MAY IS LABOR HISTORY MONTH
PLEASE JOIN OUR FIGHT for PASSAGE of the CLEAN SLATE ACT
Join us and make our voices heard at City Hall MAY 19 and in Albany MAY 24! We can’t stop, won’t stop until we end perpetual punishment in New York State! Justice must not be delayed any longer for the 2.3 million New Yorkers shackled by their convictions and subjugated to a life of inequality. Together, we’ll make sure all of us can access the jobs, housing, and education we need to thrive. As the clock ticks down to the end of the legislative session, will you help us win passage of the Clean Slate Act?! Here are two ways you can help:
- MAY 19 RALLY at CITY HALL: On THURSDAY May 19 at 11 AM, we’re rallying on the steps of City Hall along with state and local elected officials. We are calling for the passage of the Clean Slate Act (and highlighting the NYC resolution calling for the same!). Please join us and help spread the word! RSVP here.
- MAY 24 LABOR + CLEAN SLATE DAY IN ALBANY: Join the#CleanSlateNY campaign, DC 37 and other labor unions for a Labor + Clean Slate Advocacy Day on TUESDAY MAY 24! RSVP here.
HEALTH and WELLNESS
COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATE UPDATE and COVID-19 INFORMATION
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, DOHMH, recently shared an advisory that indoor masking is recommended citywide in light of the increasing COVID-19 spread. Employees are encouraged to wear masks indoors in public spaces, but it is not mandated. Click here to read the NYC advisory.
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.
MAY is MSK WOMEN’S HEALTH MONTH
May is Women’s Health Month, an ideal time to make you or a loved one’s health a priority. Learn ways to reduce your cancer risk by reviewing MSK’s Guide to Breast Health for DC 37 members. DC 37 and Memorial Sloan Kettering have partnered to help union members screen for cancer, and receive care from the esteemed professionals at MSK. You can contact an MSK Direct care advisor through the DC 37 dedicated phone line at 833-786-3365. 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.
TIER 6 PENSION IMPORTANT UPDATE
Tier 6 has been updated to allow public sector employees, including those in Mayoral agencies, NYC Health and Hospitals, NYCHA, DOE, School Construction Authority, Transit Authority, CUNY and the State to vest in the pension after 5 years instead of 10 years. Employees still need 10 years to be eligible for medical coverage. There is no change to the pension formula, time required to get to a full service pension, or calculation of benefits. All employees in Tier 6 pay a percentage towards their pension based on their salary, for their entire career. Another change is that overtime will not be subject to the contribution rate, temporarily, for a two-year period of 4/1/20 to 3/31/22. As more information becomes available we will share that with you.
JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY JUNE 20 UPDATE
The holiday of Juneteenth has been added to the Citywide agreement and falls on Sunday, June 19, this year. If you work on the actual holiday of June 19, you get compensated with premium pay and a day. Monday, June 20, 2022 will be the observed day; if you work on the observed day you get the comp day in addition to regular pay. It will follow the same rules as our current holidays. The holiday is for full-time employees who are covered by the Citywide agreement as well as 220 titles, Department of Education employees, NYCHA and NYC Health and Hospitals, as well as our NY State members. Employees who are required to work on the holiday will receive holiday premium and a day added to the leave bank for later use. If you work the observed day, a day will be added to the leave bank for later use.
We have been and are in the process of negotiating with authorities, cultural institutions and the library systems as well. Other nonprofit/private sector units may also have added the day. We are actively negotiating this benefit for all of our members. If you have any questions please contact your union representative.
CAN YOU VOLUNTEER for the DC 37 PHONE BANK?
DC 37 can use your help. Can you volunteer to call your union sisters and brothers and support the candidates DC 37 endorses? Your voice is powerful and can make a difference in the weeks leading up to the New York State Democratic Primary. The Political Action Department makes phone-banking easy for you and will provide training, scripts and more. To volunteer, sign up here: https://bit.ly/DC37GreenMachine.
JOIN the PLAY FAIR PARKS BUDGET RALLY MAY 26 at 10 AM at CITY HALL
SUPPORT DC 37 PARKS WORKERS and NYC PARKS, SIGN the PLAY FAIR PETITION
You can still help us win the fight for Parks funding and jobs. Join the Play Fair Rally May 26 at City Hall, 10 to 11 AM. 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.
Mayor Adams’ Executive Budget places NYC Parks expense funding at just 0.6% of the total city budget, well below the 1% he repeatedly committed to. Once again, our city’s parks will experience significant strains on staff and resources, as they have for the past 40+ years. This comes at a time when New Yorkers are relying on parks and open spaces more than ever before.
We’re holding a final Parks Budget Rally May 26 to demand 1% of the city budget for NYC Parks maintenance and operations – the minimum expense funding required for safe, clean, and equitable parks.
Let’s make our voices heard. Please register HERE to attend the May 26 rally. Please sign the Parks petition HERE and share the 1% for Parks petition that’s sponsored by New Yorkers for Parks and the Play Fair Coalition.
