who leads more than 4,000 uniformed Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors, testified that city agencies have made it difficult for sick members — who only earn one day of sick leave a month — to take time off. “Twelve days a year are not enough for our members who are sick from [More...]

City Unveils Improvements to the HIP HMO Health-Care Plan

October 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 has worked closely with the city and EmblemHealth to create a new model for employee-based health and wellness coverage. EmblemHealth’s new reimagined City of New York HMO Plan aims to offer a health care experience with affordable pricing and ease of use for city workers and their families. One of the enhancements is the new Centers of Excellence program with ties to Hospital for Special Surgery, the top-ranked orthopedic hospital in the nation, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, one of the country’s leading cancer centers. This program will begin on Jan. 1, 2019 for HIP HMO members. Health Coaching Participants in the HMO plan will continue to have access to all of their preventive and specialist benefits. They will be able to coordinate their care and appointments, receive personalized health coaching and care management, and access to the [More...]

Union, City Set Pension Investment Goals

October 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a press conference on Sept. 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced the New York City pension fund goal to invest $4 billion in clean energy and other climate change solutions by 2021. “New York City leads from the front when it comes to the fight against climate change,” said de Blasio. “We’re taking a stand for generations to come with our goal to double our pension investments in job-creating climate solutions. I know that other cities will look to our example, and I implore them to join us.” The mayor said NYCERS new goal doubles investments in climate change solutions to $4 billion, or 2 percent of the city’s $195 billion pension portfolio over the next three years. “This is an important step in finding clean energy solutions,” said Henry Garrido, executive director of DC 37. “I applaud the Mayor and [More...]

The Referendum on Trump

October 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

The mid-term elections on Nov. 6 are a referendum on President Trump. We say: “Vote no!” No to Trump’s policies that favor the wealthy and throw crumbs to the working class and poor. No to his lack of empathy, whether it’s for hurricane victims, sexually abused women or powerless immigrant children. No to the political lackeys who encourage his worst instincts and his bigoted attitudes. If extremists maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, Trump will ram through an anti-worker agenda that will cause pain and suffering for years to come. We cannot allow that. During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to protect Medicare and Social Security. But Republicans are already saying that the skyrocketing debt caused by the lowering of taxes — most notably in favor of the rich — will force the government to reduce spending on both. Consider the [More...]

Our Pensions and Renewable Energy

October 9, 2018 // 1 Comment

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO NEW York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and other trustees of the city’s pension funds recently announced a new goal to double the funds’ investments in climate change solutions to $4 billion, or 2 percent of the city’s $195 billion pension portfolio, over the next three years. This plan builds upon an earlier announcement to divest city pension funds from fossil fuels within five years. Opponents have engaged in scare tactics. In recent months, the Daily News has published two hyperbolic op-ed pieces criticizing these moves and falsely assailing the motives behind them. On the internet, opponents exploit the anxieties of pensioners and urge them to sign a petition, essentially just saying no to the future. Safeguarding our retirement As a trustee of the New York City Employees [More...]

Union Mourns Passing of Retirees Association’s Former President

October 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Rochelle Mangual, who began her career as a civil servant working at the City University of New York, passed away on Aug. 13. Mangual worked at Hunter College in the Bursar’s Office and was a member of City University of New York and Educational Opportunity Centers Local 384. Shortly after joining the city workforce, she became active in the union and served as a shop steward and executive board member. In 1999, Mangual retired, and in the following year she became active in the DC 37 Retirees Association. She served as the associate recording secretary and in May 2013 Mangual became president of the 27,000 member association. Mangual played a role in several committees that advocated on behalf of senior citizens. She was a member of the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee for the Metropolitan Transit Authority and was also the community director for the local [More...]

Disability Committee Pays Tribute to 9/11

September 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union’s Disability Advisory Committee paid special tribute to World Trade Center victims and survivors on the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. “Our lives changed forever,” said Shaun D. Francois I, Board of Education Employees Local 372 president and chair of the union’s Disability Advisory Committee. “9/11 took out thousands of lives in one day. First responders came to save others and lost their lives. Today we remember and pay respect to their sacrifice and memory.” Earlier in the day, DC 37 leaders and staff gathered in front of union headquarters to place a traditional wreath for the four members who made the ultimate sacrifice: Rev. Mychal F. Judge, FDNY Chaplain, Local 299; Carlos Lillo, Paramedic, Local 2507; OTB Betting Clerk Chet Louie, Local 2021, and Lt. Ricardo Quinn, Paramedic, Local 3621. September 11 is very personal for DC [More...]

Union Celebrates Victory for Public Safety at City Hall Rally

September 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Hours before New York City schools reopened for 1.1 million students, Dept of Education Local 372 and a coalition of grassroots groups and elected officials rallied outside City Hall to celebrate a major public safety victory after Gov. Cuomo ordered the return of traffic cameras in school zones. “School Crossing Guards put themselves in the middle of busy streets every day to protect lives and keep kids safe,” said Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “We prevent traffic fatalities before they happen.” “There are just 2,500 School Crossing Guards in the city. We need more. We need crossing guards at every school,” said Francois. “School safety is a must. Crossing guards are a must. More cameras now!” Francois joined City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Lt. Gov.  Kathy Hochul, State Sen. Jose Peralta, Assembly members Robert Carroll and Felix [More...]