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Local 983 NEWS


If your dream is to become a park ranger, now's your chance! We're 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.

In the first of several cases for Local 983 members seeking overtime for unpaid work time and late payment, among other claims, an overtime lawsuit was filed in federal court by Parks employees on March 7, 2021. It is not too late to join these lawsuits and to do so please complete the consent retainer by clicking here.

The DC 37 Brooklyn Dental Center at 186 Joralemon St. in Downtown Brooklyn closed on Tuesday, March 1. All dental services will continue from the DC 37 Dental Center, at 115 Chambers St. in lower Manhattan. The newly remodeled DC 37 Dental Center is providing members, retirees, and dependents their full-service dental needs. For more information on the DC 37 Dental Center, or to make an appointment, please call 212.766.4440.

Over 1/3 of Motorbikes in NYC Bike Lanes Caught Speeding by Post

Aug 6, 2022 -
More than one-third of people riding motorized two-wheelers on the Big Apple’s protected bike lanes and greenways speed dangerously, an analysis by The Post found. Although the city last week revved up its crackdown on dangerous driving by operating speed cameras round the clock, bike lanes remain severe safety hazards flooded with scofflaws on e-bikes, mopeds and motorcycles that constantly disobey the 25-mph speed limit. Read More >>

Health Insurers Kill Medicare Plan Change City-Job Retirees Railed Against

July 19, 2022 -
New York City’s years-long effort to shift retired city workers to a cost-cutting health care plan was dealt a major blow Monday when the insurer in charge of running the plan announced that it is withdrawing from the deal.

The plan — which the city and municipal unions hoped would save $600 million a year in health care costs — would have been run by the Retiree Health Alliance, a partnership between health insurance companies Elevance Health, previously known as Anthem, and Empire BlueCross BlueShield. Read More >>

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Launches New 3-digit Number: 988

July 16, 2022 -
By dialing only three numbers, anyone can now reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for mental health crises. On June 16, 2022, the nonprofit that operates the lifeline on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration launched the 988 dialing code available to everyone across the United States. Read more >

Pressure Mounts on City to Come Clean with 9/11 WTC Files

July 12, 2022 -
A 2003 EPA Inspector General report held the EPA accountable for mischaracterizing the air quality in lower Manhattan as "safe to breathe." A growing coalition of unions and survivors say it's time for the City of New York to come clean with what then Mayor Rudy Giuliani knew and when he knew it about the toxic air that has killed thousands and sickened tens of thousands. Read more >>

“We were promised during the budget negotiating process that was just completed between the Mayor’s office and the Speaker’s Office that none of these people would be laid off,” Puleo said.

July 1, 2022 -
The first person that Victoria Cooley, 34, a seasonal aid with the New York City Parks Department, called when she was told this week that June 30 was her last day was Joe Puleo, president of DC 37’s Local 983, which represents her and several thousand blue collar as well as skilled trades workers that work for the city.

During a phone interview, Puleo told LaborPress Cooley was one of 200 entry level workers that were slated to be terminated at the end of the fiscal year before July 1. They had originally been hired as part of Mayor de Blasio New Deal-inspired City Cleanup Corp that was funded with American Rescue Plan funds from Washington that were temporary. Read More >>

AOC Wants 2 SCOTUS Justices Impeached for "Lying Under Oath" About Stance on Abortion  

June 27, 2022 -
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling for a House investigation into whether two Supreme Court justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade should be impeached for lying at their confirmation hearings about their views of the landmark abortion-rights case. Read more >>

SCOTUS Overturns Roe v. Wade
Ends Women's Rights to Abortion

June 24, 2022 -
In a historic and far-reaching decision, the U.S. Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, declaring that the constitutional right to abortion that's been upheld for 50 years no longer exists.

