By GREGORY N. HEIRES
David Paskin, the union’s director of research and negotiations, has retired after working as a negotiator at DC 37 for 32 years.
Paskin received a warm sendoff at union headquarters on June 17.
Speakers praised Paskin for his honesty at the bargaining table and profound commitment to the fight for the dignity of workers.
DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido appointed Paskin to head the department after the passing of Paskin’s predecessor Evelyn Seinfeld in 2016.
Garrido said Paskin “stepped up like the hero he is” to help preserve the union’s bargaining strength.
Over the past four years, Garrido and Paskin teamed up to usher the union through a deal for a new 44-month master contract with no givebacks, a multi-billion dollar agreement with the city that preserves the premium-free health-care of members, and a breakthrough of a seven-year logjam in an outstanding contract for CUNY employees and a second agreement for those workers at the end of 2018.
In his farewell remarks, Paskin spoke of the importance of DC 37’s mission during a time in which forces aim to “kill” and “destroy” unions.
“What we do is righteous,” Paskin said. “It affects the lives of millions of people. Those raises matter. Those pensions matter.”
Research Associate Director Michelle Green expressed her appreciation to Paskin for inviting her back to the union after she spent several years working at the nurses’ union. Before then, she had worked with Paskin as an associate director for 13 years.
Green said Paskin emerged as “a wise and judicious leader” whose decisions “made sense for the members.”
“David is incredibly honorable,” said Pamela S. Silverblatt, a top negotiator for the city and, most recently, CUNY. “I don’t think I have sat across the table from a more honorable person.”
Among the local union leaders who paid tribute to Paskin were Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I, who is also DC 37’s president; Local 1320 President James Tucciarelli; Local 1455 President Michael DeMarco; Local 384 President Leonard Paul;Local 924 President Kyle Simmons and Local 924 Vice President John Powers.
Also in attendance were Labor Commissioner Renee Campion and Steven Banks, commissioner of the Human Resources Administration/Dept. of Social Services.