TELL ALBANY: FIX TIER 6 NOW!
Reforming the state’s pension system is critical for the state, local governments, school districts, and transportation systems to recruit and retain employees.
We need your help. Together let’s tell Albany to FIX TIER 6! We must make employment in the public sector more appealing by making our pension system more competitive.
- Tier 6 passed in 2012 and dramatically reduced retirement benefits for public employees. Nearly 50% of all New York public sector workers are now in Tier 6.
- Tier 6 reduced the pension multiplier for workers, which reduces their retirement benefit.
- Tier 6 increased retirement contributions from 3% for all workers under previous pension tiers systems to a new “banded” system where employees contribute between 3% to 6% of their salary based on earnings, including overtime earnings.
- Tier 6 increased the time it takes to vest in the system from 5 years to 10 years. This leads to higher employee turnover as newer employees have less incentive to stay in the public sector.
TIER 6 REFORM PROPOSALS:
- Set employee pension contribution rates at 3% for ALL public workers. This is only fair and equitable.
- Reduce employee vest time from 10 years to 5 years.
- Increase the multiplier for tier 6 members to the same level as Tier 4 and Tier 5 members.
These reforms will significantly increase retirement benefits for future retirees. FIX TIER 6!
For more information, call the DC 37 Political Action Department, 212 815-1550.
SUPPORT DC 37 PARKS WORKERS and NYC PARKS, PLEASE SIGN the PLAY FAIR PETITION
Our fight for Parks funding and jobs continues. Parks are essential for all New Yorkers. 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. If you were unable to attend the Play Fair rally, you can still support and make your voice heard. Click HERE to sign and share the 1% for Parks petition that’s sponsored by New Yorkers for Parks and the Play Fair Coalition.
SUPPORT the FIGHT for FAIR WAGES, PLEASE SIGN the JUST PAY PETITION
Our fight for fair wages continues. DC 37 is demanding a living wage for private sector homecare, healthcare and daycare essential workers and an end to government exploitation of the Human Services workforce. If you were unable to attend the March 10 rally at City Hall, you can still make your voice heard. Please add your name to the petition to support our essential home, health, and daycare workers’ fight for a livable wage, dignity and respect. #JUSTPAY
DC 37 HOUSING COMMITTEE MEETING, APRIL 11 at 6 PM
Please join DC 37 Housing Committee’s virtual meeting on Monday, April 11, from 6 to 8 PM. Housing Committee Chair, Dennis Ifill, President of Local 1359, will discuss housing issues, resources and upcoming events. You must register to attend, HERE. All registrants will get a Ring Central link on April 11. The virtual meeting room opens at 5:45 PM and the meeting starts at 6 PM. For more information email Dennis Ifill at firstname.lastname@example.org or Savi Boyer at the Municipal Employees Housing Program, 212-815-1139 oremail email@example.com.
DC 37 DISABILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING, APRIL 12 at 6 PM
Join the union’s Disability Advisory Committee for a virtual workshop on April 12 at 6 PM. The committee meets the second Tuesday of each month. Join via Ring Central from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android 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, email Committee Chair Laura Morand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DC 37 POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING, APRIL 14 at 6 PM
Join the DC 37 Political Action Committee’s virtual meeting April 14 at 6 PM, and every second Thursday of the month. To register to attend please visit HERE. For more information, call the DC 37 Political Action Department at 212-815-1550.
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: email@example.com.
MELS ID THEFT and SCAMS WEBINAR, APRIL 27 at 6 PM
Join the MELS ID Theft and Scams virtual webinar on Wednesday, April 27 at 6 PM. Legal experts will discuss how to spot and respond to IRS scams, Social Security scams, internet scams, investment scams and more. Learn how to respond to identity theft discovered through banking and credit transactions or fraudulent unemployment claims. You’ll also learn about the three most popular credit report security devices, how they differ, and how to use them for your advantage. To attend, please register at: www.dc37mels.com. For more info, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111 or email: MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net.
FREE TAX PREP
The IRS 2021 tax filing deadline is April 18. 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). Free tax prep is available HERE. Call 646-981-6111, Mon. to Fri., 10 AM to 4 PM, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. MELS also offers additional 2021 tax tips here.
The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) is excited to coordinate the City’s annual Tax Season Initiative for the 20th season. New Yorkers who earned $72,000 or less in 2021 can use NYC Free Tax Prep to file with the help of an IRS-certified volunteer preparer. For more information about NYC Free Tax Prep services and eligibility for tax credits, visit: nyc.gov/taxprep. Also, New Yorkers can call 311 for tax preparer information.
HEALTH and WELLNESS
MSK NAVIGATING CANCER AFTER DIAGNOSIS, APRIL 21 at 4 PM
DC 37 has partnered with Memorial Sloane Kettering (MSK) to promote cancer awareness. Join MSK experts on April 21 at 4 PM to learn about important steps you can take to guide yourself or a family member through the cancer screening process and a cancer diagnosis, including questions to ask your care provider. Health experts will discuss access to care and selecting a provider or care facility; ways to manage and cope with the concerns or fears associated with screening or a diagnosis; advocating for yourself and family members; communicating with your clinical team; resources and services available at MSK. To attend, register HERE.
