VOLUNTEER for the DC 37 PHONE BANK!
DC 37 needs your help. Can you volunteer to call your union sisters and brothers to support State and Senate House 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.
HEALTH and WELLNESS
THE DC 37 HEALTH AND SECURITY PLAN IS HERE TO HELP YOU COPE WITH STRESS AND ANXIETY
Many people feel Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in the face of uncertainty. If these feelings are overwhelming, the Personal Service Unit (PSU) is here to help. The following are common symptoms to be aware of:
Emotional Symptoms: Anxiety, Depression, Sadness, Loss, Isolation, Mood Swings, Worry
Physical Symptoms: Disrupted Sleep or Appetite, Chest Palpitations, Upset Stomach, Headaches
Behavioral Symptoms: Outbursts, Short Tempered Communication, Difficulty making Decisions
HOW CAN A PSU SOCIAL WORKER HELP YOU?
- Offer a safe place to discuss and process feelings through confidential individual counseling sessions. We are presently offering tele-therapy.
- Assist members to challenge negative thoughts and develop a more optimistic outlook.
- Teach Mindfulness and Stress Management Techniques.
To contact PSU for Confidential Counseling Services, please call 212-815-1250 or 212-815-1260 Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 12:30 PM, to be screened for services.
COVID-19 INFORMATION, COVID-19 ADVISORY, and VACCINE MANDATE UPDATE
COVID-19 is still present and New York City is currently experiencing high transmission levels of COVID-19 and its variants. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, DOHMH, recently shared an advisory that recommends indoor masking citywide to lessen COVID-19 spread. The Health Department advises individuals to continue to take the following precautions to do their part to help stop the spread:
- Wear a high-quality mask indoors and in crowds outdoors
- Get vaccinated and boosted
- Get tested
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently
- If you feel sick stay home
- If you test positive, consult your healthcare provider
For more information, click HERE.
City employees are encouraged to wear masks indoors in public spaces, but it is not mandated. Read the advisory HERE. For information on COVID-19 protocols for City employees, including 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, and FEMA COVID-19 burial assistance, click HERE.
MONKEYPOX: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Monkeypox outbreak is growing in New York City, and the risk of exposure through intimate contact is increasing. Monkeypox, or orthopoxvirus, is a rare viral disease that does not occur naturally in the U.S. Cases in this country have been associated with international travel or importation of animals from areas where the disease is more common. Transmission is by direct contact with the sores or rash of someone with Monkeypox. It can also spread by contact with bedding, clothing and other items, as well as by respiratory droplets during face-to-face contact with someone with the virus.
Symptoms generally appear seven to 14 days but as long as 21 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. The most common symptoms are rashes and sores that appear on the face, inside the mouth, on hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. Most cases result in mild symptoms. Even with mild illness, the rash and sores can be itchy and painful and can last for two to four weeks.
If you are experiencing symptoms, isolate immediately and consult your healthcare provider. Testing can only be conducted by a healthcare provider. The JYNNEOS vaccine is available by appointment and supplies are limited. Two doses of the vaccine, four weeks apart are recommended. For more information, click HERE.
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that grows in warm water. It cannot be spread or transmitted by person-to-person contact. Legionnaires’ is spread by breathing in the water vapor (mist) from cooling towers, saunas, and hot tubs. Drinking cold water from the faucet does not transmit Legionnaires’ disease.
Legionnaires’ causes flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, muscle aches or cough. Complications from the disease can result in fatalities. There is no vaccine available. Symptoms are treated with antibiotics. Prevention is promoted by appropriate maintenance and treatment of water towers.
Who are at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease? Individuals 50 years old or older, smokers, people with chronic lung disease, a weakened immune system, or who take medicines that weaken the immune system have an increased risk.
The recent outbreak in Highbridge, Bronx, resulted in two fatalities and 24 cases. DOHMH contained the outbreak that ended on June 18, 2022. For more information, click HERE.
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.
JULY is SUN SAFETY MONTH
DC 37 and Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) are concerned about your and your family’s health and wants to ensure you are armed with information on how to protect yourself from preventable skin cancer. Follow these sun smart best practices if you’re active outside on sunny and cloudy days. A guide with tips from MSK experts on sun safety and preventing skin cancer can be found HERE.
DC 37 and MSK have partnered to help union members screen for cancer and receive care from their esteemed professionals. You can contact an MSK Direct care advisor through the DC 37 dedicated phone line at 833-786-3365.
Receive personalized screening recommendations and tips on how to lower your risk for cancer HERE. If you or a family member are impacted by cancer and would like to discuss treatment options, please click HERE or call MSK Direct at 833-786-3365.
JULYDRATION CHALLENGE JULY 11-15
As the summer heats up, kickstart your hydration habit. Use the Water Meter to measure your water intake and follow WorkWell NYC on Instagram to enjoy our posts featuring fruit-infused water recipes, hydration quizzes, daily challenges, and more. Don’t wait, hydrate!