Judge Rules NYC Municipal Voting Law for Noncitizens
Violates State Constitution

June 27, 2022 -
New York City’s law extending voting rights in municipal elections to noncitizens who are legally allowed to live, work and go to school in the five boroughs violates the New York State Constitution, according to a ruling issued by Justice Ralph Porzio in Richmond County State Supreme Court on Monday. Read more >>

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down NY’s Concealed-Carry Law

June 23, 2022 -

The Supreme Court of the United States struck down a New York handgun-licensing law on June 23, 2022, that required New Yorkers who want to carry a handgun in public to show a special need to defend themselves. The 6-3 ruling is the court’s first significant decision on gun rights in more than a decade. In a far-reaching ruling, the court made clear that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right “to keep and bear arms” protects a broad right to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense. Read More >>

Adams Appoints Keith Howard as Commissioner of Department of Youth and Community Development

June 15, 2022 -
New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointment of Keith Howard as commissioner of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). At DYCD, Howard — who has nearly 30 years of public service — will bring operational management expertise and a history of improving connections between community-based organizations and young adults. Howard also has a breadth of experience focused on community-driven programs to advance safer, healthier environments for young people. As a former board member of SCAN-Harbor, one of the largest youth service providers in Harlem, East Harlem, and the South Bronx, Howard provided oversight on organizational policy, budget, and program activities to after-school programs, early childhood education, family and social services, workforce development, youth education, and violence prevention. Read More >>

Have I Been Redistricted? Search Your Redrawn Political Districts in NY

May 24, 2022 -
Congressional and state seats have changed. Before this summer’s primary elections, find out how your old districts stack up with your new ones. Read More & Enter Your Address to See if You've Been
Redistricted >>

Special Master Releases
New Draft New York Congressional Maps

May 16, 2022 -
The court-appointed special master tasked with drawing New York's new congressional and state Senate maps released a preliminary draft of the new congressional boundaries Monday the state will have for the next decade.

Carnegie Mellon University Fellow Jonathan Cervas as special master drew lines for the state's 26 House seats, with 15 leaning Democratic, three leaning Republican and eight falling in the 45-55% competitive range. Read More >>

Keep the Pressure On: Sign the 1% for  Parks Petition

Our #1Percent4Parks budget petition has more than 4,000 signatures and counting—more than any petition in our organization's history. We're sending a clear message to the Mayor and City Council and keeping parks in the conversation. If you haven't done so already, we urge you to sign and share. If you have, thank you—please consider sharing again!

Parks Faces Maintenance Staff Deficit Going into Summer

May 13, 2022 -
Last summer, the city’s parks were flush with maintenance crews as New Yorkers streamed into green spaces after a long pandemic winter.

The parks department was able to hire about 3,500 workers, their salaries paid with a one-time injection of federal COVID-19 relief funds, to pick up litter and protect greenery amid another spring awakening as part of the City Cleanup Corps program. Read More >>

NYS Lawmakers Push for Expanded Abortion Protections

May 9, 2022 -
State Attorney General Letitia James and lawmakers announced new legislation aimed to help not only New Yorkers seeking abortions, but also those from other states where the procedure is poised to get banned if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Read More >>

Draft Opinion Shows Supreme Court Has Voted to Overturn Abortion Rights

May 3, 2022 -
The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court. Read More >>

Kathy Hochul Picks Rep. Antonio Delgado to Run as Her Lieutenant Governor

May 3, 2022 -
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced she will appoint Rep. Antonio Delgado to fill out the rest of Brian Benjamin's term as lieutenant governor. That will leave his upstate swing seat open at a time Democrats are desperate to hold onto the House, and with district lines in limbo in the state. Delgado will also be tapped to replace Benjamin on the primary ballot as he runs to win a full term as the state’s number two. Read More >>

Courts Toss State's New District Maps

April 27, 2022 -
New York's 2022 primaries are about to get very messy. The long redistricting saga in New York will only continue, as the Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that deemed newly drawn state Senate and congressional maps unconstitutional. Read More >>

Adams Falls Short of Campaign Promise to Double Parks Funding

April 28, 2022 -
Mayor Eric Adams is pulling back on his commitment to dedicate 1% of the city’s budget to public parks – instead offering New Yorkers a “down payment” that covers a fraction of the promised funding.

In a speech likening his priorities to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, Adams unveiled the nearly $100 billion operating budget on Tuesday, with close to $600 million ear-marked for city parks. The investment marks a slight increase from his previous proposal, while still falling far short of the pledge Adams made on the campaign trail to dedicate 1% of the budget – or roughly $1 billion – to the city’s sprawling network of parks.

