On Feb. 28, your DC 37 Delegate Assembly voted overwhelmingly to recommend our tentative contract agreement with the City of New York. The decision is now in your hands.
- The contract term is five years, five months and 12 days
- $3,000 bonus upon ratification
- Premium-free healthcare benefits for you and your dependents
- Members covered by the agreement will receive a minimum of $18 per hour
- 16.21% compounded pay increase, including retroactive pay from the first date of the contract
- City contributions to a DC 37-run Child Care Trust Fund
- Flexible Work Committee to pilot telecommuting, flex/compressed schedules, and enhanced transit benefits
- Pandemic Response Joint Committee
- An additional $50 per member contribution from the City to our Health & Welfare Fund to help address the rising costs of prescription drugs and other supplemental benefits
Important upcoming dates:
March 10 – Member ratification period begins, ballot packages are mailed out by AAA to active members covered by the agreement
March 17 – All eligible members in good standing receive ballot package in the mail
March 31 – Ballots must be received by AAA from members no later than 9 a.m.
This historic collective bargaining agreement is subject to ratification by DC 37 members in good standing who work in NYC’s mayoral agencies, Health+Hospitals, the Department of Education, NYCHA, three city library systems, cultural institutions and workers at the offices of the Borough Presidents, District Attorneys and the City Comptroller.
View the terms of the tentative economic agreement here.
FREE TAX PREP
Tax season is here! There are several free resources available to you to help with this year’s tax filing. The IRS filing deadline is April 18.
The 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). Call 646-981-6111, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) is excited to coordinate the City’s annual Tax Season Initiative. New Yorkers who earned $80,000 or less in 2022 can use NYC Free Tax Prep to file with the help of IRS-certified volunteer preparers. For information about free Tax Prep services and eligibility for tax credits, visit nyc.gov/taxprep or call 311.
DC 37 POLITICAL ACTION
WORKER POWER FOR CLIMATE, JOBS & JUSTICE TOWN HALL
Please join us for a town hall on March 2 at 6 p.m. to discuss how worker power can win progress for climate action, jobs, and justice in New York State. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido will participate in a panel discussion.
Please sign up for the town hall using the link below:
DC 37 COMMITTEES
DC 37 HOUSING COMMITTEE
Please join the DC 37 Housing Committee’s virtual meeting on March 6 at 6 p.m. Housing Committee Chair and President of Local 1359 Dennis Ifill will discuss housing issues, resources and upcoming events. Register HERE to attend.
HOMEBUYER ORIENTATION WEBINAR
DC 37 WOMEN’S COMMITTEE
The DC 37 Women’s Committee will meet virtually on Monday, March 20, at 6 p.m. on Ring Central to celebrate Women’s History Month. The theme is “CELEBRATING UNION WOMEN WHO TELL OUR STORIES.” Register to attend at dc37local.com/wcm. For more information, contact Local 420 President Carmen Charles, Women’s Committee Chair, at 646-302-9551.
FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT WORKSHOP, MARCH 2, 9 and 16
The MELS Social Work Department will offer a free virtual, three-part financial empowerment workshop on March 2, 9, and 16, 6:30-8 p.m. for current MELS clients only. MELS Social Workers will explore the following topics: The Psychology of Money, How to Make a Budget, and Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit Issues.
If you are a current MELS client interested in attending the three-session workshop, email the MELS Social Work Manager or call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111. Registrants will receive a link for the workshop directly from MELS via email. Use the same link for each session.
STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT UPDATE
On Nov. 21, President Biden paused the repayment of federal student loans to start after June 2023, to allow the federal appeals court time to decide the case.
On Nov. 14, a federal appeals court issued a nationwide injunction temporarily barring the Biden’s student loan debt relief program that would have cancelled up to $20,000 in student debt for federal loan borrowers. Please be aware that the program is suspended and the website is no longer accepting applications.
DC 37 is sharing critical information from the U. S. Department of Education on how student loan borrowers can protect themselves from scammers. It’s important to beware of scammers who may attempt to reach out to borrowers to try to convince them that they have a work-around that can get student debt relief applications processed and accepted. They do not.
Please do not share your FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID) or account information or password with anyone who contacts you. The U.S. Department of Education and your federal student loan servicer will never call or email you asking for this information. For help call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111.
CHILD CARE SUBSIDIES AVAILABLE
The income thresholds for Child Care Facilitated Enrollment have increased to 300% of Federal Poverty Levels (FPL) and now have much lower co-pays. The increase means more DC 37 members may be eligible for subsidized daycare programs for working families in New York City and Suffolk County, Long Island.
The increased FPL for the Child Care Facilitated Enrollment Project is retroactive to April 2022. On June 1, 2022, the cap on parental co-pays were lowered to one percent of a family’s income over the FPL. An updated fact sheet with the new income thresholds is available at dc37.net/about/services/childcare_subsidies. NYC residents can apply HERE.
Funds are available for income-eligible, working families who reside in the counties served by WDI, including Suffolk County, Long Island. The subsidy can be applied to licensed, registered or legally exempt daycare, after-school or summer camp programs. Apply at wdiny.org/childcare or call 631-743-0914.
