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[The Public] March *Spring Newsletter*

March 2022


Spring 2022 Issue

This month’s [The Public] BULLETIN is highlighting member contributions to the newly re-issued Local 768 quarterly newsletter, landing in print at your doorstep soon! We are proud to announce that this issue was wholly written by members of Local 768, covering issues you care about, in ways only frontline workers like you can express.


IN THIS ISSUE | President's Memo | Social Work Chapter election results | SI Amazon Workers Unionize


IN THIS ISSUE

All articles are available by clicking them above or accessing them through the blog.

PRESIDENT'S MEMO

The Fight for Telework

Exciting Start for the
Social Work Chapter

FAQ: Your Weingarten Rights

SPOTLIGHT: H+H Coders Petition

UPDATE: DC 37 Executive Board Elections

MEMBER ACCOUNT: Lillian Roberts Women's Leadership Academy

BUILDING POWER: Member Action Teams (MAT)

Get in touch with your New Council Reps

 


President's Memo

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I cannot thank you enough for the work that has been done over the past year and continues to this day. Members of our local have felt overworked, underappreciated, abused by our State, City, and in some cases, our Union. It has been a chaotic year on the job with added duties, changes in assignments, and vaccine mandates. While a majority of our members got vaccinated, there were members who were forced to take leave without pay, resigned, or were terminated. Additionally, the return to office policies came with broken assurances of a safe work environment.

Despite all of this, we members of Local 768, whether on site or remotely, worked to serve our City and its citizens.
Again, THANK YOU.

Local 768 has been through many changes within the past year. The new officers of 768 have worked hard to improve communication with members.

We want to be aware of what is happening with our members, and we want to keep members informed as well. While things have not been perfect, we are making every effort to ensure issues among all job titles are heard and addressed. As a team who ran to Rebuild our union, we cannot do this without your strength and knowledge. Change will not come overnight, but the team of officers are working hard, and with your information from the field and your active involvement, we can make this happen.

Let me go over some of the past events through the last year. Many want to know what happened to Hazard Pay/Essential Pay. DC 37 continues to fight for this. It has not been easy, and it has yet to be determined who will be entitled to this compensation, if anyone. Former Mayor de Blasio told the New York Times that in order for compensation to take place, New York State would have to give the City more money. It is the hope that with Mayor Adams some resolution can be found.

The policy changes regarding vaccine mandates were probably the hardest issue our union faced in the past year. DC 37 sought injunctions for the vaccine mandates and was unsuccessful in the court system, but reached the best possible agreement given the circumstances to give members the time needed to decide what was best for them.

The last is teleworking. Local 768 is committed to bringing the issue to the forefront for our members. We as the Local will continue to advocate for the passage of the NYC Telework Expansion Act. We also need you, the members, to help us achieve this goal.

There is much more work to be done in our Local and this work cannot be done without the members. As I have said before in Title/Chapter meetings and at General membership meetings, we as officers need feedback as to what is happening at your workplaces. Management’s primary goal is to make the Union weaker and disempower the members of their rights. To counter this, I call on you to step up and get involved. Let’s work together to Rebuild this local.

In Solidarity,
Carmen De León, President
and Local 768's Leadership Team


Social Work Chapter election results

Thank you to all the Social Workers who participated in our recent Social Work Chapter elections! Out of 971 eligible voters, 114 voted, and we now have new Chapter leaders elected directly by you!

Our Chapter Chair and Secretary were unopposed, and therefore automatically elected:

  • Chair: Karen Ramirez (H+H / Elmhurst)
  • Secretary: Sharon Bryan (H+H / Community Care)
Here are the results for the election of Vice Chair:
  • Jane Lima-Negron (H+H / Gouverneur): 77
  • Lawrence Harewood (H+H / Elmhurst): 18
  • Sabu Thomas (H+H / Woodhull): 2
  • Dana Newton (H+H / Queens): 3
  • Waheeda Sohan (H+H / Kings County): 8
If you are not a Social Worker, but interested in helping start a Chapter for your title, please let us know here.

Victory for Staten Island Amazon Workers

Congratulations to the Amazon workers at the JFK8 Staten Island Amazon warehouse who just voted overwhelmingly to be represented by the Amazon Labor Union! The 8,300 workers here will be the first Amazon workers in the US to unionize, which marks a stunning victory for organized labor against the second largest employer in the country. Solidarity!

Want to contribute to the next Local 768 Newsletter? Email [email protected] with your draft or idea.
The deadline for submissions for the next issue (June 2022) is May 1st, 2022.

[The Public] Feb - VP win, Inspector spotlight, SW Chapter

February 2022


[The Public]

[The Public] is Local 768’s new monthly bulletin compiled by members of Local 768. By giving updates on union developments and events between membership meetings, we hope to help inform members and encourage involvement in our union’s democracy.


