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Sept. 4, 2023 -
Labor Day 2023 isn’t like Labor Day 2022. It isn’t like any Labor Day of the past half-century.

The reason is simple: Labor law has changed.

Two Fridays ago, the National Labor Relations Board restored a good deal of labor law to its original purpose of enabling workers to bargain collectively for better pay and working conditions.

In its decision in the Cemex case, the Board ruled that when a majority of workers at a company or worksite affiliate with a union (something they could do by signing affiliation cards), the employer could either recognize that union voluntarily or request that the Board hold an election. If, during the run-up to the election or the election itself, the employer committed an unfair labor practice (ULP), the Board would immediately declare the union recognized and order the employer to begin bargaining with it. Read More >

Aug. 26, 2023 -
It's about to get harder for bosses to use illegal union busting to try to stall worker organizing. In a new ruling, the National Labor Relations Board outlined what will happen now if employers try illegal union-busting activity. If workers want a union, and employers use illegal tactics in the run-up to a union election that could compromise the election — like firing union organizers, or retaliating against workers engaging in protected union activities — the new rules say workers no longer have to hold a fresh election. Workers will instead automatically get their union and employers will have to bargain with them. Read More >

Summer is here, which means cybercriminals are ramping up their efforts to trick you into sharing your personal information. Here are four ways to protect yourself. Click Here to Read More >

Months of negotiations with the City of New York came to a close Friday, Feb. 7 when DC 37 finalized the terms of the citywide contract. The tentative deal, which now needs to be ratified by the membership, includes 3% annual raises for the first four years with 3.25% in the fifth year. The deal also includes a ratification bonus of $3,000 for employees active on the date the agreement is ratified.


It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of AUPR Mariano De Los Santos, Academy Sergeant, on June 23, 2023.

The viewing will take place on Thursday, June 29 at the RG Ortiz Funeral Home, 4425 Broadway, between West 189th and West 190th streets, from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Funeral service is Friday, June 30 at 10 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima, 510 W. 165th St., New York, NY 10032.

"Our condolences go to his family and all those who knew him," said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. "He was a one-of-a-kind guy who treated everyone respectfully, which is why he was so well-liked. He will be truly missed."

Registration for the Fall 2023 semester with the union's Education Fund is available on the DC 37 website. You can check the website by clicking HERE for information on classes, schedules or to register for a program.

The DC 37 Education Fund has partnered with the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) to expand higher education opportunities to develop the next generation of union leaders. The Education Fund will cover tuition for four courses (up to 16 credits where applicable) in certificate and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, excluding books and a one-time application fee required by CUNY. Eligible members may opt to participate in one of the following tracks:

• Undergraduate Certificate in Labor Relations
• Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Community Relations
• Graduate Certificate in Labor Relations
• Master’s Degree in Labor Studies

For information or to register to attend an information session, click HERE.

Uterine cancer is now recognized as a 9/11-related cancer, giving affected women access to World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program
and Victim Compensation Fund benefits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced.

The decision follows more than a year of research, discussion, and opportunities for public comment. It makes uterine cancer the 69th
9/11-related cancer — and the first to be added to the 9/11 registry in nearly a decade. Despite evidence linking the disease to 9/11 toxins,
uterine cancer had been the only cancer that wasn’t covered.

The final rule takes effect immediately, allowing the WTC Health Program — a federal program that provides no-cost medical monitoring
and treatment for certified WTC-related health conditions — to begin covering treatment services as soon as possible for patients with certified
WTC-related uterine cancers. The program, administered by the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, is authorized for
the next 67 years (through 2090).

Hundreds of women currently enrolled in the program have uterine cancer — a number that is expected to increase as women who don’t
have another qualifying 9/11-related illness become eligible to enroll. Families of those who have died of 9/11-related uterine cancer are also
eligible to seek compensation.

In the past few years, lawmakers, 9/11 survivors and responders, and advocacy groups have advocated for the addition of uterine cancer to
the list of covered conditions. After extensive efforts and a recognition of the scientific data which supports the link between exposure to 9/11 toxins and uterine cancer, on Jan. 18, 2023, the WTCHP took the necessary step of adding uterine cancer as a 9/11-related condition. As such, 9/11 toxin exposure victims who are either experiencing symptoms of uterine cancer or have already been diagnosed with this condition, can seek medical monitoring and treatment funded by the WTCHP.

