POLITICS

NY Daily News: Not enough NYC municipal workers work from home, says union head

March 20, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MICHAEL GARTLAND City government is falling far short of the state’s edict that 75 percent of non-essential workers telecommute, prompting fears from union officials that scores of city workers are being needlessly exposed to the coronavirus. “City workers are not near 50% — not even close to that,” said Henry Garrido, head of DC 37, which represents nearly 150,000 city workers. “We’re not even close to 25%,” he added. “There appears to be a lot of institutional resistance to people working from home.” Gov. Cuomo announced Thursday that 75% of nonessential workers should stay home, upping the number from a 50% recommendation he made a day before. But Garrido said that despite those recommendations, city agency leaders have dragged their feet to get with the program. Mayor de Blasio is well aware of the situation, he added. “I speak with the mayor almost [More...]

2019: Growing Union Power

December 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

Membership Reaches 150,000 By GREGORY N. HEIRES From the halls of the U.S. Congress to the streets of New York City and workplaces in the five boroughs, DC 37 kept busy in 2019 looking out for the interests of members and retirees. The union’s success in carrying out its mission is becoming ever more important as working families struggle to survive in a political world that is all too often hostile to their well-being. Making History: Unification of DC 37 & DC 1707 DC 37 made history in 2019, which will be remembered as a year our membership skyrocketed. Nearly 25,000 members from the private sector joined the union in September under a unification agreement between District Councils 37 and 1707, both affiliates of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. As a result, DC 37 membership now tops 150,000 — the highest it’s ever been. The benefits of [More...]

Into the Fray: Union Begins Training for Future Leaders

October 16, 2019 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE Dozens of DC 37 members with aspirations to become part of a new generation of progressive, elected officials recently attended the first Emerging Leaders Candidate Academy. The introductory session, held at union headquarters on Oct. 8, was the first of three meetings with members who stepped forward to run in future local, state, and federal elections. The Academy concluded on Nov. 2. With DC 37’s guidance, their dreams may very well come true. The participants came from a variety of backgrounds but with a single goal in mind: to make a difference by entering the political arena. Angela Guyton-Cyril, a member of Social Service Employees Union Local 371, spoke about her motives for attending: “I was asked to sit on a council in the Department of Education. Also, my office is very politically inclined and I want to know more about the policy side of government,” she [More...]

Stronger Together: DC 37, 1707 Unite

September 9, 2019 // 2 Comments

Private Sector Members Add to Union Power By GREGORY N. HEIRES and SARA HAAS New York labor history is being made this fall as District Council 1707, which represents 20,000 private-sector members, joins forces with District Council 37, the city’s largest public employees union. As a result, the six unions that made up DC 1707 — Locals 95, 107, 205, 215, 253, and 389 — will comprise a new, private-sector division  within DC 37, bringing DC 37’s total membership to 150,000. Each local union’s structure and leadership remain unchanged. “We are delighted to welcome these hardworking members, who provide vital services in the private sector to the city’s largest union of public employees,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This unification signals a new era in the fight for workers’ rights in New York.” “In unifying with our brothers and sisters at DC [More...]

DC 37 Offers Help to Workers Running for Political Office

September 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

  Do you have what it takes to run for political office? Will you be part of the change we need to fix the outdated and rigged system so working families can finally win? Our city needs more elected officials who understand the challenges working people face. DC 37 is leading the way, providing the tools, training and support for union members to run for political office. Join DC 37’s Emerging Leaders Candidate Training to learn effective campaign strategies and explore a wide range of topics that will prepare you to run and win! The first training session is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Oct. 5 at 125 Barclay St. in Room 1. Participating members must commit to all three Saturday classes of the training. The other sessions will be held  Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. Space is limited. You must register by Monday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m. to attend. Please contact Omi Harris by email  [More...]

Public Support for Unions Continues to Surge

August 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

Labor unions are continuing to gain momentum, with the latest proof coming from a new Gallup poll, which shows that 64 percent of Americans approve of unions, a near 50-year high. More and more people, regardless of political party, view unions as essential to levelling the playing field, providing economic security and unrigging a system that’s for too long favored the wealthy and powerful. Recent union momentum isn’t just a passing fad. It’s the result of workers facing the facts about how much more powerful a union can make them, and of a broader desire for the voice on the job that only comes with being a union member. “Despite relentless anti-union attacks from wealthy corporations, more and more people recognize that unions are a force for progress and national strength, improving the lives of all working families and their communities,” said President Lee Saunders, [More...]

Union, Advocates Fight Against Cuts to Library Budgets

May 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

Facing possible cuts in the city budget, DC 37 leaders of locals representing public library employees took to the steps of City Hall May 21 with the heads of the city’s three library systems, elected officials and advocates to warn of a dramatic impact should funding to the library systems be reduced– including loss of weekend service, reduced programming and delayed revitalization projects. “Our public libraries are lifelines for NYC neighborhoods – and cutting their budgets would jeopardize hours and days of service. We urge City Hall to find a way to keep what amounts to less than half of 1 percent of the city’s overall budget,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Libraries are the great equalizers in our society, and the most-equipped vehicle to a fairer and stronger City,” said Queens Public Library President Dennis M. Walcott, “We need increased [More...]

Local 1549 Conference: A Call to Action

January 31, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES About 200 shop stewards, activists and union leaders attended Local 1549’s annual conference on advocacy and political action on Jan. 26. Each year, the local holds the conference reviews its political and legislative priorities. Its purpose is to educate shop stewards and chapter chairs about key and critical issues, giving them background information to share with their coworkers. But beyond spelling out the local’s agenda, the conference serves as a call to action. Local leaders and panelists reinforce to conferees the importance of getting involved in politics and community issues—in addition to being the voice of the union in their workplaces. “We have to protect each other,” said Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez. Local 1549’s 2019 agenda includes: The 911 surcharge. Winning back jobs taken over by the state to the Human Resources [More...]

AFSCME Members Join Federal Workers in Rally to End Government Shutdown

January 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders and Janice Fridie (District Council 20). Photo Credit: Lorenzo Soto. AFSCME members today joined furloughed federal workers in Washington, D.C., to call for an end to the government shutdown. Altogether, thousands of people marched from the headquarters of the AFL-CIO in downtown D.C. to the White House, demanding that 800,000 federal workers return to their jobs and receive their paychecks. “This shutdown is hurting our families and our communities,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “Public health is jeopardized. Consumer protection is compromised. Many national parks are overrun with garbage. Food assistance for low-income families is at risk.” Saunders was one of two dozen speakers outside the AFL-CIO who urged President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to reopen the government. AFSCME represents about 3,000 federal workers. Janice [More...]

Health-Care of 350,000 Immigrants at Risk Under Trump’s Proposed Policy Changes

December 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 is working with a coalition of health-care advocates to try to stop the Trump administration from implementing a new policy that would cut more than $360 million in federal assistance for treating immigrant patients at NYC Health+Hospitals. President Donald Trump’s plan to slash federal assistance to immigrants deemed a fiscal burden to the state could affect as many as 350,000 immigrants who rely on NYC H+H for health-care coverage. The new policy would consider any immigrant deemed to be dependent on government assistance as a “public charge,” and ineligible for benefits. Today, only legal immigrants who use long-term care or welfare cash are considered burdens to the state. Expanding the meaning of “public charge” would jeopardize the government assistance of as many as 6.5 million American children nationwide, according to an Urban Institute [More...]