The mayor seemed to acknowledge as much on Tuesday, describing his park allocation as a “significant down payment towards our ultimate commitment of 1% for parks.”

A spokesperson declined to comment on what prompted the backtrack. Read More >> 


Our fight for Parks funding and jobs continues. Parks are essential for all New Yorkers. Local 983, DC 37, and the Play Fair Coalition are fighting for Parks to receive 1% of the New York City budget and for hundreds of essential Parks jobs to be baselined.

Thank you to everyone who rallied with us at City Hall on March 22 in support of 1% for NYC Parks. If you were unable to attend the Play Fair rally, you can still support Parks Workers and make your voice heard. Click here to sign the Play Fair Petition and share the 1% for Parks petition.

Unions Push Back on City’s Vax Double Standard

Municipal Labor Committee Pushes City to Return Non-Vaxxed Workers In Light of Double Standard

As you have recently seen, many Unions, along with many residents, are greatly troubled by what appears to be a stark double standard between athletes/performers, on the one hand, and public employees, on the other, regarding continuation of the vaccine mandates. While a number of Unions had challenged the vaccine mandates as intrusive and unneeded in light of testing options, it was one thing to abide when the mandate was applied uniformly but it is another to treat public employees in a less favorable, discriminatory manner. This is all the more disturbing when one considers that these workers, without fanfare or glory, came to their jobs each day facing the perils of COVID-19 in person during the worst of the pandemic to provide services to the residents of this great City. That the Nets or Mets might be at some disadvantage in having roster limitations hardly seems to have greater public import than in the loss of livelihood to hard-working New Yorkers who are the backbone of this City. Moreover, while the City has an understandable interest in the public health, the City has in recent weeks moved towards a return to normalcy, jettisoning much of the vaccine limitations in the private sector. In light of these developments, we ask, on behalf of the NYC Municipal Labor Committee, that the City meet with us to address issues regarding the groups of public employees who were summarily terminated or who went on unpaid leave for being unvaccinated and have a right to return. Fairness requires that this move towards normalcy also apply to the people who have served the City. Just as the City reached out to the MLC and the Unions for their cooperation and support in keeping the City going and fighting back the pandemic, we now look to you, as restrictions are being rolled back, to work with us to ease the burden on public employees. We ask to meet across the table and discuss pathways for all affected employees to return to work and continue to serve the City and its residents.

NBC New York >> | POLITICO >> | The New York Times >> | >>

Statement from MLC:
Vaccine Mandate - What About the City Workforce?

In response to NYC Mayor Eric Adams exempting the city’s athletes and performers from the Big Apple’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate following weeks of pressure after it kept Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving from playing in home games — and was expected to block some baseball players from taking the field next month, the Municipal Labor Committee issued the following statement:

"Mayor Adams’ decision to eliminate a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for those in professional sports and the entertainment industry but maintain the requirement for municipal employees discriminates against the more than 1,400 municipal workers who were terminated for not being vaccinated. There should not be a re-entry system for the elite and no system for the City workers who risked their health to provide essential services over the last two years. I have requested that the City work with the MLC to design a fair-to-all re-entry system."


News and Updates

Hochul lifts mask mandate for schools

The mask mandate for New York schools ended on March 2. Gov. Kathy Hochul's decision follows new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on when masking should be required. The mandate officially lifted as students returned from winter break. Read More >>

Updated Guidance on leave policy with respect to City employees to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 

This updated guidance >> for city agencies on leave policy with respect to City employees to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 is effective Dec. 29, 2021, until further notice, and supersedes the Sept. 13, 2021, guidance.

Updated City Leave Policy During Coronavirus Outbreak >>

COVID-19 Testing & Vaccination Information

Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests UPDATE
Residential households in the U.S. now are eligible for two orders of four, free at-home rapid tests at USPS. There is a limit of two orders per residential address. If you previously placed an order, you can go back and now place a second order. Each order includes four individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests. The orders will ship free as tests are received from manufacturers. You can place your order here >>

Vaccine Mandate Update from
the Municipal Labor Committee

Since the filing of the Improper Practice Charge against the City for failure to bargain implementation of its latest vaccine mandate there have been bargaining sessions with a number of groups. Read More >>

Vaccine Mandate Hotline

To answer any outstanding questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine mandate agreement between DC 37 and the City, DC 37 has established a COVID-19 vaccine mandate hotline.

