By MIKE LEE
Veronica Foley, a skilled leader with years of experience as a principal program coordinator for the union’s Safety and Health Dept. was recently promoted to director of the department, replacing Guille Mejia, who retired at the end of last year.
Foley, who is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo, also has a master’s degree in international affairs from The New School. Prior to coming to DC 37, she worked several years as a consultant for several non-governmental organizations.
“Protecting the safety and health of our members is paramount,” Foley said. “This responsibility affords us the opportunity to create sustainable models of support for each other and the labor movement as a whole.”
Foley plans to integrate communication with other divisions and departments within DC 37 to better assess safety and health conditions for the union’s 125,000 members.
“I’m working on laying a groundwork for collaboration as well as streamlining the processes we currently have in place for supporting members,” said Foley. “One way I am doing this is by emphasizing education and am currently working with NYCOSH (New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health) to collaborate on relevant trainings for members.”
The union’s Safety and Health Dept. plays a vital role. Its responsibilities include conducting worksite inspections, developing, implementing and reviewing safety and health programs while also providing information to members regarding on-the-job safety.
The department also meets with city agencies for regular safety and health focused labor/management committees pursuant to Article 14 of the Citywide Contract and works closely with members on safety related grievances and arbitrations. It also interacts with regulatory agencies such as the New York State Dept. of Labor’s Safety Bureau, The Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau which enforces OSHA regulations for public employee here in New York.
For more information about our Safety and Health Dept., visit the DC 37 website, at http://www.dc37.net/about/OSHA/health.