DC 37 MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES LEGAL SERVICES
MELS Student Loan Debt Webinar
Please join MELS for a webinar on student loan debt at 6 p.m. on Oct. 18. Topics covered:
- Fresh Start: Bringing student loans in default current without penalty.
- One-Time Adjustment: Fast-tracking the path to Income Driven Plan and Public Service Loan Forgiveness for eligible borrowers.
- The SAVE Repayment Plan: Eligibility and how it works.
For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111 or e-mail MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net.
Learn About the Benefits of Becoming a United States Citizen
The Building Service 32BJ Legal Services Fund, the 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, on Tuesday, October 17 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 Services Fund, MELS, CUNY’s Citizenship Now! and the EIIC help me?
Join us via Zoom to learn the answers to these questions and many more. Register HERE.
Death of a Loved One: Administration of Small Estates ($50,000 or Less)
At this MELS webinar on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m., learn how to settle affairs without an attorney when the value of the deceased estate is $50,000 or less. Our guest speaker is Erica Gómez, Esq., Court Attorney-Referee at the New York County Surrogate’s Court.
Death of a Loved One
Find out from an attorney at what to do in settling the affairs of someone close who has passed. This MELS webinar will be on Oct. 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Our guest speaker is Probate Attorney Marti Roberge, Esq.
- What is an “estate”?
- What does “probate” mean?
- What do I do with the Will?
- What happens when there is no Will or if the Will can’t be found?
Financial Empowerment Virtual Workshop
Presented by Hannah Weinstock and Tony Huertas of the MELS Social Work Department.
Please join us for a financial management group where we will discuss such themes as:
- Foundations of money management
- Psychology of money
- Financial prep for the holidays
- How to develop a budget and create SMART goals
- Discuss bankruptcy options
- Improving credit scores
- Learning about financial resources
This is a three-session series on Oct. 25, Nov. 1, and Nov. 8, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
DC 37 POLITICAL ACTION
UNION ENDORSEMENTS FOR THE NOVEMBER 7 CITY COUNCIL GENERAL ELECTION
Below is a list of New York City Council candidates your union endorsed for the upcoming Nov. 7 General Election. Early voting begins on Sat., Oct. 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and ends Sunday, Nov. 5. Find more information HERE.
BE A PART OF THE UNION’S GREEN MACHINE! BECOME A VOLUNTEER MEMBER ORGANIZER
Do you want to be part of the movement to make positive changes in our city? DC 37’s Political Action Department needs DC 37 members and retirees to come out and join the Volunteer Member Organizers (VMOs) to Get out the Vote for the November General Elections for City Council.
The VMOs are part of a grassroots effort to engage potential voters. VMOs spread out to specific locations throughout New York City, knocking on apartment doors, leafletting, and visiting homes to encourage members to support the union’s candidates. Other duties include phone banking, where volunteers call members in select districts to get out the vote.
CHILD CARE FACILITATED ENROLLMENT PROJECT
The New York Union Child Care Coalition has developed a pilot project for working parents to increase access to childcare subsidies and quality care in New York City for children up to 13 years of age within qualifying incomes. Thanks to strong lobbying by a coalition of unions, including DC 37, income thresholds have increased dramatically on average by $9,000, making more families eligible.
The goals of the project are to improve working families’ access to childcare assistance by exploring ways to make it easier to apply, expand access to subsidized care to moderate-income families less likely to receive assistance than lower-income families, and help parents afford licensed, quality childcare and afterschool programs for their children.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Families must reside within one of the five boroughs on New York City. Each parent residing within an eligible household must work at least 20 hours per week.
Families must fall within income guidelines that differ by their family size. Family unit size is based upon the number of children under 18 years of age and their parent(s) residing within an eligible household. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings over 18 years of age cannot be used in the calculation of family units.
WHAT DOES AN ELIGIBLE FAMILY NEED TO DO TO APPLY?
Applicants must be determined eligible to apply for this project. If a family is found eligible, they can receive applications at childcare events, work-site enrollment events, at the program office, via mail and e-mail.
Applicants can submit their application materials by mail, fax, e-mail and also can make conveniently scheduled appointments in the evenings. Families can receive help completing the application from program staff over the telephone or in-person.
In addition to an application, applicants must submit the following documentation:
- Proof of Income: Copies of their most recent pay-stubs (1 month if their gross remains the same, 3 months if it varies)
- Verification of Birth: Copies of either birth certificate(s) or baptismal certificate(s) for each child under 18 years
- Proof of Address: A copy of a utility bill, lease agreement, etc.
Applicants can select any childcare, after school or informal care provider that they choose, as long as their designated provider is willing to accept payment for the childcare subsidy through the ACS voucher system.
All DC 37 members who meet these qualifications are encouraged to apply. For more information: Phone: 212-558-2244, Fax: 646-843-4710, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To start your pre-screening process, visit: bit.ly/prescreenfe
PERSONAL SERVICE UNIT (PSU)
SUPPORT FOR RETIRED AND DISABLED MEMBERS
The following are areas many retired and disabled DC 37 Members have identified as challenging:
Adjustment: Do you feel more alone or stressed since you retired or stopped working? Do you find it hard to adjust to being at home or making ends meet due to reduced income?
Isolation: Do you need someone to talk to about your concerns?
Connections: Do you need assistance from community agencies due to physical limitations or medical problems?
