DC 37 EVENTS
BLACK HISTORY MONTH EVENTS FEB. 25, 26 and FINALE NIGHT, FEB. 28, at 6 PM
Celebrate Black excellence virtually this February with the DC 37 Black History Committee. Check the DC 37 online calendar for details on these virtual events:
* Local 372 will host an online celebration on Feb. 25, Celebrating Power, Unity, Justice is the theme and the program starts at 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Join via Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82696874957 Meeting ID: 826 9687 4957 Phone # To Dial In: (929) 205-6099 (NY)
* Local 1930 will host a midday Black History celebration on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 12 noon on Zoom, Meeting ID: 843 3077 4111 Passcode 355632.
* BHM Finale Night: The DC 37 Black History Committee and Local 1930 present Unbossed and Unbowed, a one-woman show on the life of Shirley Chisholm starring Ingrid Griffith on Monday, Feb. 28 at 6 PM..
Join via Zoom. Meeting ID: 832 2260 1180 Passcode: 165808 One tap mobile +16468769923,,83222601180#,,,,*165808# US (New York)
CONSIDERING A DIVORCE? GET ANSWERS at the MELS MATRIMONIAL WEBINAR, FEBRUARY 28, 6 PM
Get your questions answered about getting a divorce in New York at the MELS virtual Matrimonial webinar on February 28 at 6 PM. Legal experts will discuss what the issues are in deciding to divorce; how to have MELS represent you; the advantages of using MELS; what documentation do you need to begin, and additional information sources. Register at: www.dc37mels.com. For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net.
DC 37 DISABILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING MARCH 8, 6 PM
Join the Disability Advisory Committee for a virtual workshop on March 8 at 6 PM. Experts will discuss Financial Wellness. Join via Ring Central from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android here: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1455418632. For the best audio experience, please use computer audio. Or iPhone one-tap: US: +1(646)3573664,,1455418632#. For more information, please email Committee Chair Laura Morand at email@example.com.
U.S. CITIZENSHIP WEBINAR, MARCH 9 at 6 PM
The DC 37 Citizenship Committee and MELS, along with co-sponsors 32BJ Legal Services Fund, CUNY Citizenship Now! and The Emerald Isle Immigration Center will present a virtual Citizenship Webinar on March 9 at 6 PM. Legal experts will explain how to apply for U.S. citizenship, how to obtain a Green card, sponsorship, and more. You must register in advance for this Zoom meeting here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. For more information, please call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111 or email: MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net .
DC 37 CLIMATE JUSTICE COMMITTEE
The DC 37 Climate Justice Committee meets the first and third Tuesday of every month. To join, please email Committee Chair Jon Forster at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOOD BANK for NYC OFFERS FREE TAX PREP
Food Bank for NYC offers free, contactless tax preparation services for low-income New Yorkers. Get the refunds and credits you may be entitled to, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that can be worth up to $8,852 for some families. Free tax prep is available at: https://www.foodbanknyc.org/taxhelp/. Call 646-981-6111, Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM, or email: email@example.com. MELS offers additional 2021 tax tips here. The IRS deadline to file is April 18, 2022.
HEALTH and WELLNESS:
FEBRUARY is CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
February is National Cancer Awareness Month. MSK Direct has partnered with DC 37 to provide resources on DC 37’s dedicated MSK Direct webpage. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) Direct provides DC 37 members and their families dedicated access to exceptional cancer care from leading specialists. Screening is easy. If you or a family member are impacted by cancer and would like to discuss treatment options, please visit the dedicated MSK webpage or call MSK Direct at 883-786-3365.
Mindful Journaling for Self-Love: Feb, 16 at 12 PM
Journaling is a powerful tool to manage stress, reduce anxiety, and improve mood. Join this workshop to learn journaling exercises and techniques that will improve your confidence and self-esteem, and help you develop a daily journaling practice. Register here.
Art is Life – The Future is Inclusive Explore your creativity through Art is Life! Submit your own artwork to be featured in a virtual gallery, play our NYC Bingo Art Adventure, win a Creativity Package, and attend our NYC Artists Showcase. The deadline to submit artwork is February 18. For more information and to submit your artwork, click here.
Create Art with Your Heart, Paint and Sip Feb. 25, 6 PM Unwind after the workweek by exploring your artistic side from home and creating your very own masterpiece. Guided by an instructor, learn how to paint a beautiful sunset while you chat with fellow colleagues. Register here.
