SERVICES

Is NOW the Right Time to Refinance? MEHP Can Help

May 11, 2020 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Municipal Employees Housing Program staff and its mortgage consultants can help you make an informed decision. Mortgage interest rates can change almost daily, and significant swings can occur from one day to the next. And particularly in our geographic area, where homes are heavily financed, even small changes in interest rates can have a significant impact on a homeowner’s budget. Although many analysts have been predicting dramatic lows in interest rates in the months to come, others are cautioning against anticipated peaks and rate increases as government relief begins to flow through our economy. And given the recent economic slowdown and record unemployment figures, some economists are predicting a significant decline in property values in the coming months. With so much uncertainty from one day to the next, knowing if and when to make a move on refinancing your home [More...]

We’re Moving

July 3, 2019 // 1 Comment

Throughout the month of July, DC 37 staff will be moving to 55 Water St. in lower Manhattan as DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay Street undergoes extensive construction and repairs. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and the Executive Board, delegates, local presidents and union officers have agreed on the necessity to do the work which will close most of the building for approximately three years. We are building a new state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to improve member services while bringing the building up to code. The project will include interior renovations, new electrical, air conditioning and water sprinkler systems and, once complete, will leave us with essentially a new union headquarters. Until then, the union must move to space at 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan for the duration of the project. However, some activity will continue in the building at 125 [More...]

Union-backed Bill Aims to Speed Up Approval of 9/11 Pension Disability Claims

June 21, 2019 // 1 Comment

By RUDY OROZCO The state Legislature on Tuesday approved union-backed legislation that seeks to speed up the approval of disability pension applications of 9/11 rescue and recovery workers. The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Stacey Pheffer Amato and state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, would increase the number of physicians who review the applications for the York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS). “Today our heroic 9/11 rescue and recovery workers breathe a sigh of relief because of this important step taken by the state Legislature,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, shortly after legislators voted on the bill. “The increase in the number of physicians will help end the long waiting periods that these workers had to endure while their cases were under review.” Oren Barzilay, president of Uniformed EMT’s, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors Local 2507, [More...]

Union Helps Homeless Member Start Over

February 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Morris Johnson lived in two rooms in a rambling old house he shared with longtime friends that he considered family. “We lived like close family. I paid my $550 rent every month,” said Johnson, a Local 420 Institutional Aide since 2005. The house where Johnson lived was in an East New York neighborhood bordered by elevated train lines, just down the hill from the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Brooklyn’s Evergreen Cemetery. It was Johnson’s home for more than a decade. Until it wasn’t. “I’m blindsided,” said Johnson, 65, who bikes to work each day at the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene in Long Island City. “I came home to find the sheriff locked the house. The family– a mother and her three grown children — cut out,” Johnson said. In January the house was foreclosed, and seized by the bank. “They never said a word to me about their [More...]

Union Will Hold a Tax Workshop in January

December 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

Are you looking for help with your taxes? The union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services will host a tax workshop in January. The workshop will be held at DC 37 union headquarters, Thursday, Jan. 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., in Rooms, 2, 3 and 4. This workshop will focus on changes resulting from the Trump tax law, which was approved in 2017. The topics covered by the workshop include: Earned Income Credit Child Tax Credit Education Credit Affordable Care Act Requirements Standard and Itemized Deductions and Elimination of Exemptions. For more information, call MELS at 212-815-1111. The DC 37 Blog is an official online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 121,000 municipal employees in New York City and surrounding [More...]

The Mission of Public Service: People Over Profits

May 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Many DC 37 members joined the city’s workforce after spending years in the private sector. Those interviewed by the Public Employee Press say they are now happier with their work, because it comes with union representation, good benefits, and job security. Helping city residents instills a motivation absent in the private sector, where work was about helping their bosses make a profit. The members say their enthusiasm for the private sector wasn’t as great because they received fewer benefits and they could be fired at the whim of a boss. “It’s really nice to help the public — and the community as a whole,” said Dental Assistant Lisa Blackett. A dental hygienist and Local 768 shop steward, Blackett has worked at Harlem Hospital for nearly 10 years. “A lot of the people without insurance come here and are happy to find they can get affordable dental [More...]

Help is Available for 9/11 Claims

January 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Were you there on Sept 11th? Did you work on the Ground Zero? Are you experiencing health issues from the attacks on the World Trade Center and need help filing a claim, but do not have an attorney? Help is here. The Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), in conjunction with the New York Law School, has set up free clinics for individuals needing assistance filing a claim with the VCF. As a one-time consultation, volunteer law students or law school staffers will provide information on the application process and assist you in completing and submitting the on-line claim form (see link below). Sessions are on Friday, Jan. 26, with appointment times at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. and at 4 p.m. A second session is available on Tuesday, Jan. 30, with appointments for 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The New York Law School is located at 185 West Broadway, in downtown [More...]

The Worldwide Need to Support Municipal Workers

December 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ROSA PANVANELLI Imagine a city with no access to safe water and sanitation, where bins overflow and rubbish piles up. A city without affordable child care or transportation, where children have no safe outdoor public spaces to play in and there are no green parks to enjoy. A city where pavements have cracks and holes, road traffic is a nightmare and pedestrians and cyclists are not safe. Without these, and many other essential urban services, cities collapse, local economies cannot run and inhabitants suffer a lower quality of life. And when people are in trouble, they turn to their closest level of government — their city. After Ecuador’s 2016 devastating earthquake, while national government was still assessing the casualties and damage, municipal workers were already digging through the rubble. Diego Celorio, a water worker in Pedernales, saw people trapped in a car still [More...]

“I Hope Members Grasp a Fuller Picture of What a Union Does for Them and the Community.”

December 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

Patricia Peterson, retired Senior Police Administrative Aide, Local 1549 By DIANE S. WILLIAMS After 38 years with, the New York Police Department, I retired in February 2017. I was a Senior Police Administrative Aide in the 33rd precinct in Washington Heights since 1994 where I was responsible for crime analysis, reviewing complaints and classifying them as homicides, shootings, break-ins, noting any trends detectives and commanding officers should know about. A friend invited me to my first union meeting in 1988. I had questions I wanted answered, so I went. I became a Local 1549 shop steward and, later, a delegate. I shared information with my coworkers because not everyone can attend every union meeting. This year I was invited to become a Volunteer Member Organizer. It gives me purpose to visit worksites and talk to members about the importance of belonging to a union. I share my [More...]

Why We Must All Fight for the Dream Act

December 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ROBERT B. REICH By repealing DACA — Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals — Trump has endangered these young immigrants and the economic security of America. In 2012, the Obama administration created DACA as a temporary way to address the needs of young people who came to America as infants or toddlers, and know no other country. To apply and qualify for DACA, these young people had to risk entering the system by giving their identifying information. Once approved, they were granted two years of “deferred action” on deportation, with the promise that they could reapply every two years indefinitely. This allowed “dreamers” to go to college, get a job, and pay taxes without fear of deportation. DACA was never perfect, but for 800,000 immigrant youth it meant freedom from fear and an opportunity to fully contribute to the country they were raised in. But now these young [More...]