DC 37 EB | Happenings | Action Board | Today in Labor


President de Leon one of three new VP’s on Council leadership

In DC 37’s triennial Council leadership elections ending on January 25, Local 768 President Carmen de Leon won a seat as Vice-President on the Executive Board of DC 37. Except for when the Delegate body is in session, DC 37’s Executive Board is the highest governing body of the union. As a candidate on the Members-First slate, President de Leon ran with twenty-eight others to serve the 2022-2024 term, all of whom won their seats.

Nearly all twenty-nine leadership seats were uncontested and therefore these candidates won “by acclamation.” Three seats were contested as a result of the retirements of previous officeholders. To inform members of how this particular body functions, its purpose, and how its members are chosen, here is a brief explanation of the Executive Board of DC 37 as laid out in our DC 37 constitution.

Find the whole article in Local 768’s reintroduced quarterly print newsletter, coming March 2022. Stay tuned…


ABC7 spotlights Local 768 Inspectors at DCWP

NYC’s ‘Gas Police’ ensure consumers are getting what they paid for at the pump.

The NYC department of Consumer and Worker Protection randomly checks all 6,303 pumps at roughly 700 gas vendors each year.

"The meter of the pumps can be off, and we check for the accuracy of that, and if it is found out of tolerance, we have it condemned," said Armando Sosa with the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.

Watch the segment here

:dollar: :oil_drum: :dollar:

Run to represent your local Community Board!

Are you a union member, residing in NYC, looking to get more involved in your community? Applications are open through March 4 for NYC Community Boards, the most grassroots level of city government.

Find out more here through the NYC CLC's Community Board Initiative

🚇🏘🚇

Manhattan REI workers win their fight to unionize with 86% yes

Congratulations to the staff at REI outdoor sports in Manhattan who've overwhelmingly voted to unionize with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), making them the first unionized REI in the nation! The RWDSU is the same union organizing Amazon workers at a pivotal warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, where later this month they will conclude voting.

These workers will join another cohort of first-in-nation union organizing happening at Starbucks coffee currently, where at time of print over 2,000 workers across 73 stores have filed for an NLRB-supervised election, including at least 3 stores in NYC.


Action Board

🗳 Elections for Social Work Chapter leadership will be held online and via mail March 3-31, and results will be announced April 1.

  • A Candidate forum will be held March 2, 7pm for the position of Vice-Chair 
  • Chapter leaders are elected by members of their own Chapter. To learn more about the roles and responsibilities for these positions, or if you’d like to help start one for your title, visit About->Chapters.

📆General Membership meeting Wed March 9, 2022 6:30pm

  • Join us at our next quarterly Local-wide meeting to discuss the issues facing the union and what the Local has been working on.

RSVP: GM Mar 9

📆Contact Tracer meeting Mon March 21, 2022 7pm

This meeting will be to answer any questions and clarify information on the end of the T2 program.

  • H+H has announced that the T2 program will be ending on April 29, 2022. 
  • The Union is continuing to negotiate and look for other opportunities of employment within the City system. As we know more, we will communicate with all Contact tracers.
  • Once the program ends, one can file for unemployment regardless of union affiliation.

RSVP: T2 Mar 21

🧑‍💻 Telework bill heating up

The NYC Teleworking Expansion Act is slated to be voted on this legislative session - and getting your elected state legislators to support it is paramount!

Our friends at Civil Service Bar Association (CSBA/Teamsters), the union for agency attorneys, has setup this email form you can use to easily contact your state representatives. Before sending, just edit your union to be ‘Local 768’ and add in your personal reason for supporting the bill

This month in Labor History

Feb 5

Trayvon Benjamin Martin was born, and would have been 27 this year. On Feb 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager, was murdered. The death of Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman sparked the national and global Movement for Black Lives.

(Photo courtesy of the Chicago Teachers Union) - 1995

Feb 11

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announces he will call out the National Guard, if necessary, to deal with any "unrest" among state employees in the wake of his decision to unilaterally end nearly all collective bargaining rights for the workers with Act 10 - 2011

Feb 12

Sanitation Workers Strike in Memphis. African American sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker were crushed to death on Feb. 1, 1968 when the rain triggered the trash truck’s compactor in Memphis, Tennessee. Their deaths, along with the racist treatment of the sanitation workers, led more than 1,100 workers to strike for better wages, conditions, and safety on Feb. 12, 1968. (Teen vogue / Zinn Edu Proj.)


Introducing [The Public], Local 768's new monthly bulletin

January 2022


[The Public]

[The Public] is Local 768’s new monthly bulletin compiled by members of Local 768. By giving updates on union developments and events between membership meetings, we hope to help inform members and encourage involvement in our union’s democracy.