Biweekly COVID-19 Briefing for City Workers, Thursdays at 12 PM Beginning Feb. 24. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Immunization Justice Workgroup invites you to a biweekly COVID-19 briefing. Health Department clinician Dr. Julian Watkins will provide updates on current events, COVID-19 cases in NYC, COVID-19 vaccines, and be available for Q&A. This biweekly briefing space was created by staff, for staff to share vital information. Submit your questions here. View the Justice Workgroup Vaccine Toolkit here. Register here.
To see the full list of WorkWell NYC events, visit: on.nyc.gov/upcomingevents.
DC 37 DENTAL CENTER
The newly renovated, state-of-the-art DC 37 Dental Center is a 30-chair facility at 115 Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan. They are accepting appointments Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM and Saturday, 8 AM to 5 PM. To schedule your visit, please call 212-766-4440.
MELS COVID-19 UPDATE:
New York State Homeowners Assistance Fund – Up to $50,000 Available for Distressed Home, Coop and Condo Owners
Homeowners at risk of foreclosure or displacement due to a financial hardship suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for up to $50,000.00 through the New York State Homeowner Assistance Fund. Applications opened as of Jan. 3, 2022.
To qualify you must be:
- Residing in the home, coop or condo; and
- Behind on mortgage payments; or
- Behind on coop maintenance charges or condo HOA fees; or
- Behind on property taxes, water or sewer bills; or
- In default on a reverse mortgage; or
- In forbearance
Homeowner Assistance Funds can be used to:
- Pay off past due mortgage payments; or
- Partially pay down the principal mortgage amount in order to make monthly mortgage payments more affordable; or
- Pay off past due coop maintenance charges or condo HOA fees; or
- Pay off past due property taxes, sewage or water bills; or
- Pay future housing payments for up to six months if the applicant or an adult member of the household is currently unemployed or has exhausted unemployment benefits.
There are income and other eligibility requirements. To apply and get more information, visit: New York State Homeowner Assistance Fund or call 844-77-NYHAF or 844-776-9423.
If you own a home, coop or condo and are in need of legal assistance or help navigating the Homeowner Assistance Program, please call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111.
STUDENT LOAN FORBEARANCE EXTENSION UPDATE
On Wednesday, December 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a further extension of the CARES Act student loan forbearance. Last scheduled to terminate on January 31, 2022, the pause on student loan payments, interest accrual and collections is extended through May 1, 2022. To request to speak with a MELS attorney, please call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111.
STUDENT LOAN FORBEARANCE
To take advantage of the temporary waiver (see below), otherwise qualified borrowers with indirect student loans, or borrowers who simply have a history of repayment on non-qualifying plans, must consolidate their indirect loans; select an income driven repayment plan, and submitted the PSLF Employer Certification form by October 31, 2022. Doing so will allow the borrower to receive credit for payments made on any plan.
Whether your loan is in default, you need assistance in qualifying for PSLF, you wish to learn how switching to an income driven repayment plan will affect your cost, or you just want help understanding student loans, MELS can help. To connect with a MELS attorney, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111. MELS can help!
PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS TEMPORARY WAIVER
On October 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education temporarily waived a number of the requirements borrowers who qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) must meet. The waiver period expires on October 31, 2022. Appropriate steps must be taken prior to that date in order to take advantage of the benefits of the waiver.
WAIVER of the QUALIFYING REPAYMENT PLAN OPTIONS
Under the traditional rules, to qualify for PSLF a borrower working full-time in a qualified employment was required to make 120 payments toward their direct federal student loan debt pursuant to one of the four income driven repayment plan options: PAYE, RE-PAYE, Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment. The repayment plan requirement is temporarily waived. During the waiver period, payments made on any plan will count toward PSLF.
BORROWERS with FFEL and PERKINS LOANS
Borrowers with FFEL and Perkins loans now have an improved pathway to PSLF. Under the traditional rules, only direct federal student loans qualified for PSLF. Borrowers with FFEL loans and Perkins loans had to consolidate into a direct consolidated federal loan in order to qualify for PSLF. Payments made prior to consolidation did not count toward PSLF. During the waiver period, borrowers must still consolidate. However, provided a borrower consolidates during the waiver period, payments made prior to consolidation, on any repayment plan, will count toward PSLF. For information on the appropriate steps to take, affected members and their eligible family members can call MELS at 212.815.1111.