Prior to the WTCHP announcement, uterine cancer was the only cancer type that was not considered to be a 9/11-related health condition
because early on, most 9/11 first responders who participated in research studies were males. Unfortunately, uterine cancer was not on
the radar screen until the past five-to-10 years.

Now that the WTCHP covers all cancer types, no 9/11 survivor or responder who is suffering from uterine cancer – or any other cancer –
should be denied medical benefits under the WTCHP.

Sara Director, a 9/11 legal advocate and partner at Barasch & McGarry who represents numerous survivors and fought for the rule change, was
quoted as calling the decision “a huge victory” for women who survived 9/11, as well as those who lived and worked in the area around Ground
Zero in the weeks and months after the attack.

The two-decade delay in recognizing 9/11-related uterine cancer has been costly for affected women who have had to pay for expensive

Now that uterine cancer is on the list of 9/11-related health conditions, qualifying individuals who file claims with the WTCHP to seek medical
benefits may also be eligible to seek and obtain compensation under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) that provides
financial compensation to responders and survivors who have suffered extensively because of their conditions.

Some individuals with 9/11-related conditions cannot work, thus leaving a financial hole that may not otherwise exist (absent the diagnosis of
a 9/11-related health condition). Moreover, the physical and mental pain and suffering associated with a 9/11-related condition warrants an
award of financial compensation The families of those who died from 9/11 related uterine cancer can now seek compensation for their losses
as well.

A statement from the WTCHP last May on the proposed rule change explained that exclusion of this particular cancer was due to “insufficient
evidence” to support adding it to the list of covered conditions. However, an advisory committee this past November unanimously approved the
recommendation to add uterine cancer to the list of diseases covered by the program for first responders and those close to the attacks.

Anyone seeking more information or a program application should go to

Local 983 is working with a Washington, D.C. law firm to recover damages for Local 983 members for overtime violations by the City. This firm has sued the City many times to recover money damages for overtime violations. Under the overtime law, each person must individually sign up to join the lawsuit. Don’t miss out!

To join, please complete the consent retainer found by Clicking Here >>

This past week, officials appeared to be caught very much by surprise by the toxic plume which left New York City’s air the unhealthiest on the planet. The Canadian wildfires that were the source of the major public health threat had been making headlines north of the border for weeks but were not on the radar of local emergency managers until the plume was upon them.

No, it wasn’t 9/11, but the power structure was every bit as clueless with a fractured response.

Last week, as sporting events and outdoor cultural events were canceled in New York City, for many essential workers, just like during the pandemic, it was just another day at work, despite the inherent risks of exerting themselves in some of the worst air on the planet that had been brewing north of the border for weeks.

And just as with COVID over three years ago, officials didn’t really seem clued in about the very real health implications for the essential workforce including the millions of these workers with serious pre-existing conditions.

In New York State’s June 6 Air Quality Advisory issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the State Department of Health (DOH) for the Long Island, New York City Metro, Lower Hudson Valley, Upper Hudson Valley, Adirondacks, Eastern Lake Ontario, and Central New York regions there was no reference to what the course of action should be for employers with employees that would have to be out in the toxic soup.

It was as if the essential plantation workforce was invisible-- a vast army with willing arms and legs that would keep the universal lazy Susan turning so that we were sure to get our mail and our monthly Amazon allotment at the front door.

“Exposure can cause short-term health effects such as irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and shortness of breath,” the state’s advisory warned. “Exposure to elevated levels of fine particulate matter can also worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. People with heart or breathing problems, and children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to PM 2.5.”

The advisory went on to offer several ways “to reduce exposure are to minimize outdoor and indoor sources and avoid strenuous activities in areas where fine particle concentrations are high” like using mass transit instead of driving, turn off all lights and electrical appliances in unoccupied areas, and reduce or eliminate outdoor burning and attempt to minimize indoor sources of PM 2.5 such as smoking.

No mention of calling out from your job if you were part of that unfortunate cohort working outdoors while having a pre-existing condition that would make you even more susceptible to the hazardous air.

Read the Full Article Here >>

Under the Local 983 Constitution, the Local 983 Election Committee has the job of making arrangements for the local's elections and supervising those elections. We, the Local 983 Election Committee, are writing to update you about the status of the Local 983 election. While this update is a bit lengthy, we do believe the members of Local 983 are entitled to know why the election for officers has been delayed. Due to the risk of COVID, the Local 983 Election Committee decided to conduct the election both virtually and in person on June 14, 2022. Under this plan, members would have been able to choose the method of voting that best worked for them individually -- vote in person, on the internet, or via phone. This would have given members who didn’t want to vote in person due to the risks of COVID the chance to still vote.