SELF-CARE WEBINARS JULY 20 and 27
Make this a summer of self-care! Replay WorkWell NYC’s most popular webinars that focus on how to be a better you. Learn to declutter your life, live more purposely and craft professional skills like resume writing. Register HERE.
WORKWELL 101, JULY 22 at 12 PM
Join this interactive session to learn how WorkWell NYC can help you can care for your well-being– in and out of work! Together, we explore our programs, discounts, and fun ways to get involved at your workplace. Register HERE.
NEW YORK STATE HOMEOWNERS ASSISTANCE FUND – UP TO $50,000 AVAILABLE FOR DISTRESSED HOME, CO-OP 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 through the New York State Homeowner Assistance Fund. There are income and other eligibility requirements. For more information and to apply, visit: www.nyhomeownerfund.org or call 844-77-NYHAF (844-776-9423). If you own a home, co-op or condo and are in need of legal assistance or help navigating the NYS 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 are to resume on Sept. 1, 2022. At this time, plans for a further extension have not been announced.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the student loan servicing agencies will contact borrowers with instructions for resuming monthly payments. As a reminder, the forbearance 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 FORGIVENESS TEMPORARY WAIVER DEADLINE is OCT. 31
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. Required steps must be completed prior to that date in order to take advantage of the benefits of the waiver.
To take advantage of the temporary waiver (see below), borrowers who are employed full-time in public service who have indirect student loans (FFEL; Perkins) or who have been in repayment on non-qualifying repayment plans, or both, must consolidate their indirect loans, select an income-driven repayment plan, and submit the PSLF Employer Certification form by October 31, 2022. Doing so will allow the borrower to receive credit for prior payments made toward PSLF on non-qualifying repayment plans.
WAIVER of the QUALIFYING REPAYMENT PLAN RULE
Under the traditional rules, to qualify for PSLF a borrower working full-time in qualified employment was required to make 120 payments toward their direct federal student loan debt pursuant to one of the four income-driven repayment (IDR) plan options: PAYE, RE-PAYE, Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment. Borrower’s switching to a qualifying plan received no credit for their prior payments. During the waiver period, prior payments made on non-qualifying plans will count toward the required 120 PSLF payments provided borrowers complete the steps set forth above prior to the deadline.
BORROWERS with FFEL and PERKINS LOANS
Borrowers with FFEL and Perkins loans (indirect loans) 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 to 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 and switches to a qualifying IDR plan, payments made prior to consolidation, 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 to speak with an attorney.
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 and other special programs for New York City residents: Visit HERE.
DC 37 EDUCATION FUND
REGISTRATION for FALL SEMESTER IS NOW OPEN
Registration for the FALL 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, click HERE.
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.
UPDATE: THE GED EXAM HAS CHANGED AGAIN
In January 2022, the name of the exam is the GED again but the format has also changed. There are now four subtests instead of five. The Reading and Writing subtests are combined to form the Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) subtest. The other three subtests remain: Social Studies, Science and Mathematical Reasoning. Passing scores from previous exams will count toward the passing scores. However, the exam is a Computer Based Test (CBT). Each test taker must create their own GED account to schedule an exam. To create the GED account, visit HERE. For more information on Education Fund GED classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET CERTIFIED AS A CNA OR EKG/PHLEBOTOMY TECHNICIAN
In conjunction with Hostos Community College, the Education Fund is offering classes to prepare members to become a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant as well as licensed EKG and Phlebotomy technicians. Both programs have pre-requisites (CNA requires a high school diploma while EKG/Phlebotomy requires a current and active CNA license). For more information and to register for the CNA program, click HERE. For more information and to register for the EKG/Phlebotomy program, click HERE.
CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT (CPA) REGULATIONS REVIEW CLASSES
The Education Fund in conjunction with Monroe College offers a CPA Review course to help members take and pass the CPA exam. This Fall the CPA Review course will cover the Regulations section. To register, click HERE. Please read the course requirements before signing up.
COMPUTER CLASSES OFFERED VIRTUALLY
The Education Fund offers various computer classes that you may be interested in. These classes include:
- Introduction to Computers (click HERE to register and for more information)
- Microsoft Excel (click HERE to register and for more information)
- Microsoft Office Certification (click HERE to register and for more information)
- Microsoft PowerPoint (click HERE to register and for more information)
- Microsoft Word (click HERE to register and for more information)
RETIREES EDUCATION COURSES FOR FALL 2022
We are accepting applications for online classes for the FALL 2022 cycle. Apply online by clicking HERE or visit: https://www.dc37.net/benefits/education/deptclasses/retirees. Or if you prefer, you can print and mail the application to the address indicated. For questions, please contact Manuel Gomez-Rosa at email@example.com or 212-815-1700.