SAVE THE DATE: MARCH 30, 6 PM MELS FAMILY LAW WEBINAR
Join the MELS virtual Family Law webinar on March 30 at 6 PM. Legal experts will discuss orders of protection, custody, visitation, adoption, guardianship, neglect, abuse, child support and more. Register at: www.dc37mels.com. For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email: MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net.
PAID FAMILY LEAVE BENEFIT
The New York State Paid Family Leave benefit is 12 weeks. The maximum weekly paid benefit is $971.61 or $1,943 bi-weekly. This union-negotiated benefit is available to nearly all DC 37 members, including members in the six nonprofit and private sector locals. For details about the PFL benefit, please contact your union representative. To access the 2022 PFL benefits calculator, visit: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/PFLbenefitscalculator2022.
AFSCME FREE 4-YEAR COLLEGE
AFSCME offers a free 4-year college program to members and their immediate family. You can go to college for free from anywhere in the country. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. For more information, visit: https://freecollege.afscme.org/
DC 37 EDUCATION FUND
REGISTRATION FOR SPRING 2021 SEMESTER IS NOW OPEN
Registration for the Spring 2021 semester with the Education Fund is now available on the DC 37 website. For more information on specific classes, current schedules or to register for a program, please visit: www.dc37.net/benefits/education/edfund.
LABOR LEADERSHIP PROGRAM at CUNY
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 here: www.dc37edfund.org/cunyslu. For more information, please call: 212-815-1700.
DC 37 EDUCATION FUND PROVIDES FREE SOCIAL WORKER WORKSHOPS FOR LOCAL 768 MEMBERS
The DC 37 Education Fund in conjunction with the National Association of Social Workers, New York City Chapter plans three continuing education workshops in March and April for eligible Local 768 licensed Social Workers. These VIRTUAL workshops are:
Defund the Police? Fund BIPOC Youth! (2 CEU’s) – Thursday, March 24, 7 to 9 PM. To attend register here. (Registration deadline – March 3)
Color Me Well: Mental Health and Racial Trauma (2 CEU’s) – Wednesday, April 13, 7 to 9 PM. To attend register here. (Registration deadline – March 23)
Anti-Racist Alternatives to Mandated Reporting & Reimagining Safety (2 CEU’s) – Thursday, April 28, 7 to 9 PM. To attend register here. (Registration deadline – April 7)
LOCAL 372 PARAPROFESSIONALS can earn 18 credits annually towards a degree in Human Services through a partnership with Monroe College. To enroll for Fall 2022, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOCAL 372 MEMBERS WORKING in SCHOOL FOOD can earn an Associate Degree in Nutrition and Culinary Management through a partnership with LaGuardia Community College. To enroll for Fall 2022, email: email@example.com.
CUNY COUNSELING IS HERE FOR YOU! This is the ideal time to plan for Summer/Fall 2022 enrollment at the CUNY college of your choice. Let Worker Education at the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies (SLU) help guide you through the process of finding the best CUNY program to match your education and career goals. Expert advisors offer FREE one-on-one phone sessions on: academic requirements for specific jobs; choosing a CUNY campus and major; applying to and financing a CUNY degree; certificate and non-credit options at CUNY, transferring previous credits, and more. Each session is free and catered to your specific goals and needs.
EDUCATION AND CAREER COUNSELING: Do you need guidance selecting a class from our offerings, updating a resume or need assistance reaching a career or educational goal? Contact a counselor to schedule a virtual appointment here.
RESUME WRITING AND INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES WORKSHOPS: The two-session Resume Writing Workshop will cover a variety of resume formats: Chronological resumes, Functional resumes and Electronic resumes. You will also learn how to write a general cover letter and a specific cover letter. Follow up appointments will be scheduled for individual resume review and revision. Sign up here.
DC 37 members can find out how to stand out at a job interview by attending the two-session, three-hour Interview Techniques Workshop. Learn about different types of interviews, what to expect, what to wear and not to wear, the questions to ask and not to ask and how to prepare in advance. Follow-up appointments and mock interviews will be schedules upon request. Sign up here.
TAKE MICROSOFT WORD AND EXCEL CLASSES ONLINE: In conjunction with City College and Queens College, the Education Fund is offering Microsoft Word and Excel classes for the upcoming Spring semester. For Microsoft Word classes, sign up here.
For Microsoft Excel classes, sign up here.