Local 983 members Jolifer Noe, Carmen Rodriguez, Nativa Palmer, Eric Auguste, and Richard Rivera argued that allowing members to vote remotely violated the Local 983 Constitution. They sued the Election Committee and the union, and asked a judge to stop the election. They asked the judge to compel the Election Committee and the union to allow only in-person voting. The Election Committee was opposed to this, and, among other things, argued that the Local 983 Constitution did not require in-person voting.

The judge disagreed with the Election Committee and ruled that the Local 983 Constitution required in-person voting. He also dismissed the Committee’s concerns about the risks that in-person voting presented to our members. In a June 10 Order, he directed the Election Committee to provide him with an “Election Plan” that was consistent with his order, which also said that the Election Committee could not hold the election until the judge “vacates” his June 10 order.

The Election Committee disagreed strongly with the judge’s June 10 Order. We thought that (a) the Local 983 Constitution does not require in-person voting, and (b) that forcing members to run the risk of COVID exposure if they want to exercise their right to vote was wrong, not required by the Local 983 Constitution, and not required by the law.

The Election Committee’s lawyers appealed the June 10 Order, asking the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court to “stay” the June 10 order until it ruled on the appeal. On June 23, a judge from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court issued a brief order that said the judge who issued the June 10 Order could not set a date for the Local 983 election.

On July 19, a panel of five Appellate Division of the Supreme Court judges issued an order saying that the judge who issued the June 10 order could not set a date for the election until the Election Committee’s appeal was decided.

The rest of the June 10 Order remains in effect, and the Election Committee is obligated to follow it. The June 10 Order requires the Election Committee to prepare an Election Plan, submit it to the people who sued, and then submit it to the Court. The Committee did just that and an Election Plan set an August 18 election date.

As the June 10 Order states that only in-person voting was allowed, and because the Election Committee has a duty to follow that order, the Election Plan said there could only be in-person voting.

To be clear, the Election Plan we submitted was done with the strong objection of the Election Committee, which believes that the court had no power to restrict voting to in-person only. We believe that by disallowing any other form of voting, and by compelling in-person voting, the court is putting members at risk of exposing themselves to COVID if they want to vote. However, because the Election Committee has a duty to follow the June 10 Order, we issued an Election Plan that obeyed that order.

While the Election Committee submitted the Election Plan, it did so “without prejudice to its pending appeal and pending motion under CPLR Section 5519.” In plain talk, that means that the Election Committee submitted the Election Plan because the court ordered us to do so in the June 10 Order, but we did not give up our legal arguments that the June 10 Order was wrongly decided. Since both the June 23 and July 19 orders of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court said that the lower court cannot set a date for the election, as of today, no election date has been set.

On July 20, the lawyer representing Jolifer Noe, Carmen Rodriguez, Nativa Palmer, Eric Auguste, and Richard Rivera asked the judge who issued the June 10 order to force the Election Committee to hold the election on August 18, and to force members to vote in-person if they want to vote.

The Election Committee opposed that request for two reasons:

The Election Committee still thinks it is wrong to force members to vote in-person because doing so will put members at risk of COVID exposure. We think that members should be able to vote remotely if they want to; it’s the safer option and it’s not forbidden by the Local 983 or AFSCME constitutions.

The July 19 order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court's forbids the judge from setting an election date until it decides on the Election Committee’s appeal of the June 10 order, and that has not yet happened.

On July 26, the judge who issued the June 10 order heard arguments from the lawyers, agreed with the Election Committee, and decided that he did not have the power to order an election be held on August 18.

What does this all mean for you, the Local 983 member?

First, it means that there is no date set for the election. If anyone tells you that there is a date for the election, they’re wrong.

Second, it means that the Election Committee is still fighting for you, the members, to be allowed to vote remotely, and fighting against the attempt by Jolifer Noe, Carmen Rodriguez, Nativa Palmer, Eric Auguste, and Richard Rivera to force members to vote in-person. The Election Committee is doing this because we do not want a single member to catch COVID while waiting online to vote. We believe the Local 983 and AFSCME constitutions do not forbid remote voting.

Finally, it means that the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court will decide whether the judge who issued the June 10 order was right to do so. Until then, no election date will be set.

We will update you when we get more information.

