sseu local 371

New Safety and Health Director a Fearless Advocate for Members

November 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Deborah Williams, the new director of the DC 37 Safety & Health Dept., learned early in her career that stepping up and taking risks can be essential to effective advocacy. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the health and workplace safety of public sector workers – as an employee, activist and advocate – for more than 30 years. Before joining the staff of DC 37, Williams was the Health and Safety Coordinator/Director for SSEU Local 371. While there, she was also a force behind creating the Charles H. Ensley Scholarship Fund, in honor of the late labor activist and former Local president. It all began when Williams chose to speak out. While a HRA Caseworker at the Waverly Center in Manhattan in the 1990s, Williams decided to stand up for her clients when the city was threatening to privatize an HRA homecare services program. Certain that the proposed privatization [More...]

Into the Fray: Union Begins Training for Future Leaders

October 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

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 October 8, is the first of three meetings with members who have stepped forward to run in future local, state and federal elections. With DC 37’s guidance, their dreams may very well come true. The participants come from a variety of backgrounds, but with a single goal in mind: to make a difference by entering the political arena. Christopher Birch, from Washington Heights spoke about the need of being part of the political process. “I need to be at the table,” he said. “I don’t want to be knocking at the door and asking for a little, when I can be part of the decision process for my district.” Angela Guyton-Cyril, a member of SSEU Local [More...]

Top National Honors for NYC Public Hospitals and Their Hardworking Employees

August 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In August, the American Heart Association gave high achievement awards to all 11 NYC Health + Hospitals facilities for implementing AHA’s national standards to achieve healthier outcomes for heart failure and stroke patients. Some 18,000 DC 37 members work at NYC H+H, the nation’s largest public hospital system. They are committed to giving quality care to the one million patients treated each year. Also this summer, U.S. News & World Report named seven New York City public hospitals as high performing in their 2019-2020 Best Hospital issue, which compares outcomes at 4,500 medical facilities nationwide in 16 specialty areas. The study helps patients and their doctors make better informed medical care choices. The high performing H+H hospitals for heart failure are: Bellevue, Coney Island, Harlem, Jacobi, Kings County, Lincoln and Elmhurst, which is also [More...]

CUNY Labor School Advances Worker Careers and Solidarity

June 25, 2019 // 2 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES  Where else but in New York City could you expect a college graduation ceremony to open with the singing of the historic labor song “Solidarity Forever,” along with the country’s national anthem? That occurred at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, which recently celebrated the graduation of the new public university’s first graduating class. Nearly 30 DC 37 members were among the proud graduates. “Our mission is directed toward the public good and social justice,” Gregory Mantsios, the founding dean, said at the opening of the ceremony. The university aims to serve as an incubator of labor ideals, a vehicle for career advancement and advocate for the labor movement and greater community.” Nicholas Pineda, a Data Processing Employees Local 2627 member, was the undergraduate student speaker at the June 14 ceremony. “Fellow graduates, we are [More...]

Unions to City Hall: Save Jobs, Fund Parks!

March 1, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 joined 40 parks advocacy groups and lawmakers for a noon City Hall rally Feb. 28 to demand $100 million in funding for public parks maintenance and safety in the FY 2020 city budget. “This is a no brainer — better parks makes for a better city. Our members keep city parks clean and safe for 130 million people who use them each year,” said DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “Our city should lead the country, setting the standard for well-maintained, beautified public parks.” DC 37 is part of the Play Fair campaign that calls for the mayor to add $100 million to the city budget for year-round Parks Dept. maintenance, cleaning and gardening jobs. Francois and City Council’s Parks Committee Chair Barry Grodenchik, led chants and cheers with DC 37 presidents Dilcy Benn of Local 1505, Harrison Campbell of Local 957, Joe Puleo of Local [More...]

Stand up for Parks! Rally at City Hall Feb. 28

February 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

Join DC 37 and other members of the Play Fair Coalition to support city parks at a City Hall rally on Thursday, Feb 28 at noon. This year, we are focused  on increasing the city’s Parks expense budget by $100 million to fund critical maintenance and operations that will ensure all New Yorkers access to safe and healthy open spaces while creating good, green jobs, and improving the environment. The union will stand with Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Barry S. Grodenchik, New Yorkers for Parks, the New York League of Conservation Voters, and more 40 other Play Fair Coalition members will launch a new multi-year budget advocacy campaign for our city parks According to NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, at least 130 million people use our parks every year. It’s time to Play Fair for Parks. Parkland comprises 14 percent of all City-owned land, but the Parks Department [More...]

Union Celebrates African American Heritage

February 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS This month’s ongoing celebration honoring African American pride and purpose continues to attract hundreds of DC 37 members and retirees to its 38th annual Black History Month events. In addition to local events at union headquarters tonight, next week  there will be events on Feb. 21 and 22. Black History Committee Chair Deborah Pitts, who is also DC 37’s Secretary, and Local 1113 will host Finale Night on Feb. 28. “This is the time of year we come together to celebrate African Americans as a people and share our heritage and culture,” said Pitts, the union’s Secretary and president of Local 1113. To kick off the union’s Black heritage month there was a ribbon-cutting opening ceremony Feb. 1 led by Pitts, Associate Director Oliver Gray and Treasurer Mah Misbah Uddin, who is also president of Local 1407. Afterwards, hundreds of SSEU Local 371 [More...]

Statement by DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on the Death of Stanley Hill

January 28, 2019 // 1 Comment

We are deeply saddened by the passing of our brother, retired DC 37 Executive Director Stanley Hill. According to our union newspaper, Stanley’s union activism began in 1959, when he became a shop steward shortly after joining the city workforce as a Caseworker at what was then the Department of Welfare. He was working at the Harlem Center when Welfare employees went on strike for 28 days in the winter of 1965. The strike led the city to review its labor relations procedures and ultimately a law was passed to ensure real collective bargaining between the city and the unions. In a 1987 interview on WCBS-TV Channel 2’s “Newsmaker” show, Stanley said: “I became a union activist because working conditions were bad. They were very bad, and I made an effort to improve them through my union. Our union has made tremendous strides to improve the condition of workers in the City of New [More...]

SSEU Local 371 Activists Train to be Workplace Leaders

November 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Hundreds of enthusiastic and committed SSEU Local 371 delegates packed DC 37 union headquarters for two consecutive Saturday training sessions as part of the local’s effort to better serve its members. Braving heavy rains, hundreds showed up at the events as local delegates gathered for a series of workshops and training sessions to help bolster the union’s campaign. The poor weather of the first session and the early morning hours of the second did not dampen the participation, said Armenta Weekes, the local’s vice president for organization, who along with others planned the successful trainings on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. “Our attendance is always good. Despite the inclement weather — two weeks in a row — delegates are coming out,” she said. “The purpose of this training is to give our delegates the means to educate, energize and inform,” said SSEU Local 371 [More...]

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...]