Retirement or being out of work due to a disability can be a time of change that presents new challenges and adjustments. The Outreach Support Program of the DC 37’s Health and Security Plan’s Personal Service Unit provides phone support and guidance to retirees and disabled members who have personal and health concerns. Outreach workers are supportive listeners who are knowledgeable about resources in the community and refer members to needed services such as: home care, transportation, senior citizen centers, entitlements, etc. If you need support, referrals, information, or are homebound, PSU can assist.
Seek Help: If you would like to hear from an Outreach worker, please call Eloisa Guzman-Rodriguez at 212-815-1250.
The DC 37 Health & Security Plan’s PSU is here to support you. To speak with a Licensed Social Worker for confidential tele-therapy, please call 212-815-1250 or 212-815-1260.
Federal Student Loan Payments Restart in October
As many of you know, most federal student loan borrowers have had their payments paused since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 emergency. This student loan relief has come to an end and will not be extended. The accrual of interest on federal student loans resumed on September 1, 2023, and loan payments will become due in October 2023.
We know that many of you, as well as members of your family, are student loan borrowers. We also know that the transition back to paying student loans may be challenging or confusing for some.
If you are a student loan borrower, here are 6 ways you can prepare:
- Update your contact information with your loan servicer and at StudentAid.gov.
- Review information about your next payment. This information can be found on your billing statement or by contacting your loan servicer.
- Use the Federal Student Aid Loan Simulator to make sure you are on the best repayment plan, especially if your financial situation has changed.
- Consider applying for, or switching to a new, income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. An IDR plan can make your monthly payment more affordable. Borrowers who consistently make monthly payments may see their debt forgiven after a certain number of years. The Biden administration recently announced as new IDR plan – Saving on Valuable Education (SAVE) – that will help more than 20 million American borrowers.
- If you cannot afford a repayment plan right now, contact your loan servicer to discuss short term relief options, such as deferment or forbearance. Make certain you understand how these options may affect your loan, loan payments and eligibility for loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and IDR plans.
- Understand what may happen if you don’t repay your loan. While delinquent payments can have a negative impact on your finances, the Biden administration has instituted a 12-month “on-ramp” period – October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024 – to reduce the impact on borrowers who are not able to resume their loan payments immediately. During this period, borrowers will not be considered delinquent, be reported to the credit bureaus, placed in default, or referred to debt collection agencies. However, borrowers should be aware that delinquent loan payments will continue to accrue interest and may impact when you qualify for loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program or an IDR plan.
Our union wants to make sure you have the resources you need to successfully restart your loan payments. Visit AFSCME’s Student Debt Resources for additional and updated information, including information about the new SAVE plan and the 12-month repayment “on-ramp” period.
Please join us for a webinar on Breast Cancer Awareness on Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 1-2 p.m. To register for the webinar, scan the QR code or click HERE.
DC 37 DISABILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The DC 37 Disability Advisory Committee Meeting, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. The topic will be on Alzheimer’s, with featured speakers and guests.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
For the best audio experience, please use computer audio.
Or iPhone one-tap:
+1(470)8692200,,1483411409# (US East)
+1(773)2319226,,1483411409# (US North)
+1(469)4450100,,1483411409# (US South)
+1(623)4049000,,1483411409# (US West)
+1(720)9027700,,1483411409# (US Central)
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
+1(470)8692200 (US East)
+1(773)2319226 (US North)
+1(469)4450100 (US South)
+1(623)4049000 (US West)
+1(720)9027700 (US Central)
Meeting ID: 148 341 1409
DC 37 EDUCATION FUND
FALL 2023 REGISTRATION FOR ED FUND CLASSES IS ONGOING
Registration for the FALL 2023 semester with the union’s Education Fund is available on the DC 37 website. You can check the website by clicking HERE for information on classes, schedules or to register for a program.
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.
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!
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 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. There are many dates available to meet with an advisor before the Fall 2023 semester.
ADVANCED PUBLIC SPEAKING CLASSES
The Advanced Public Speaking class builds on foundational public speaking concepts by introducing and developing impromptu public speaking, adhering to strict time limits, incorporating source material, advanced use of visual aids and advanced persuasive speech. Classes begin in October and you must have already completed the basic Public Speaking class as a pre-requisite. For more information and to apply, please click HERE.
TEST PREP WORKSHOPS
The Ed Fund Test Prep/Math and Test Prep/Reading workshops 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 Oct. 10; Test Prep/Reading will be offered on Thursdays beginning Oct. 12. Since these workshops are conducted virtually, a computer is needed to participate. To register for one or both, 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 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 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.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment with an Educational Counselor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDUCATION FUND COMPUTER CLASSES
Microsoft Office Certificate Program at Hostos Community College
The Microsoft Office Certificate Program will provide students with the technical skills needed in today’s work force, covering basic computer and keyboarding skills as well as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. To register, click HERE.
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.
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 begin the process to enroll for the Fall 2023 term, complete an online application: www.dc37edfund.org/
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. To begin the process to enroll for the Fall 2023 term, complete an online application at www.dc37edfund.org/
PLEASE NOTE: A high school diploma or equivalency is required to attend these college programs. Transfer credits may be accepted.
RETIREES EDUCATION COURSES FOR FALL 2023
The Ed Fund is accepting applications for classes for the FALL 2023 cycle. Apply online HERE or visit: https://www.dc37.net/benefits/
For questions, please contact Manuel Gomez-Rosa at email@example.com or call 212-815-1700.