union

Resistance

March 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO We cannot sit on the sidelines. The stakes are too high. The attack against working people— bankrolled by people like the billionaire Koch brothers—is relentless. And they are closing in on us. Last year, we won a temporary reprieve when the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked on the Friedrichs case, which aimed to defund public employee unions by allowing workers to withhold dues payments despite receiving union services. The anti-union National Right Work Legal Defense Foundation is now behind several similar lawsuits making their way up the judicial pipeline to the Supreme Court. With the financial support of the foundation, government employees in three states — school workers in New York, teachers in Pennsylvania and medical center workers in California — simultaneously filed lawsuits in January that challenge the constitutionality of the right of unions to [More...]

I Have My Dream Job Training Animals in New York City

February 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

Andrew Egyud, Animal Trainer, Wildlife Conservation Society Local 1501 I’ve been working with animals for about 10 years. I came to the New York Aquarium as an Animal Trainer a year ago. I’ve always liked animals. Growing up I did not know what I wanted to do for a living. As a teen I watched a show on Animal Planet, the Croc Hunter Diaries with the late Steve Irwin. I admired all the work, education and passion he had. He inspired me. I went to college and studied biology. Being a Zoo Keeper is not viewed as a real job by most people. In the summer of my freshman year, I got a job at Busch Gardens in Virginia, where I am from. I fell in love immediately! I was determined to become the best animal care specialist I can be. Over the years, I’ve worked with gray wolves, hawks, and beluga whales at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas. But of all the animals, I really get sea lions: I can [More...]

High Turnout for Library Jobs Fair at Union Headquarters

February 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO District Council 37 and the New York Public Library collaborated to sponsor a job fair to fill positions at the NYPL. Union and NYPL staff screened and interviewed 100 individuals at the Feb. 10 job fair held at DC 37 headquarters. After filling out applications, candidates were then interviewed by staff from the library’s Human Resources Dept. Among the positions the NYPL is looking to fill are Building Superintendent, Junior Library Custodian, Library Maintainer and Porter. “Our libraries are a great resource for New Yorkers, but we have to make sure they’re properly maintained. This increase in staff is long overdue,” said Cuthbert Dickenson, president of Quasi-Public Employees Local 374, which represents blue-collar and custodial titles. The NYPL and DC 37 will hold another job fair at the Bronx Library Center at 310 East Kingsbridge Road on March 3. [More...]

Union Members Set a Record for Handling 311 Calls in 2016

February 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH LOPEZ New Yorkers in need of vital information contacted 311 nearly 36 million times in 2016, setting a new record for the service’s handling of calls. Call Center Representatives–members of NYC Clerical-Administrative Employees Local 1549–played an important role in providing this service. Thanks to DC 37’s recent agreement with the city to move away from using private contractors at 311, the jobs of the workers are no longer threatened, and they continue to provide the best quality experience possible. “The job is fast-paced and changes with the climate of the city,” said Brunetta Tanner, chair of the Local 1549 chapter that represents 311 operators. “I’ve been doing this for 13 years, so I know the system well and often know the answers to questions before the person even finishes asking it,” she said. New Yorkers call 311 about everything from how [More...]

DC 37 and Medgar Evers College Announce Training Program

January 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO With 100,000 workers getting ready to retire from the municipal workforce in the coming years, District Council 37 is planning on offering courses to train the next generation of city employees who will take their place. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido announced that the union will be collaborating with Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn to offer courses to retrain the next generation of city employees. Garrido and Dr. Rudy Crew, the president of Medgar Evers College announced the partnership on Jan. 19 at the City University of New York campus in Crown Heights. “Unions have played such an important part in building communities like Crown Heights,” said Crew. “Together with DC 37, we can continue to build on that tradition.” Garrido wanted to partner with the Brooklyn school because 42 percent of the union’s members live in the borough. “The members [More...]

Garrido Speaks at an anti-Trump Rally in Manhattan on the Eve of the Inauguration

January 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE At a nighttime demonstration and rally on Jan. 19, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido demanded action to protect health care for millions of Americans, against the onslaught promised by President Donald J. Trump, and the expected repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a decision that threatens the health insurance of tens of millions of Americans. Citing the story of his grandmother, who was unable to receive affordable treatment for a rare form of cancer and had to leave her home in Virginia to receive treatment in Europe, Garrido spoke fiercely of the possible dangers ahead if the threatened repeal of Obamacare is carried out. “Are we going to allow this man [Trump] to take away our health care? Are we going to allow him to take away the health care for 30 million people without a replacement plan?” Garrido told the crowd. “Are we going to allow him to dismantle [More...]

A Review of 2016: A Year of Key Victories for DC 37 Members

January 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 had a banner year in 2016. Here are some of the union’s achievements. Insourcing victory: DC 37 is working with the de Blasio to reduce the city’s employment of consultants and bring work in-house. The city has so far hired several hundred information technology workers. The union expects the city to hire up to 1,000 IT workers in the near future. We won our Fight for $15 campaign: Union members have participated in demonstrations to support food service workers in their struggle for a living wage and union representation. At home, the union backed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s adoption of a $15 minimum wage that covers 50,000 low-wage workers in the city, including a few thousand school workers in Local 372. As bargaining for a new contract concluded, the union convinced the City University of New York to match the pay hikes of the state minimum wage law, which [More...]

A Review of 2016 (Part 1): Building a Dynamic Union

January 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES In 2016, DC 37 advanced its mission to become a more dynamic and grassroots-oriented union.Despite the anti-union era in the country, DC 37 made significant strides by recruiting new activists while strengthening its workplace presence, deepening ties to the community and developing more political clout. “The transformation of our union will take a long time,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “But so far, we have made a lot of progress, and next year we will continue down this path. We are talking about a change in culture at DC 37.” Union activists and elected leaders had a busy year in 2016. Workers at the City University of New York participated in fight-back campaign to win a new contract. Members helped block Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to cut $300 million in state support for the city’s public health-care system and nearly $500 million [More...]

Fight Big Pharma’s Price Gouging

January 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The January copay increases of the DC 37 Health & Security Plan’s prescription drug benefit show how we all are victims of the voracious pharmaceutical industry. For years, the plan struggled to maintain the old copays. But with the skyrocketing cost of drugs, the plan’s trustees finally felt they had no choice but to approve the copay hikes. As DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido has pointed out, drug costs will likely continue to rise until the government steps in to control the prices of the unregulated pharmaceutical industry. “The pharmaceutical industry’s track record of corporate greed is reprehensible,” said Willie Chang, administrator of the plan. “We need to do whatever we can as consumers and individual activists to slow down price increases.” Although consumers have little or no control over prices in the absence of a nationwide [More...]

Trump: A Wake-Up Call for Unions

December 25, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO The election of Donald J. Trump as president distresses us because we fear his policies will allow the decades-long nationwide attack on working people to continue. District Council 37 and its national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, worked tirelessly for Hillary Clinton because we were convinced that she was the candidate who would best support the interests of our members. We were shocked and deeply saddened by her loss on Nov. 8. But rather than allowing her defeat to leave us licking our wounds and turning us into outliers in the political process, we view this setback as a wake-up call. Trump’s election is an indication of our need to step up our own effort to make DC 37 a more dynamic and powerful union. DC 37’s history is to never quit. The disturbing rightward shift in the country shows how important it is to stick [More...]