PAID FAMILY LEAVE BENEFIT
The New York State Paid Family Leave benefit is expanded to include care for siblings as eligible dependents for leave. The PFL benefit is 12 weeks. The maximum weekly paid benefit is $971.61 or $1,943 bi-weekly. The contribution rate dropped from .511% of payroll to .455% of payroll. This union-negotiated benefit is available to nearly all DC 37 members, including members in the nonprofit and private sector locals.
For more information, visit https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/2023. Access the 2023 PFL benefits calculator HERE. For information on childcare and other programs for NYC residents, speak to your union rep or click HERE.
HEALTHCARE WORKER BONUS PROGRAM
In 2022, New York State began processing payment of the Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus covering the first two vesting periods, from Oct. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022. The program pays bonuses of up to $3,000 to eligible full and part-time employees, temporary and contracted workers. In this second round of payments, eligible employees can anticipate payment in Feb. 2023, as follows:
Mayoral Agencies: Eligible employees who worked one or both periods, 10/1/21 to 3/31/22 and 4/1/22 to 9/30/22, will receive their state-funded Health Care Worker bonus payments on or before Feb. 10, in a supplemental check. The majority of the employees in this group are the EMS workers in FDNY. Eligible Department of Health (DOHMH) employees will receive their check for the second vesting period.
Department of Education: NYS designated the titles of Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialists and Health Aides as eligible titles and they will receive checks on or before Feb. 10.
Health and Hospitals: Eligible employees will receive their checks for the second vesting period of 4/1/22 to 9/30/22 on or before Feb. 10.
If you believe your work was involved in direct patient care and you did not receive an attestation letter from your employer, please contact your agency’s HR department first, and then your union representative.
The HCWB program continues until March 31, 2024, with a maximum of two vesting periods per employee. DC 37 continues to push for the expansion of eligible titles and employers.
For more details, contact the Health Care Worker Bonus (HWB) Call Center at 866-682-0077.
HEALTH and WELLNESS
DC 37 DENTAL CENTER
The DC 37 Dental Center at 115 Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan is a 30-seat facility that offers full-service dental care and advanced dental and periodontal care to members, retirees, and their dependents. The center accepts appointments Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. To schedule a visit, please call 212-766-4440.
PERSONAL SERVICE UNIT
The Personal Service Unit (PSU) of the DC37 Health and Security Plan is here to help our members cope with Occupational Stress.
Occupational Stress refers to the ongoing or progressing stress an employee experiences due to the responsibilities, conditions, environment or other pressures of the workplace. There are strategies that promote preventive stress management and enhance wellbeing.
The following are coping strategies for Occupational Stress:
Take a break: Taking a few minutes for yourself during your busy workday can reduce stress levels. Everyone needs time to switch off from work and replenish. Take a vacation or an occasional long weekend.
Learn how to relax: Techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness can help reduce stress levels.
Self-care: Do things just for you; take time for yourself, set boundaries between your work and your personal life.
Seek Help: Know when to get help if you need it, talk to trusted colleagues, family members or friends or a professional about the stress you are experiencing at work.
The DC 37 Health & Security Plan’s PSU is here to support you. To speak with a Licensed Social Worker for confidential teletherapy, please call 212-815-1250 or 212-815-1260 between 9-12:30 to be screened for counseling sessions.
NEW CANCER CARE FACILITY OPENS IN BROOKLYN
We are excited to share with DC 37 members that a new cancer care facility in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn is now open for patients in need of care: 2236 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.
The new facility aims to increase access for the community by offering a wide range of health services:
- Doctor practice offices
- Advanced imaging capabilities
- State-of-the-art therapies
- Cutting-edge cancer clinical trials
Those who need more complex cancer care, such as surgery, have access to care at MSK’s main hospital in Manhattan as well as through MSK’s network of outpatient locations.
MSK is bringing the same level of cancer care access to Queens through a collaboration with MediSys Health Network. An MSK medical oncologist is available once a week onsite to see patients at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (JHMC), with plans to expand further in 2023.
Through MSK Direct, DC 37 members have access to exceptional cancer care, support, and expert resources at MSK.
To learn more, visit mskcc.org/direct/dc37 or call 833-786-3365.
TRIPLEDEMIC UPDATE: STAY HEALTHY
In response to the winter season tripledemic– a rise in respiratory infections and hospitalizations due to COVID-19, the flu and RSV– the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, DOHMH, has issued a health advisory recommending everyone regardless of vaccination status wear a mask in indoor public settings and crowded outdoor spaces.
DC 37 is taking measures to protect members’ safety and health at work. The DOHMH website has the most current information on COVID-19, the flu, RSV, M-pox, polio, and other health emergencies.
Stay safer by working together. DOHMH urges people over 50 to get the latest COVID-19 vaccine booster, to continue to take precautions, test often, wash hands frequently, etc. If you feel sick, stay home. If you test positive, consult your healthcare provider. Let’s work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 testing sites for City employees, NYS Workers’ Compensation and short-term disability, FEMA COVID-19 burial assistance and other information, are listed HERE.