Thank you,

Local 983 Election Committee

In a decision that upheld the position of the Local 983 Election Committee, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the First Judicial Department unanimously reversed the decision of the Supreme Court that enjoined Local 983 from holding its duly scheduled election.

The decision of the Appellate Division stated that the members who sued to halt the Local 983 election failed to exhaust the internal AFSCME remedies. The decision noted that that AFSCME’s constitution prohibits members from suing their union over an officer election without first using the remedies that AFSCME provides. The AFSCME Constitution provides members with a procedure to challenge how a local union conducted its officer election and gives those members the chance to be heard.

This has long been the position of the Election Committee, which has now been vindicated by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the First Judicial Department.

New York City municipal workers will no longer need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 — and those fired for refusing to get immunized can reapply for their old jobs, Mayor Adams announced Monday in a major pandemic policy reversal. READ MORE HERE or HERE

The income thresholds for Child Care Facilitated Enrollment have increased to 300% of Federal Poverty Levels (FPL) and now have much lower co-pays. The increase means more DC 37 members may be eligible for subsidized daycare programs for working families in New York City and Suffolk County, Long Island.

The increased FPL for the Child Care Facilitated Enrollment Project is retroactive to April 2022. On June 1, 2022, the cap on parental co-pays was lowered to one percent of a family’s income over the FPL. An updated fact sheet with the new income thresholds is available at NYC residents can apply HERE.

Funds are available for income-eligible, working families who reside in the counties served by WDI, including Suffolk County, Long Island. The subsidy can be applied to licensed, registered, or legally exempt daycare, after-school, or summer camp programs. Apply at or call 631.743.0914.

The New York State Paid Family Leave benefit is expanded to included care for siblings as eligible dependents for leave. The PFL benefit is 12 weeks. The maximum weekly paid benefit is $971.61 or $1,943 bi-weekly. The contribution rate dropped from .511% of payroll to .455% of payroll. This union-negotiated benefit is available to nearly all DC 37 members, including members in the nonprofit and private sector locals.

For information visit Access the 2023 PFL benefits calculator HERE. For information on childcare and other programs for NYC residents, speak to your union rep or click HERE.

Aug. 11, 2023: Judge Frank issued an order in the case brought by certain retirees challenging the implementation of the Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan. As you will recall, the Judge had previously issued a preliminary injunction preventing the plan from moving forward. There had been some concern about whether the City could appeal directly from the issuance of a preliminary injunction.

As indicated in his decision, the City’s lawyers obtained the agreement of the retiree group to have the Court issue a final order without any further briefing or proceeding to expedite the matter. The Court made no new findings. This decision allows the City to move forward with an appeal more expeditiously. In essence, this decision does not substantively change the status of Medicare Advantage. The City has indicated its intention to move quickly to appeal.


July 6, 2023: On Thursday, July 6, 2023, Judge Frank issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) prohibiting NYC from implementing the Medicare Advantage Plan on September 1, 2023. We will keep you updated on any changes concerning this matter.


Jan. 4, 2023: The New York City Council has introduced legislation (Int 0874-2023) to amend the Administrative Code that would allow for choice in retiree health care plans and is scheduled to hold a hearing on the legislation on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. Unless this legislation passes, the arbitrator's binding decision to make the Medicare Advantage Plus Plan the one and only plan for retirees will take effect in July of this year. By passing the legislation, the Municipal Labor Committee can negotiate the rights of retirees to choose a plan from various plans that meets their needs.


Dec. 15, 2022: As anticipated, a third-party arbitrator issued his decision in mid-December regarding your health benefits and the fund that pays for them. He verified that the Healthcare Stabilization Fund has run out of money, and directed the City and the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) to finalize the terms of a Medicare Advantage Plan offered by Aetna to prepare for its implementation. The arbitrator’s decision also eliminates all options for retirees except HIP VIP and Medicare Advantage. That’s why I have warned for months that the Administrative Code must change in order to protect retirees’ choice in their healthcare plans. The time to act on Administrative Code 12-126 is now. 

Additional highlights of the decision:

● The City and MLC should proceed to negotiate appropriate terms for a Medicare Advantage plan with Aetna within the next 25 calendar days.

● If the MLC does not approve the Aetna Medicare Advantage plan, the matter would revert to the arbitrator for consideration of how benefits provided for by the Stabilization Fund are to be paid for, including the imposition of premiums on actives and pre-65 retirees.

