In the early morning of Sat., Jan. 30, 2016, more than 100 activists and staff of Local 1549 were provided with the skill and information needed in the fight to protect and improve critical services in New York City.
Second V.P Ralph Palladino welcomed the participants and gave an overview of the day's political action and advocacy training.
Exec. V.P. Alma Roper stressed the added importance of training as unions find themselves under attack across the country. V.P. Roper spoke on the pending Supreme Court decision in the Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association case.
Throughout the morning, many issues of concern to Local 1549 members, and all New Yorkers, were discussed. These issues ranged from lack of funding for city hospitals to civilianization and proposed changes to the Workers' Compensation laws.
Special guest speakers were the Hon. Carl Heastie, Speaker of the NYS Assembly and the Hon. Vanessa Gibson, Chair of the NYC Council's Public Safety Committee. Both were praised and thanked for consistently supporting Local 1549 and DC37 in matters of importance. Local 1549 activists were given the opportunity to speak to these elected officials about their concerns and also ask questions. Their participation was greatly appreciated by Local leaders and members.
Wanda Williams, DC37 Legislative Director, gave a fact-filled presentation regarding the need for adequate funding of city hospitals. City hospitals are crucial to the communities they serve.
Lee Clarke, Special Assistant to Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez, gave an eye-opening presentation regarding attacks on Workers' Compensation. Under proposed legislative changes, Workers' Compensation benefits would be reduced and become more difficult to obtain.
Natasha Isma, Vice-Chair of the Local 1549 Political Action Committee and Local Officer-at-Large, presented a 'Common Sense Economics' workshop which focused on pay inequities.
Khalia Kweli, Program Coordinator in the DC37 Political Action Dept., gave a presentation regarding the PEOPLE Program and the importance of lobbying politicians on important issues.
DC37 Clerical Division staff assisted in facilitating the exercises and the activists participated fully.