Members can call this dedicated phone line to speak to a representative for assistance. The DC 37 hotline at 212.815.1100 is available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The City of New York on Friday, March 5, 2022, filed an appeal of Justice Frank’s ruling that allowed the Medicare Advantage Plus Plan to go forward, but required the City to provide Senior Care without any cost to retirees. Given the uncertainty caused by the Court’s ruling, the decision has been made that the Medicare Advantage Plus Plan will not commence on April 1, 2022. All retirees will remain in their current plans under current circumstances for the time being.

Attorneys for the City, MLC and Alliance are considering the next steps to be taken.

The City Office of Labor Relations has posted the following notice on its website: “The NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Plan is not being implemented on April 1, 2022. Retirees do not need to opt out of the Medicare Advantage Program in order to remain in Senior Care or their current plan on April 1. All retirees will remain in their current plans until further notice. We will post updates for retirees as we have more information. For additional information, you can call the special Alliance call center at 1-833-325-1190, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m."

Local 983 Loses CSA in
Car Accident

Local 983 regrets to inform the membership of the death of our member Rhonda Coaxum, a year-round CSA who was involved in a tragic car accident Feb. 25, on the Cross Bronx Expressway. Rhonda was just 33 years old and the mother of two children, a son and a daughter. She also had custody of a nephew. Upon being notified of the accident, Local 983 was in touch with DC 37’s PSU to arrange for counseling services at Mullaly Park in the Bronx for members who knew and worked with Rhonda. “We are deeply saddened by this loss and the tragic consequences this will have on her children and family,” said President Joe Puleo.

NYC Mayor Appoints Parks Leadership

New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently appointed two officials to carry out his vision for a more equitable parks system where all New Yorkers can enjoy the physical, mental, and emotional benefits that open space provides. The Department of Parks & Recreation will be overseen by Commissioner Susan Donoghue. Read More >>

DA to slap hate charges on man who called cops N-word

January 8, 2022

Prosecutors plan to slap criminal hate-crime charges against an aspiring model who allegedly screamed the N-word at black city Parks officers – while pronouncing his Constitutional “right to be racist,” The Post has learned. 

Staten Island man tells black parks officers it’s his ‘right to be racist’

January 01, 2022

An aspiring model from Staten Island went on an ugly racist rant this week, spitting and screaming the N-word at black city Parks peace officers — all while preaching about his Constitutional “right to be racist,” authorities said. 
Read more>>

Union Works With NYPD on Plan to Resolve Issues Before They Become Grievances

President Joe Puleo and First Vice President Marvin Robbins met with NYPD Deputy Inspector Richard P. Avignone for the traffic division (white shirt) and Traffic Division Franklyn Sepulveda (far left) to talk about a process for handling worksite issues. It was decided that the NYPD will be implementing monthly meetings with Local 983, Shop Stewards, and Traffic Managers to discuss problems before they become grievances and find a solution before the Union puts stories into the media. “The main objective is to make sure our members have the safest work environment possible and if these monthly meetings address the problems at hand, then we are good with not releasing stories to the public,” Robbins said. “The meeting was positive and productive.” 

NEW UPDATE to The NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Plan

Judge Orders City to Delay Retiree Health Care Switch Until April 1
A decision was issued Dec. 14 by Judge Frank that allows the Medicare Advantage Plan to go forward effective April 1, 2022. If you take no action, you will be placed into the Medicare Advantage Plus Program. If you wish to stay in your current plan, you have until March 31, 2022, to opt out. If you decide to go into the Medicare Advantage Plus Program and then change your mind, you will have the option of opting out until June 30, 2022.

As part of his decision, Judge Frank ordered that retirees not be responsible for possible multiple deductibles that occur by being in one plan for the first part of the year and then in the Medicare Advantage plan for the balance.

You should receive a new letter before January 7, 2022, from the New York City Office of Labor Relations containing a list of the corrections and additions made to the previously sent Enrollment Guide. As more information becomes available, we will of course keep you informed.


