unions

Unions Join Daughter to Fight the Deportation of Her Father

June 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 and other unions are fighting the deportation of a Mexican undocumented worker who has lived 30 years in the United States. Many unionists joined immigrant rights advocates, elected officials and the family of Martin Martinez at a rally in front of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s building in downtown Manhattan for a rally on June 21. In April, ICE detained Martinez — who fled poverty and violence in Mexico to come to the United States —and held him for two weeks. Apparently, ICE picked up the Newburgh resident because he was twice convicted for DWI about 20 years ago. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido described Martinez’s pending deportation immoral and at odds with the country’s values, which include welcoming the downtrodden of other countries to the United States. Garrido noted that the union is involved in another deportation [More...]

School Activists and Elected Officials Push for Extension of Mayoral Control over Schools

June 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Teachers and principals helping students cheat on standardized tests in 18 of 33 school districts and incompetent contractors who took two years to install just four windows at PS 55 in Queens were just two of the examples of the corruption and incompetence that plagued the Dept. of Education prior to the schools being put under mayoral control in 2002. Mayoral-control supporters fear the DOE could too easily return to those scandal ridden days if legislators in Albany don’t vote to extend mayoral control on this week. The current legislation giving the mayor control of city schools is set to expire on July 1. Legislators are locking horns over the issue of charter schools. State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan wants lift the cap on charters – a move opposed by de Blasio and other mayoral control supporters, including DC 37. “The future of our children is [More...]

Unions, City Meet Target for Savings; Health Care Coverage Still Premium-Free

June 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Mission accomplished. The Municipal Labor Committee on May 18 approved the last of a series of coverage changes that will enable the city to save $3.4 billion in employee health care costs. The city and MLC — which represents city unions on health care matters — agreed to the four-year plan in 2015. The saving plan enabled DC 37 to maintain the premium-free health care coverage that members and retirees enjoy through Blue Cross Blue Shield/GHI-CBP and HIP/HMO. “There were doubts in some circles that the union and city could achieve this, but we succeeded,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “The plan preserves our premium-free coverage at least through fiscal year 2018.” Here are the changes: ● The co-pay for members enrolled in HIP/HMO who use Urgent Care centers will increase to $50 on July 1. Currently, the co-pay at the centers ranges [More...]

Union Backs Legislation Requiring Automatic Sign Up for School Pension

May 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO City employees are usually enrolled automatically in the retirement system when they are hired. But that’s not true for many members of Board of Education Employees Local 372. New Local 372 members are required to sign up. But many members who work for the Dept. of Education neglect to enroll and therefore don’t receive pension benefits when they retire. District Council 37 and Local 372 announced their support of legislation, sponsored by New York state Sen. Diane Savino and Assembly member Nick Perry, that would automatically enroll members in the Board of Education Retirement System. “Under the current enrollment process, too many of our members at the Dept. of Education have missed out on the full pension benefits they are entitled to,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I applauded the Albany [More...]

Constitutional Mischief

May 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES As right-wing interests push for a constitutional convention in New York, a similar move is afoot around the country. But that effort has a different target: the U.S. Constitution. Whether the goal is to change a state constitution or the nation’s constitution, the risk is the same: Government services along with our personal liberties, civil rights and right to bargain collectively could be put on the chopping block. The anti-government American Legislative Exchange Council is working with state legislators on resolutions calling for a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, the states can convene a constitutional convention when two-thirds of the country’s 50 states pass resolutions in support of a Convention of the States. Supporters have managed to get the backing of 28 legislatures. Right-wing [More...]

Advocates Call for More Library Funding

May 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Before today’s City Council budget hearing, library advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall this morning to demand more funding for the city’s three public library systems. Union and city leaders, along with the heads of the library systems, joined community activists and library workers to call on the City Council to provide an extra $24 million to fund seven-day library service. Only 15 of the city’s 216 libraries are open seven days a week. They also asked the council to approve an additional $150 million to help the library systems continue to carry out their long-term $1.1 billion capital plan. The funding would be used to address chronic flooding, faulty air conditioners and heating systems, overcrowding, outdated electrical systems, broken elevators and insufficient space. “Our communities need funds for seven day service in this [More...]

Take the Survey on Upcoming Contract Negotiations

May 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

 Our 2010-17 economic agreement — which covers 98,000 members — expires in September. The union is gearing up for negotiations and wants to hear your top concerns and the steps you are willing to take to win a new contract. During May and early June, DC 37 will conduct an online survey on the contract. The results will help the union prepare its demands and learn best how best to represent you at the bargaining table. During May and early June, DC 37 will conduct an online survey on the contract. The results will help the union prepare its demands and learn best how best to represent you at the bargaining table. Week of May 15: DC 37 will send out an email with a link to the bargaining survey to those who have provided an email address to DC 37. Members who receive the email will have a two-week window, or until May 26, to take the survey. Please complete the survey as soon as soon [More...]

Protesters Confront House Speaker Ryan

May 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO  Angry activists lined the corner of W. 118 Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem and waited for the Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to tell him what they think of his support of the GOP’s new health-care plan, which threatens to leave a million New Yorkers uninsured. Instead of coming uptown to visit the city’s cash-strapped Harlem Hospital Center, which could lose millions in Medicaid funding, Ryan came instead to visit the Success Academy charter school. The school is part of the charter school empire run by Eva Moskowitz. “What this says to me is that he supports the privatization of public schools,” said Public Advocate Letitia James, who was at the protest in front of the school along with activists from Make the Road New, the New York Immigrant Coalition and District Council 37. “This is a dog and pony show for the charter school investors,” [More...]

We Will Fight! Iowa Labor Leader Talks About the Attack on Public Workers

May 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE “You are the backbone of this union. You gotta get off your ass,” said Iowa District Council 61’s President Danny Homan, in a blunt warning to activists that they must pick up the fightback against the anti-union attack on public workers nationwide. “Struggle is not time-limited, but it is the road to resolution and victory,” said Local SSEU Local 371 President Anthony Wells, when he introduced Homan. Homan, an international vice president of DC 37’s national union and for five decades an activist and leader, delivered this stern warning before an audience of SSEU Local 371 delegates, alternates and activists at the local’s Delegate Assembly meeting at DC 37 headquarters on April 19. In an emotional, impassioned speech, Homan spoke bluntly about the brutal, draconian changes made to the long-standing collective bargaining agreement with public workers in Iowa. [More...]

When ICE Comes Knocking

May 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

Local 983’s Jose Molina turned his life around, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement may deport the family man for a 20-year-old conviction. By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Loud pounding at 5:30 a.m. on a cold January morning in 2013 jolted Jose Molina and his family from their sleep. Molina’s wife, Jennifer, opened the door of their Bronx apartment. In the hallway stood five armed men. Within minutes, they were knocking over furniture and spilling out dresser drawers. The commotion frightened the Molina children, then ages 11 and 9, who began to cry as the strangers confined them to their bedrooms, out of the reassuring reach of their parents. The men surrounded Jose and Jennifer in their living room. She begged for an explanation. Then the men, officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), handcuffed Jose and led him away as his crying family watched. Since that cold, [More...]