Nov. 1, 2023 - americanprogress.org
Unions and collective bargaining increase workers’ democratic voice; raise wages and build wealth; and improve conditions for all workers. It should be no surprise that nearly 70 percent of Americans support unions, and support is especially high among younger generations. Despite the fact that workers want and need unions, decades of weakened labor law has eroded workers’ ability to form unions and engage in collective bargaining. Yet, states have significant authority to build power for working people. Read the Full Article >
Sept. 4, 2023 - portside.org
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 - businessinsider.com
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 >
July 24, 2023 - gothamist.com
Nearly 400 highway repair workers employed by the Department of Transportation are suing the city, alleging they aren’t being paid for overtime.
The lawsuit filed last Monday in the Southern District Court for New York claims that the city’s timekeeping system, CityTime, only pays employees for their regular scheduled hours, not the times that they punch in and out of work.
Click Here to Read More >
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 >>
Sept. 30, 2023 - nypost.com
A beloved monster turtle considered one of the largest in the Urban Jungle has disappeared, and its legion of admirers fear the worst — that it was captured by cold-blooded poachers and sold for soup.
Joe Puleo, president of Local 983 of District Council 37, which represents parks officers, said there are just too few of his members to cover the city’s 30,000 acres of parkland – and prevent such tragedies and other crimes. Only 18 of the city’s 316 parks officers and sergeants work on Staten Island.
Read More >
June 10, 2023 - work-bites.com
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.
Local 983 Election Committee
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 dc37.net/about/services/childcare_subsidies. 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 wdiny.org/childcare or call 631.743.0914.
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.
READ MORE HERE and HERE
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 paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/2023. For information on childcare and other programs for NYC residents, speak to your union rep or click HERE.