FREE AT HOME COVID-19 TESTS
COVID-19 infections are on the rise this winter. Every U.S. household is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. Visit COVID.gov or call 800-232-0233.
DC 37 EDUCATION FUND
SPRING 2023 SEMESTER COURSES NOW AVAILABLE FOR REGISTRATION
Registration for the SPRING 2023 semester with the union’s Education Fund is now available on the DC 37 website. For information on classes, upcoming schedules or to register for a program, click HERE.
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT SCHOLARSHIPS NOW AVAILABLE
The DC 37 Education Committee offers a number of scholarships for members as well as dependent children and grandchildren of eligible DC 37 members and retirees. These scholarships are for applicants who are graduating high school seniors who will be entering their first year of college or college students entering their first or second year of undergraduate study. Each scholarship award is $1,000. The Lillian Roberts Scholarship and the Dwayne Dugger Memorial Scholarship are the only scholarships available to active members and each are awarded in the amount of $2,000. No applicant may receive more than one Education Committee scholarship. All applications must be submitted by Friday, May 3.
For more information and to apply, please visit: https://www.dc37.net/benefits/education/deptclasses/scholarships.
NYC CAREER MAPS
The DC 37 Education Fund and CUNY’s New York City Labor Market Information Service (NYCLMIS) have created career maps to promote the career development of the DC 37 membership. These online maps identify, illustrate and describe opportunities for advancement for selected covered job titles.
Career maps are available for the following fields: (1) Administrative and Data-Focused Health Care; (2) HVAC-R; (3) IT Networking; (4) Parks and Recreation; (5) Patient-Care Focused Health Care, and (6) Software Development. You can view these maps HERE.
Be on the lookout for more Ed Fund career maps in the near future. For information, call the DC 37 Ed Fund at 212-815-1700 or email email@example.com.
FREE WORKSHOPS for LOCAL 768 SOCIAL WORKERS
The District Council 37 Education Fund, in conjunction with the National Association of Social Workers, New York City Chapter will host one continuing education workshop in March and two workshops in April for eligible Local 768 licensed Social Workers. These workshops are:
Peer Model: How El Barrio Disrupts Systemic Oppression (2 CE) – Thursday, March 23 from 7-9 p.m. (Registration deadline is March 2)
Housing Justice Now (2 CE) – Thursday, April 13 from 7-9 p.m. (Registration deadline is March 23)
Current Mental Health Implications and the Latinx Community (2 CE) – Thursday, April 27 from 7-9 p.m. (Registration deadline is April 6)
If you are interested in attending these virtual workshops, use the following links to complete an online application:
March Workshop: https://form.jotform.com/223124885924158
April Workshops: https://form.jotform.com/230127708970154
DC 37/CUNY LABOR CERTIFICATE & DEGREE PROGRAMS
The DC 37 Education Fund has partnered with the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) to expand higher educational opportunities to develop the next generation of union leaders. The Education Fund will cover tuition for four courses (up to 16 credits where applicable) in certificate and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, excluding books and a one-time application fee required by CUNY. Eligible members may opt to participate in one of the following tracks:
- Undergraduate Certificate in Labor Relations
- Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Community Relations
- Graduate Certificate in Labor Relations
- Master’s Degree in Labor Studies
For information or to register to attend an information session, 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? Contact an Ed Fund counselor HERE to schedule a virtual appointment.
CUNY COUNSELING IS HERE FOR YOU!
Now is the ideal time to plan for SPRING 2023 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 advisers 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.
RESUME WRITING AND INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES
Both of these workshops are still available and accepting applications. As a follow up to attending the workshops, an appointment will be scheduled for each attendee to assist with updating their resume as well as to conduct a mock interview with the instructor. To register for Resume Writing, click HERE. To register for Interview Techniques, click HERE.
UPDATE: THE GED IS BACK!
Since January 2022, the High School Equivalency exam is the GED again. However, there are changes to the exam and the way you schedule your test. There are four subtests on the exam instead of five. In addition to Mathematical Reasoning, Social Studies, and Science, the Reading and Writing sections are combined in a subtest called Reasoning Through Language Arts. The good news is that passing scores from the tests taken between 2002 and 2021 count toward earning your diploma.
You must create your own GED account to schedule an exam. Information about the GED exam may be found at ged.com. The exams are primarily offered online and must be taken at an official GED testing center.
DC 37 offers prep classes for eligible members online, in person and hybrid through our partner colleges. Classes are held in several boroughs with two CUNY schools. To register, click on the name of the school of interest: CUNY Hostos or CUNY Kingsborough.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment with an Educational Counselor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
STAY IN TOUCH WITH DC 37
Stay in touch with your union. Read the latest quarterly edition of PEPtalk magazine arriving soon in your mailbox digitally or by USPS. Prefer to receive the digital version of PEPtalk? Sign up HERE. Visit our website, DC37.net. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @dc37nyc.