You can get personalized screening recommendations and tips on how to lower your risk for cancer HERE. Resources are available on DC 37’s dedicated MSK Direct webpage. 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 833-786-3365.
COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATE UPDATE and COVID INFORMATION
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 protocols, the DCAS Commissioner Directive for Face Coverings, the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, COVID testing sites for City employees, NYS worker’s compensation and short-term disability, FEMA COVID-19 burial assistance, and more, visit HERE.
NYC EMPLOYEES GUIDE to STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS
APRIL 13 at 12 PM
Student loan payments are officially restarting next month! As a City employee, you may qualify to have your student loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Join our webinar to learn how you can take advantage of the PSLF program, with specific step by step guidance on completing the PSLF waiver form. Register HERE.
EARTH DAY: PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY, APRIL 19 at 12 PM
Climate change is a growing threat that affects every New Yorker. It takes a toll not only on the environment, but on our physical and mental health as well. Despite these challenges, we can all do our part to build a more sustainable and resilient city. In recognition of Earth Day 2022, join WorkWell NYC and the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice to learn specific actions you can take to protect the environment and our collective health and well-being. Register HERE.
BIWEEKLY COVID-19 BRIEFING, APRIL 7 and 21 at 12 PM
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Immunization Justice Workgroup invites all NYC employees 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. Register HERE.
To see a full list of WorkWell NYC events, visit: on.nyc.gov/upcomingevents.
DC 37 DENTAL CENTER
The DC 37 Brooklyn Dental Center at 186 Joralemon St. in Downtown Brooklyn closed on Tuesday, March 1. All dental services will continue at the newly renovated, state-of-the-art DC 37 Dental Center at 115 Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan. The 30-seat facility offers advanced dental and periodontal care and will provide members, retirees, and dependents their full-service dental needs. The Dental Center accepts appointments Mon. to Fri., 8 AM to 6 PM and Sat., 8 AM to 5 PM. To schedule your visit, please call 212-766-4440.
New York State Homeowners Assistance Fund – Up to $50,000 Available for Distressed Home, Coop and CondoMINIUM 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. 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 co-op 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 to 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, the pause on student loan payments, interest accrual and collections is extended through May 1, 2022. 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.
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. You must have a High School Diploma or High School Equivalency Diploma to enroll. To participate, all you need is a computer and an internet connection. For more information, visit HERE.
DC 37 EDUCATION FUND
REGISTRATION for SPRING SEMESTER IS NOW OPEN
Registration for the Spring 2022 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, visit HERE.
WEEKDAY OR SATURDAY SHOP STEWARD CLASSES
Interested members taking this course can obtain an understanding of the role of the Steward, essentials of workplace organizing, the overall structure of DC 37 and the many benefits and services available to DC 37 members. Registration for Spring classes is open with classes beginning in mid-to-late April. To register, click HERE.
APPLY NOW for the 2022 DC 37 EDUCATION COMMITTEE SCHOLARSHIPS
Applications are now available for dependent children and grandchildren of eligible DC 37 members and retirees, and active members pursuing technical or trade schools, undergraduate or graduate degrees. Online applications must be submitted by Friday, May 20, no exceptions. Winners will be notified by June 20. For more details, click on to apply online.
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 HERE. For more information, please call: 212-815-1700.
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 two continuing education workshops in April for eligible Local 768 licensed Social Workers:
Anti-Racist Alternatives to Mandated Reporting & Reimagining Safety (2 CEU’s) – Thurs., April 28, 7 to 9 PM. (Registration deadline is April 7)
All workshops will be held online. To attend, enter the following link into your web browser and complete the online application HERE.
FREE COLLEGE PROGRAMS FOR LOCAL 372 MEMBERS IN SPECIFIC JOB TITLES
LOCAL 372 PARAPROFESSIONALS can earn 18 credits annually towards a degree in Human Services through a partnership with Monroe College. To enroll for the Fall 2022 term, complete an online application HERE. For questions, email: email@example.com.
LOCAL 372 MEMBERS WORKING in SCHOOL FOOD can earn an associate’s degree in Nutrition and Culinary Management through a partnership with LaGuardia Community College. For more details on the food services management program, see the flyer HERE. To enroll for the Fall 2022 term, complete an online application HERE. For questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. To view the calendar and schedule your CUNY advisement session, visit HERE. Can’t find a date/time that works for you? Email: WorkerEd@slu.cuny.edu.
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.
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. To sign up, visit 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.
RETIREES EDUCATION COURSES for SPRING 2022
We are accepting applications for online classes for the SPRING 2022 cycle. Apply online by clicking HERE or visit www.dc37edfund.org/retireeseducation. If you prefer, you can print and mail the application to the address indicated. Any questions, please contact Manuel Gomez-Rosa: email@example.com or call 212-815-1700.