Union Settles Illegal Transfer of TEA III

October 8, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union settled a grievance filed on behalf of a Local 983 member, Gary Pearson, who the Police Department wrongfully transferred from the Queens Tow Pound, where he had worked for nearly 30 years, to the Manhattan Tow Pound. The settlement paid him a lump sum of $1,250. Pearson had 36 years’ experience as a NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent Level III and as a heavy duty tow operator. Believing that he was wrongfully transferred, he called the union. “By sticking with the union, members can accomplish anything,” said Marvin Robbins, Vice President of Local 983. Robbins and DC 37 lawyer Dena Klein handled the case. The union believed the TEA III was transferred without justification and that the transfer constituted wrongful discipline. The union filed a wrongful transfer grievance in 2019 shortly after NYPD moved Pearson to the Manhattan Tow Pound which was [More...]

Last Principal Parks Supervisor Retires

October 7, 2021 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS After a 44-year career in the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Local 1508 Principal Parks Supervisor Vincent Cascella will retire in October. “The highlight of my career has been helping others learn to do the job well and to see them move up to full-time parkies and supervisors,” Cascella said. “I learned to love city parks and I grew to appreciate how important Prospect Park is to the city’s residents.” His retirement as DPR’s last Principal Parks Supervisor (PPS) marks the end of an era. The City redlined the job title in the 1990s and Cascella is the last one. Parks now assigns PPS duties to Parks Supervisors 2, which Local 1508 represents. Cascella started in 1977 as a seasonal Parks worker and was later hired full time as a Local 983 Associate Parks Service Worker. He stood out partly because he rode a motorcycle and played [More...]

Voters to Answer Five Referendum Questions on November Ballot

October 6, 2021 // 0 Comments

On Nov. 2, New York City will hold a general election. In addition to New York City races, the following referendums will appear on the ballot. Below you will find a summary of each of the Constitutional Amendments. DC 37’s Executive Board voted on each on Sept. 14 after PEP Talk went to press. You can find the union’s positions on our blog. No Excuse Absentee Ballot Passed both houses in 2019 (S.1049) and 2021 (S.360) Purpose: Authorizes ballot by mail by removing cause for absentee ballot voting. Right To Clean Air And Water & A Healthful Environment Passed both houses in 2019 (S.2072) and 2021 (S.528) Purpose: Recent water contamination and ongoing concerns about air quality have highlighted the importance of clean drinking water and air, as well as the need for additional protections. Several other states, including Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Montana, have [More...]


October 6, 2021 // 0 Comments

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, an ideal time to take action on your health. Here’s how Ariel took charge of hers: Ariel was a healthy, 38-year-old mother of two when she was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. “We were all so surprised because I have no family history of breast cancer or cancer. It really rocked our world.” At Ariel’s yearly OB/GYN appointment, her doctor did a breast exam. He felt a little lump underneath her armpit and under her breast. The doctor sent her for a mammogram, which showed that her lymph nodes were enlarged. As a precaution, the doctor recommended a follow-up sonogram. “I went back, and thank goodness I did, because they found tiny signs of breast cancer. I jumped into treatment [at Memorial Sloan Kettering] relatively quickly.” Cancer screenings and preventive care visits are essential to good [More...]

Union, College Leads to Promotion and Raise for Local 372 School Cook

October 5, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS With help from DC 37, Staten Island school cook Patrick Marino graduated with honors from CUNY’s LaGuardia Community College in May. He earned an associate’s degree in Nutrition and Culinary Management, a program designed for Local 372 members working in food services. “I attended college when I was younger but I hated it, so I went to culinary school,” said Marino, 35. “I saw a CUNY ad in the PEP. I always wanted to get a degree.” With help from a CUNY advisor and the union’s Education Fund, Marino was accepted into LaGuardia. “This time was different. I was motivated. I have a wife and a baby. I work full time and I’ve been an essential worker from day one of the pandemic,” Marino said. “I took courses online after work. Sometimes I had two classes a night. I did two years of study in one year to get my degree.” Marino, who overcame testing [More...]

Union, DOE, NYC Health+Hospitals Reach Agreement on COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Employees

October 4, 2021 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 and the New York City Department of Education announced an agreement for nearly 20,000 DOE employees regarding the COVID-19 mandate, which initially had a deadline of 5 p.m., Friday, Oct.1. Under the new agreement, DC 37 members who have not provided proof of at least one dose of the vaccine will have the option to resign or take a leave of absence. Employees may also apply for religious or medical exemptions. Exemption applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Tues., Oct. 5. DOE employees can submit for an application here. This deal follows weeks of hard-fought negotiations, including a lawsuit on behalf of the rights of union members in the New York State Supreme Court. “This fight has always been about the right of individuals to make their own medical decisions without fear of retribution in the workplace,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. [More...]

Local 983 Responds to Tow Pound Vandalism

September 29, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS An irate motorist smashed the front windshields of 10 vehicles parked near the NYPD Bronx tow pound on August 26. At least half of the damaged vehicles belong to NYPD traffic agents that Local 983 represents. “I am flippin’ outraged. I don’t feel safe at work,” Faithlyn Manzano, an NYPD tow operator, posted on her social media page. “It took 45 minutes for police to respond from a precinct that’s just 10 blocks away! He circled the block and returned after the cops left. He came back with a brick and a bat and busted out side view mirrors and windshields. We were told not to hold him or try to defend our property or ourselves. There were eight of us but we were helpless, so he got away.” Manzano added, “He threatened to return every day. I posted a video of him. What if he has a gun next time? How are we supposed to feel safe?” “This one guy took [More...]

Delayed Implementation of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

September 28, 2021 // 0 Comments

Dear DOE Employees, I am writing with another update on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in your workplace. Last night the mayor announced that the deadline to get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been extended to Friday, October 1, at 5 pm. As a reminder, to file for a medical or religious exemption, click here and select the option to “Request Accommodation.” If you have any questions, please contact your union representative or call (212) 815-1050. In Solidarity, Henry GarridoExecutive DirectorDistrict Council [More...]

Get Vaccinated

September 22, 2021 // 0 Comments

Earlier this year, on Feb. 26, I received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine. This was one of the most difficult choices I’ve had to make recently as a father, a husband, and ultimately, for myself. It was a long struggle to come to this decision. I discussed the issue with my family, going over concerns about the possible risks of side effects. Because of my role as Executive Director of DC 37, there is the constant risk of exposure to COVID-19 as I meet with members at all different agencies. The idea that I could bring this virus home to my family was my biggest concern. Ultimately, I know I made the right choice. With Kyle Bragg, 32BJ SEIU President, we took the step to get vaccinated publically at an event in Harlem. This was an important moment in the pandemic that began in March 2020, and continues as we move forward with reopening the city while dealing with public health [More...]


September 22, 2021 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS), the Building Service 32BJ Legal Services Fund,  CUNY’s Citizenship Now! Program and the Emerald Isle Immigration Center (EIIC) are jointly presenting a citizenship seminar tonight, Wednesday Sept. 22 at 6 pm on Zoom. Learn how to become a U.S. citizen and the benefits of citizenship. To join the Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen Seminar, register [More...]