The NYC Medicare
Advantage Plus Plan (PPO)

The NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Plan (PPO) includes many health resources and benefits that Original Medicare does not offer, like:

A $0 copay for an Annual Wellness visit. National Access Plus, which allows you to see any doctor or hospital who accepts Medicare. You’re not tied to a provider network, and you pay the same copay or coinsurance percentage whether you provider is in- or out-of-network. Access to SilverSneakers, LiveHealth Online and Special Offers from partners. Visit for more information, or call the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus. 

DC 37 News & Updates

Juneteenth will be a paid city holiday for New York City workers beginning this year.
Juneteenth is recognized as the effective end of slavery in the United States and is considered as the longest-running African American holiday. It became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, becoming the 12th federal holiday and first new one since Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

As Juneteenth falls on a Sunday, city employees will be provided a paid holiday on Monday, June 20.


DC 37 and the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies have expanded their educational partnership to include four new college-level programs in labor studies. The DC 37 Education Fund will provide tuition assistance to active DC 37 members who enroll in the labor studies program to earn the undergraduate certificate in labor relations; bachelor's degree in urban studies; graduate certificate in labor relations, or master’s degree in labor studies. Apply today at For more information, please call 212.815.1700

CDC Federal Eviction Moratorium

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently invalidated the CDC Federal Eviction Moratorium. This means that tenants who filed a hardship declaration form under the federal CDC provision are no longer protected under that provision.

Tenants who owe rent or are facing an eviction case should not give up and move out. There are still many steps landlords must take to proceed with an eviction and there are still many ways tenants can defend their homes. MELS can help. Call the MELS Screening Unit at 212.815.1111 for advice and legal representation. 

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is accepting applications to help tenants pay rent arrears. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can provide up to 15 months of rent and up to 12 months of gas and electric utility arrears.

Tenants who apply for ERAP are protected from eviction while the application is processed. Apply for ERAP here: If you have questions or need assistance, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212.815.1111


COVID-19 Workers' Comp and Short-Term Disability Benefits

DC 37 urges members who believe they have contracted coronavirus in the line of duty to apply for New York State Workers’ Compensation. For a list of Workers' Comp lawyers click here: Additionally, DC 37 Health & Security short-term disability benefits may be available for members who have filed Workers’ Comp claims. For more information click here:

FEMA COVID-19 Burial Relief

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) burial relief program is accepting applications. The maximum amount of financial aid available is $9,000 per funeral up to $35,500 per application with multiple COVID-19 decedents. FEMA federal funeral assistance can be used to help with expenses for funeral services held in 2020 for COVID-19 deaths, interment or cremation. Call the FEMA hotline: 844.684.6333 (TTY: 800.462.7585), 8 AM to 8 PM Central Time (7 AM to 7 PM EST), Monday through Friday. For additional burial assistance programs, please visit:             


AFSCME Free 4-Year College

The AFSCME free 4-year college program has been extended for good. This can be combined with the Free College program, under which AFSCME members and their immediate family can earn associate degrees for free. This means members of the AFSCME family can go to college for free from anywhere in the country. All they need is a computer and an internet connection. For more information visit: 



Local 983 is participating in the Parks Play Fair Rally on Tuesday, March 22 at 9 a.m. at City Hall and is asking members to join in solidarity.

DC 37, the Play Fair Coalition, NYC Council Parks Chair Shekar Krishnan and hundreds of advocates will join the first for jobs and funding for New York City parks. It's time to hold government leaders accountable and protect NYC Parks' funding by demanding that 1% of the City budget be allocated for Parks.

"We demand that NYC Parks Department jobs that belong to our members such as PEP Officers and Urban Park Rangers, be baselined and included in the annual budget for the Parks Department," said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. "We are asking all our members, especially those in Park, to come out and show support at this rally."

We must stop the $60 million cut in Mayor Eric Adams' preliminary budget.

If you cannot attend the rally, be sure to watch the virtual NYC Council Parks Virtual Budget Hearing on March 22 from 10 a.m. - Noon. The more members who watch, the stronger our Local 983 presence will be. You can view the hearing by going to and clicking Virtual Room 2.

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