● The City Council has 45 calendar days to amend the Administrative Code to permit retirees to buy into Senior Care, or Senior Care will no longer be an offering.

We’re at a critical juncture with a severe timeline, and we need your help to put pressure on those who have the power to protect city workers and retirees from shouldering premiums and losing the power of choice. It is clearer than ever that we need the City Council to update Administrative Code 12-126.

Actions You Can Take Now:

1) Call your City Council Member. Enter your address here to find your Council Member’s District Office phone number. Call and tell them: Protect premium-free healthcare for City employees and amend Administrative Code 12-126!

2) Write a letter to your Council Member. Click this link to send a pre-populated email to their office.

3) Share this message with your union sisters and brothers. Encourage them to join us and take action to protect our benefits.

You should also be aware that certain groups are spreading misinformation to convince you to contribute money to their cause. We have received multiple reports of active and retired DC 37 members being solicited for donations.

With your support and advocacy, we will navigate this next month Union Strong and come out even stronger on the other side.

If your dream is to become a park ranger, now's your chance! The city is hiring 50 Urban Park Rangers to help bring fun and educational nature and wildlife programs to our parks. Plus, the hat is really cool. Apply Here >>

Under Adams, Sanitation Department Sweeps Up Jobs From Other Agencies

Apr. 19, 2023 -

The Department of Sanitation is scooping up city jobs left and right. The agency known as “New York’s Strongest” is expanding again under Commissioner Jessica Tisch, now taking on the cleaning of highways — a job long held by a different workforce at the Department of Transportation, whose members are not happy about being swept out.


Local 983 Sanitation workers clean up litter along the Clearview Expressway in Queens. Photo courtesy of Department of Sanitation. City Parks Workers Haul 4-foot Alligator from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake

Local 983 Sanitation workers clean up litter along the Clearview Expressway in Queens. Photo courtesy of Department of Sanitation.

Call it the gallop-thru: Local 983 Parks officers get served from horseback at Staten Island Tim Hortons

Feb. 22, 2023 -
Tim Hortons got some unexpected guests in their drive-thru, the morning of February 21, 2023.


Horseback officers get served at Staten Island Tim Hortons

Photo courtesy Staten Island Advance/Maura Grunland

Local 983 City Parks Workers Haul 4-foot Alligator from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake

Feb. 19, 2023 -
A lethargic, possibly cold-shocked 4-foot-long alligator was hauled from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake early Sunday.  

Watch Video Recap >>

Local 983 City Parks Workers Haul 4-foot Alligator from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake

Union Backs City Council
on Health Care Accountability Legislation

Local 983 joined more than 100 union activists and health care advocates, NYC Council Member Julie Menin, and other elected officials on Dec. 7 to rally in support of the Healthcare Accountability and Consumer Protection Act. The rally at City Hall is part of an ongoing campaign to reduce health care and hospital costs for working families by the Coalition for Affordable Hospitals. The just-introduced City Council’s Healthcare Accountability and Consumer Protection Act would increase oversight over what the New York City’s private hospital systems charge for medical procedures. The creation of a first-in-the-nation Office of Healthcare Accountability would mandate that every NYC hospital publish the price for all medical procedures, audit city expenditures on employee-related health care costs, and grade hospitals on their compliance with pricing transparency measures. Actress Susan Sarandon, an outspoken advocate for reforming health care, met with Local 983 President Joe Puleo.

Updates on Student Loan Forgiveness

June 30, 2023:  The U.S Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, blocked the Biden Administration's plan to cancel $430 billion in student loan debt that would have benefitted up to 44 million Americans. The decision favored the court's conservatives and was written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

The court sided with six conservative-leaning states - Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina - that objected to the Biden Administration student loan forgiveness program.

"Today's decision has closed one path. Now we're going to pursue another," Biden said at the White House, announcing steps being taken under a law called the Higher Education Act.

Under the plan, up to $10,000 would have been forgiven to Americans with federal student debt making under $125,000 who obtained loans to pay for college and other post-secondary education and $20,000 for recipients of Pell grants to students from lower-income families.

The administration said the plan was authorized under a 2003 federal law called the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, or HEROES Act, which lets the education secretary "waive or modify" student financial assistance during war or national emergencies.

Starting Sept. 1, after a 3-1/2-year break from repayments and interest accrual, both will resume, followed by the first debt repayments in October. While those are the most important dates to know, there are many more, including when you can enroll in President Joe Biden’s new payment plans and by when you need to enroll in autopay.