President's memo | Happenings | Action Board | Today in Labor


Sisters and Brothers of Local 768,

The New Year has begun, and as the year begins like last year, the hope is 2022 will be a better year.  So many in our Local and our union have suffered on many levels.  From continued loss of family, friends, coworkers, and those in our community, it has been heartbreaking. Through all of this we, members of Local 768 have shown up to work, whether at a vaccine pod or an H+H healthcare facility, in NYC Schools, or performing inspections at NYCHA or businesses. Many of our members work outdoors in all weather conditions, while others work on Rikers Island in very unsafe conditions. Your dedication to this City is on display at every turn, and as cliché as it sounds, you are the ones who make this City run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Against this backdrop, no one is highlighting the many shortages across all city agencies, due to the mandates, and poor implementation of the return to work mandate by former Mayor de Blasio.

As the Local leadership team of Local 768 moves into our second year, we recognize there is so much more to do. We continue to strive to improve our communication with the members in the field.  We as your Local leadership team count on you to make us aware of the issues being faced at your worksites and to help us to enforce our contracts.  Make no mistake, there is an effort to weaken our rights as union members and/or eliminate them all together - by management, by big business and on the national level.  We as union members need to be involved to stave off these attacks.

I have heard the voices of those who feel I, as the President, have catered to certain groups within the Local. Moving forward in the coming year more outreach will take place, as the pandemic will allow.

Local 768 has a website www.local768.net with a wealth of information and links that I, and the team encourage members to use as a resource.  We have links to the Economic, Citywide, and Unit Bargaining Contracts.  These contracts are the basis for your pay, your rights, and so much more. The more you know as a member the stronger you are as an individual, and the stronger our union becomes. And take it from me, the more frustrated management will get since they count on members not knowing their contract to take advantage of you.

From the leadership team, who work side by side with all of you, thank you for your toughness and diligence in coming to work and providing services to the Citizens of this City.

In Solidarity,

President Carmen De León,
               and
Local 768 Leadership Team


DC 37 CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH
"Educating our Heritage, While Empowering a Healthier Generation"

Celebrate Black History month with the DC 37 Black History Committee. Join us on Virtual Opening Night Tuesday Feb. 1 at 6 PM, which will be sponsored by Local 1930.

"Celebrating as We Rise," is this year's theme for Local 371's virtual Black History event on Feb. 4. Music starts at 5 PM and the program begins at 6 PM. Visit www.mightyunion.org for the link and event details.

Local 1407 celebrates Black history virtually on Feb. 15 at 6 PM. On Feb. 25 at 6 PM join Local 372's online celebration. On Feb. 26, Local 1930 will host a midday Black history celebration at 12 noon.

Finale Night sponsored by Local 1930 and the DC 37 Black History Committee is on Monday Feb. 28 at 6 PM, which you can join here.

For more information on DC 37 Black History Month events, please see the monthly union calendar at www.dc37.net

🎥🎥

Virtual Film Showing: The Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution

Monday, February 7, 6-7:15PM: THE POWER TO HEAL is an hour-long documentary about a dramatic chapter in the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans. Central to the story is how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a momentous, coordinated effort that desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country practically overnight.  

A screening of the film will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker Barbara Berney, a distinguished scholar in public health, environmental justice, and the U.S. health care system. Dr. Berney is an Emeritus Associate Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health and Health Management. Co-hosted by New York Labor History Association and the PSC Retiree Chapter and co-sponsored by NYU Tamiment-Wagner. Click here to register!

🖇🖇

Long-haul COVID-19 Workers Compensation Webinar

Wednesday, February 23, 12-1PM: New York State is offering new, online educational opportunities to help workers who believe they contracted COVID-19 due to an exposure at work, especially those suffering from ongoing long-haul symptoms. This series of webinars offered through the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board will provide information on workers’ rights when it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim and the cash and/or medical benefits they may be eligible to receive.

Those with a work-related injury or illness have two years from the date of becoming injured or ill to file a workers’ compensation claim, so the deadline is approaching for workers who contracted COVID-19 due to their employment in the early days of the pandemic. Click here for more information and to register. Additional webinars will take place on March 9, and April 13.


Action Board

🗳 Nominations for Social Work Chapter leadership are currently being accepted through 2/15/22

Chapter leaders are elected by members of their own Chapter. To learn more about the roles and responsibilities for these positions, or if you’d like to help start one for your title, visit About->Chapters.

📜 Local 768 is pushing for fair treatment of Medical Records Specialists

🧑‍💻 Telecommuting

Earlier this month, Local 768 co-hosted a phone bank to support a NY State bill that would require NYC agencies to establish permanent telework policies for its staff. Thanks to everyone who participated, we made over 500 calls to legislators, and since then several more cosponsors have signed onto the bill! Yet we still have more work to do to get it passed -

SAVE THE DATE! Next General Membership meeting Wed March 9, 6:30PM (RSVP)


This month in Labor History

Jan 3

Eight thousand New York City social workers strike, demanding better conditions for welfare recipients - 1965

Jan 25

  • A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union, made the official call for a March on Washington, with the demand to end segregation in defense industries. The threatened March on Washington led to Executive Order 8802, stating that there should be “no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or Government because of race, creed, color, or national origin.” - 1941
  • Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress, opened her historic campaign for U.S. President in Brooklyn, New York. - 1972