DC 37 COMMITTEE MEETINGS
DC 37 WOMEN’S COMMITTEE VIRTUAL LABOR HISTORY EVENT, MAY 23 at 6 PM
The DC 37 Women’s Committee invites all members and retirees to join its virtual meeting May 23 at 6 PM to celebrate Labor History Month. The meeting’s theme is Women in the Labor Movement: Building Stronger Coalitions with guests Miriam Frank, Labor Historian; DC 37’s Barbara Edmonds; LaTonya Crisp-Sauray, TWU; Nancy Hagans, NYSNA President, and others. Please register at dc37local.com/wcm to attend this virtual Ring Central meeting. For more information, please email Women’s Committee Chair Local 420 President Carmen Charles: President@local-420.org.
DC 37 LATINO HERITAGE COMMITTEE MEETING,
MAY 26 at 6 PM
The DC 37 Latino Heritage Committee will meet virtually on THURSDAY May 26, at 6 PM. Join Committee Chair Doris Hernandez Murphy on Zoom, register HERE. Save the date: Join LHC at the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on Fifth Ave., in Manhattan on Sunday, June 12. For details and more information, please email: DC37LATINOHERITAGE@GMAIL.COM.
DC 37 CARIBBEAN HERITAGE VIRTUAL MEETING,
JUNE 6 at 6 PM
The DC 37 Caribbean Heritage Committee will meet virtually on June 6 at 6 PM. Join Committee Chair Carmen Charles at the virtual Ring Central event. Please save the date for the Caribbean Heritage Month celebration June 29 at 6 PM at Local 420’s midtown headquarters, and virtually on Ring Central. For more information, please email Women’s Committee Chair Local 420 President Carmen Charles: President@local-420.org.
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.
SAVE the DATE: LOCAL 372’s ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER DINNER-DANCE, JUNE 17 at 6 PM
Board of Education Employees Local 372 will hold its 18th annual scholarship fundraiser dinner-dance at Russo’s on the Bay in Queens on Friday June 17, from 6 to 11 PM. For tickets and information, please call Janice Sutherland, 212-815-1372.
DC 37 DENTAL CENTER is OPEN
The newly renovated, state-of-the-art DC 37 Dental Center at 115 Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan is a 30-seat facility that offers advanced dental and periodontal care and full-service dental care to members, retirees, and their dependents. The Dental Center accepts appointments Mon. to Fri., 8 AM to 6 PM and Sat., 8 AM to 5 PM. To schedule a visit, please call 212-766-4440.
MENTAL WELLNESS BLOCK PARTY, JUNE 9, 11:30 AM to 2 PM
Save the date! Join WorkWell NYC at their “Mental Wealth Block Party” on THURSDAY June 9, outside of DCAS, at the Municipal Building at 1 Centre St., in Lower Manhattan. Connect with your colleagues, participate in fun activities, and collect wellness tips and prizes! You will be sure to leave with fun ideas and great resources that will boost your self-care routine. Learn more HERE.
MENTAL WELLNESS at the WORKPLACE: ON-DEMAND WEBINARS
Are you looking to learn more about building supportive workspaces but short on time? Check out WorkWell NYC’s just-released “Let’s Talk” Mental Wellness on-demand webinars, where we explore topics such as self-care, building supportive networks, work-life harmony and challenging irrational thoughts in 15 minutes or less. Watch here: on.nyc.gov/ondemand.
To see a full list of WorkWell NYC events, visit: on.nyc.gov/upcomingevents.
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. 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 April 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education announced a further extension of the CARES Act student loan forbearance. The pause on direct student loan payments, interest accrual and collection activity on direct student loans in default, will remain in place through August 31, 2022. Payments resume Sept. 1. The new extension includes a “fresh start” program, which erases the default and delinquency status on late payments for millions of borrowers.
The pause does not apply to Parent Plus loans, Perkins loans, or FFELP loans. Members with
questions about the extension are encouraged to contact the DC 37 MELS Screening and Intake office at 212- 815-1111 to speak with an attorney.
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.
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. For information on childcare, summer camp and other special programs for New York City residents: Visit here.
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
APPLY by MAY 20 for 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 and to apply online visit: www.dc37edfund.org/scholarships.
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 classes still accepting applications, current schedules or to register for a program, visit HERE.
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: www.dc37edfund.org/cunyslu. For more information, please call: 212-815-1700.
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: https://cunydays.eventbrite.com. Can’t find a date/time that works for you? Email: WorkerEd@slu.cuny.edu.
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: www.dc37edfund.org/monroectpcandidateform. 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 at www.dc37edfund.org/laguardiacandidateform. For questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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? To contact an Ed Fund counselor click here to schedule a virtual appointment.
RESUME WRITING and INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES WORKSHOPS
DC 37 members can find out how to stand out at a job interview by attending the two-session, three-hour Interview Techniques Workshop, Tuesdays, 6 to 9 PM (June 9-June 16). 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. You must register by June 1. Sign up HERE.