In August, President Biden announced a plan to provide one-time, pandemic-connected debt relief to more than 40 million Americans with federal student loans.

Since making the application available, more than 26 million borrowers provided the information needed to be considered for debt relief. Already, the Department of Education has approved 16 million of those applications.

But lawsuits filed by Republican elected officials and special interests are challenging the program, stopping our ability to discharge debt and accept additional applications. We are confident in our legal authority to carry out this program, which is why the Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to lift the lower court’s injunction against the program and suggested that if the Court does not do so, it could take up this case.

It is unfair to ask tens of millions of borrowers to resume payments on their student debt when they would be eligible for relief– if not for these lawsuits. Therefore, the pause on student loan payments and collections has been extended.

The student loan payment pause is extended until 60 days after the Department is permitted to implement the debt relief program, or the litigation is resolved. If the program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023, payments will resume 60 days after that. Borrowers will be notified before payments restart.

Visit to explore more affordable repayment options, other debt forgiveness programs, and more.

President Joe Biden announced on Aug. 24 an income-based student debt relief program that forgives up to $20,000 in student loan debt. He also extended the CARES Act student loan forbearance through Jan. 1, 2023.

The U.S. Department of Education will forgive up to $20,000 in outstanding student debt for borrowers who received Pell Grants and up to $10,000 in student debt for those who did not receive Pell Grants. Loan forgiveness will not be treated as taxable income.

Individuals who earn less than $125,000 and couples who earn up to $250,000, in years 2020 and 2021 only, qualify for student debt relief. The U.S. Department of Education has income information on file for about 8 million borrowers who may qualify to have their college debts canceled automatically. Other borrowers will have to apply using a new, simplified application that is in development.

Students currently enrolled in college who have student loans and parents with Parent PLUS loans are eligible to apply for student debt forgiveness.

Borrowers with outstanding undergraduate loans can apply to cap their student loan payments at 5 percent of their monthly income.

The Department of Education’s website should be ready to accept applications for student debt relief in December 2022.

The pause on direct student loan payments, interest accrual and collection activity on direct student loans in default will remain in place through Jan. 1, 2023, when payments will resume. The administration indicated this would be the final payment pause extension. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation to expand and simplify public employee access to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The law establishes uniformity around what qualifies as full-time employment for the purposes of accessing PSLF and allows public service employers to certify employment on behalf of workers.

PSLF is a federal program that incentivizes public service work by canceling a portion of borrowers' federal student loans. The program requires borrowers to be full-time employees of an eligible public service employer and make 120 qualifying payments towards their student loan, after which the remainder of their federal student loan debt is forgiven. Any student loan debt that is forgiven under this program will not be subject to tax under New York State tax law.

The new law (Chapter 562) addresses barriers to accessing PSLF by:

Clarifying the legal definitions of key terms such as, "certifying employment," "employee," "full-time," "public service employer," "public service loan forgiveness form," and "Public service loan forgiveness program;"

Setting a standard hourly threshold for full-time employment at 30 hours per week for the purposes of accessing PSLF and clarifying standardized prep time to be included in such calculation for faculty and teachers; and

Allowing public service employers to certify employment on behalf of individuals or groups of employees directly with the U.S. Department of Education.

If you have student loan debt, contact Local DC 37 MELS for assistance.

QPL’s DJ Ralph McDaniels
Does it for the Culture

By Diane S. Williams 

If you’ve ever given a shout out, thank Ralph McDaniels, host and creator of New York City’s most successful public television show, Video Music Box (VMB).

McDaniels, who is also known as ‘Uncle Ralph,’ is the Queens Public Library hip-hop coordinator and historian, and a member of Queens Library Guild Local 1321. He hosts live DJ vinyl sessions on Instagram and Facebook to introduce the next generation to hip-hop culture.   Read More >>

Donate to TEA 3
Roderick Holder

We are asking our traffic family to come together once again to help one of our own, TEA 3 Roderick Holder, who was suspended by NYPD while towing in the 42 PCT area. Brother Holder declined a direct order to tow a vehicle under a Bogus NO Parking Anytime sign nailed to a tree. If you would like to contribute to help our union brother, call our Local 983 Bronx Tow Shop Steward Sandra Lynch at 917.796.2645. Any amount will be appreciated. Donations are not for legal assistance as Local 983 has already assigned him legal counsel. In Solidarity!

News Archive

Local 983 United Newsletters

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