work

Parks Patrol Captain Rescues Two Women in Car Accident in the Bronx

November 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A quick-acting Parks Dept. patrol captain in Local 983 rescued two injured women trapped in a Jeep that flipped over in a three-car collision in the Bronx. “The Jeep was smoking and gas was leaking from the vehicle,” said Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer Capt. Domingo Sanchez, who was traveling along the Bronx River Parkway when he came upon the three-car pileup, which occurred as the first major snowstorm of the season hit New York City. “I saw that the last car, a smaller vehicle, rear-ended the Jeep and flipped it over. The Jeep just hit the car traveling in front. I got out to see how I could help when I found two women trapped inside the flipped vehicle.” Racing against time, Sanchez climbed onto the Jeep to pull the passenger to safety. “The driver was complaining that her neck was hurt and she couldn’t move,” Sanchez explained. “I told her, [More...]

Rookie of the Year Helps Find Where the Wild Things Are

June 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS For New Yorkers who want to roam the wild, public parks are urban forests teeming with over 600 species of wildlife. Tracking the migratory and breeding patterns of birds, bats and beasts is Community Coordinator Karolina Janik, a self-described computer nerd who works at North Arsenal of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation. “I always wanted to work in public service and for my work to have purpose,” said Janik, a Social Services Employees Union Local 371 member, who was raised in Baltimore. “Before I moved here, I never realized how much wildlife exists in New York City.” Janik collects data on red-tailed hawk fledges nesting on a 96th Street fire escape and wild coyotes in Pelham Bay. She finds blue, yellow, and orange warblers that dart skyward and make New York City a stopover on their epic annual migration from South America to the Artic. Marshlands along [More...]

Health Dept. Restores Leave for Social Workers

June 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union settled a group grievance for nine Local 768 members that restores their annual leave after the city forced them to use accrued time for continuing education courses required to maintain their licensure as professional Social Workers. “It took quite some time to resolve, but through the persistence of dedicated staff in the Professional Division, including the director, Stephanie Miller, Reps Dana Tilghman and Shayvonne Jones,” said Local 768 President Fitz Reid, “and other concerned members at the worksite, who weren’t even affected but agreed to be a liaison for information, the union prevailed.” Union protects its members New York State mandates Social Workers to take 36 hours of courses every three years to maintain their professional licenses. These courses ensure they are current with the best practices and issues regarding mental health, [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...]

Labor Film Festival Opens on Friday

May 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The seventh annual Labor Unite! Film Festival opens  in the Tribeca neighborhood in Manhattan on May 4. The opening will feature “The Iron Triangle,” which explores the history of deindustrialization, urban renewal and gentrification in New York City. The evening also includes three other screenings: “Bullies,” a five minute animated film that highlights how the Real Estate Board of New York has harmed New York City, “The Cost of Construction,” a documentary about death on the job, and “Bowery Tenants Fight Back,” a short film about gentrification in Chinatown. The films will be shown at Cinema Village at 22 East 12th St. in Lower Manhattan. The festival opening includes a reception at 6 p.m. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. After the viewings, Joshua Barnett, president of Local 375’s chapter at the New York [More...]

The Unfulfilled Dream

April 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

A half century after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination is an appropriate time to reflect upon the accomplishments of his movement. Undeniably, the struggle led by King resulted in vital civil rights and voting rights gains for blacks, along with protections against housing and job discrimination. But the economic advancement of minorities and the poor that King advocated never came about. And since his death, our country has veered toward plutocracy and authoritarianism that provides little reason for hope. At the end of his life, King was leading the Poor People’s Campaign. His criticism of the economic divide and opposition to the Vietnam War clearly shook the country’s levers of power. Today, King has a saint-like aura. But back then, his popularity was far from universal. “A man of peace, he died violently,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote in a New York Times op-ed [More...]

Sharpening Skills for the Courtroom

April 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS One hundred Court Reporters, Interpreters and clerical workers in Local 1070 wrapped up 2017 with a two-day job skills seminar at union headquarters in December. “Based on our strong labor-management relations with the Unified Court System, we again presented court recess training for members in workshops and seminars led by an outstanding group of legal professionals,” said Local 1070 President Fausto Sabatino. UCS agreed to open the sessions to state employees who are mandated to use their comp time or annual leave while courts are on recess between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Court employees will be credited for attending the two-day event. “The training helped build solidarity among the Interpreters,” said Elana Grossman, who interprets Spanish and Hebrew at Manhattan Family Court. “Being in the same room with so many colleagues who share [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...]

“We’re Making a Big Difference in the Lives of Women.”

December 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

  Joanne Schmidt, Family Public Health Nurse, Local 436 Most of my time is spent in the field visiting our clients, with a day to do paperwork in the office. They live all over the city, in shelters, in Riker’s Island or they live with foster families. I work with first-time mothers. They can be anywhere from as young as 12 years old to 41-year-old women. I help them with developing their parenting skills and give them orientation regarding lactation support. I make a lot of referrals on their behalf for social and mental health services at clinics. We make a lot of referrals to the Coalition for the Homeless. There’s really no typical person that I deal with. Their main concern is finding permanent housing, then finding a job. A lot of them are interested in continuing their education but that takes a back seat to finding a job and a place to stay — those are the priorities. [More...]

Family Paid Leave Fight Examined in “Zero Weeks” Documentary

November 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Paid family leave is offered to workers all over the world from Iraq to Mexico and Brazil. Papua New Guinea and the United States are on a very short list of countries that don’t offer the benefit to their workers. “Why is it that the rest of the world has figured this out and we haven’t,” asks one of the many people interviewed in a new documentary examining the failure to provide the benefit for millions of American workers. Only 14 percent have paid family leave. The documentary, “Zero Weeks: America’s Family Leave Crisis,” is set to premiere in Manhattan on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the SVA Theater at 333 W. 23rd St. The film examines the struggle of American workers as they juggle full-time jobs with taking care of sick parents, spouses and children. One woman talks about having to get cancer treatment during her lunch break. The documentary [More...]