Join DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido for a Facebook Live as he discusses the 2021-2026 Tentative Economic Agreement for city workers, TODAY, at 6 p.m. @dc37nyc on Facebook
Covered titles: This tentative economic agreement is for individuals who are employed by the City of New York. This agreement does not apply to CUNY, non-profit or private sector workers– we are beginning contract negotiations with those employers and will keep you up-to-date on progress.
Deadline: If you are covered by this contract, your ballot must be received by AAA no later than 9 a.m. on Friday, March 31 to be counted.
JOIN THE DC 37 COMMUNITY ALLIANCE!
DC 37 members are organizing for change in your community! Please join us via Zoom on Thursday, March 30, at 6 p.m. for the launch of the DC 37 Community Alliance.
The DC 37 Community Alliance is a member-led group of union activists working to improve conditions in neighborhoods across New York City. Community Alliance meetings are an opportunity to discuss local issues and concerns impacting DC 37 members and our families.
Our March meeting will include a discussion on the role that New York City Community Boards play in our communities, along with an overview of free services and resources available to residents of New York City.
For more information, contact the Political Action Department at 212-815-1550. We hope to see you there!
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 COMMITTEES
DISABILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The DC 37 Disability Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Tuesday, April 11 at 6 p.m.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1452507139
For the best audio experience, please use computer audio.
Or iPhone one-tap :
DC 37 HOUSING COMMITTEE
HOMEBUYER ORIENTATION WEBINAR
LOCAL 372 SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS BANQUET DINNER
Please join us at the Local 372 Scholarship Awards Banquet Dinner Is on Friday, June 16, starting at 6 p.m. at Glen Terrace in Brooklyn. For more information, please contact Yvonne Williams at 212-815-1372.
SEMINAR ON U.S. CITIZENSHIP
Learn about the benefits of becoming a United States citizen. The Building Service 32BJ Legal Services Fund, DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS), CUNY’s Citizenship Now! and the Emerald Isle Immigration Center are jointly presenting a seminar on the benefits of citizenship via Zoom, on Wednesday, April 26, at 6 p.m.
This seminar will answer questions such as:
- How and when to file?
- What are the requirements to file? What is the test and how do I prepare?
- How can the 32BJ Legal Fund, MELS, CUNY Citizenship Now!, and EIIC help me?
Join us for our benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen seminar to learn the answers to these questions and many more.
REAL ESTATE WEBINAR
The DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services will hold a Real Estate Webinar on Thursday, April 27, at 6 p.m. Topics covered include:
- Retaining and Working With A Realtor Seller Concerns
- Purchaser Concerns Financing
- Home Inspections
Register at www.dc37mels.com. For more information call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111 or email MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net.
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.
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. Every U.S. household is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. Visit COVID.gov or call 800-232-0233.
SPRING 2023 SEMESTER COURSES 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 and upcoming schedules or to register for a program, click HERE.
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT SCHOLARSHIPS ARE NOW AVAILABLE
The DC 37 Education Committee offers several scholarships for members and 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, and 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 is awarded $2,000. No applicant may receive more than one Education Committee scholarship. All applications must be submitted by Wednesday, May 3, 2023. 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 soon. 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, plans to host continuing education workshops between April & May for eligible Local 768 licensed Social Workers. These workshops are:
Current Mental Health Implications and the Latinx Community (2 CE) – Thursday, April 27, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Registration deadline – April 6)
Managed Care: The Real New Normal (2 CE) (2 hours) – Wednesday, May 10 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Registration deadline – April 19)
If you are interested in attending these virtual workshops, please enter the following link(s) into your web browser and complete the online application:
April Workshop: www.dc37edfund.org/socialworkapr2023
May Workshop: www.dc37edfund.org/socialworkmay2023
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 education 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.
COMPUTER CLASSES ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR APRIL 2023
The Education Fund is accepting applications to various computer classes:
Introduction to Computers: This is a Foundation program and provides the first step to computer literacy (click HERE to register and for more information)
Microsoft Excel: Students will design useful and attractive spreadsheets using editing and formatting of numerical and text data, write formulas and use numerical data to create charts and graphs. (click HERE to register and for more information)
Microsoft Word: This course covers creating, editing, and printing documents. (click HERE to register and for more information)
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
These programs are designed to help members who are native speakers of another language improve their command of English. The classes aim to build speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.
English as a Second Language (ESL) at Queens College. Apply Online HERE
English as a Second Language (ESL) at Hostos Community College. Apply Online HERE
EDUCATION AND CAREER COUNSELING
Do you need guidance selecting a class from our offerings, updating a resume, or assistance reaching a career or educational goal? Contact an Ed Fund counselor HERE to schedule a virtual appointment.
CUNY COUNSELING IS HERE FOR YOU!
This is the ideal time to plan for FALL 2023 enrollment at the CUNY college of your choice. Let Worker Education at the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies (SLU) help you find 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. There are still dates in December available to meet with an advisor.
RESUME WRITING AND INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES
Both of these virtual 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 and 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 has been the GED again. However, there are changes to the exam and how you schedule your test. There are four subtests on the exam instead of five. In addition to Mathematical Reasoning, Social Studies, and Science, Reading, and Writing are combined in a subtest called Reasoning Through Language Arts. The good news is that passing scores from the tests between 2002 and 2021 count towards earning your diploma.
You must create your own GED account to schedule an exam. Information about the GED exam can 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 and are available in English and Spanish. 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.
TEST PREP WORKSHOPS
This spring, we are pleased to announce that our Test Prep/Math and Test Prep/Reading will assist members in improving their test-taking skills in the two primary academic areas. These six-session workshops are not tailored to a specific exam but provide and support skill-building and strategies to improve your scores on competitive exams. Math/Test Prep will be offered on six consecutive Tuesdays starting May 9; Test Prep/Reading will be offered on Thursdays beginning May 11. Since these workshops are conducted virtually, a computer is needed to participate. To register for one or both, click HERE.
RETIREES EDUCATION COURSES FOR SPRING 2023
The Ed Fund is accepting applications for online classes for the SPRING 2023 cycle that begins in April.
Apply online HERE. Or visit https://www.dc37.net/benefits/education/deptclasses/retirees. Or you can print and mail the application to the address indicated. For questions, please contact Manuel Gomez-Rosa at email@example.com or call 212-815-1700.
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.
Important Reminder: If you are a DC 37 member, you should be receiving DC 37 Action Alerts & News at your non-work email address, definitely NOT your work email address as this can be a violation of workplace rules. If you signed up using a work email address, please change it to a non-work email.