District Council 1707, AFL-CIO

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     District Council 1707, AFSCME Invites You to a Meet and Greet


Friday, June 30th
6:30 PM to 9 PM


Meet the New Members of the Council’s Executive Board including Executive Director Kim Medina, President Linda McPherson and Treasurer Larry Barton.

420 West 45th Street
(Between 9th & 10th Avenues)
New York, New York, 10036

Refreshments will be served.

To RSVP or for more information please call Yolanda Benjamin at 646-527-6611 or 347-703-5267

 

 

The Chief interviews newly elected Executive Director Kim Medina

                   

    New DC 1707 Leader Takes Big Pay Cut, Vows Trimmer Union 

 

Kim Medina, the new Executive Director of District Council 1707, and President Linda McPherson discuss what improvements they’d like to make for their members. Ms. Medina cut her job’s salary from $180,000 to $90,000. She is currently serving roughly 20,000 members which consist of Day Care, Head Start, Social Services, Fundraising, and Home Care workers. Ms. Medina, a 30-year union veteran not only has a thorough knowledge of what it takes to lead the membership but acknowledges that a new day is upon us, which includes equality and unity as the driving factors. Her thorough knowledge stems from childhood as she learned first hand the ins and outs of what it meant to be a union member and fighting for just cause. Ms. Medina’s father was the chief shop steward in the District Council of Carpenters and her grandfather organized the Hispanic Postal Association in the city in the 1920s. She has stepped down as president of DC 1707’s Local 253, which represents members in teaching organizations such as the Institute for International Education. Executive Director Kim Medina said that she wants to increase her union’s visibility and improves relations to propel the union to higher levels.

Mrs. McPherson, who was born in Guyana and has been a member of the union for 18 years as a Family Services Coordinator for Medgar Evers Head Start Center, said she wanted the union to return to its more-activist days. “I’ve seen the union at such a great point,” she said. “The building was alive at six, seven in the evening and we always held events for our members and for the kids.”
 

 

      30-Year Veteran Promises New Direction for the Union 

Kim Medina was sworn-in as the first Latino woman to become Executive Director for District Council 1707, AFSCME. She stirred the audience of delegate assembly members and rank and filers with a promise of a new direction for the union. The swearing-in was done on May 16, 2017.

Medina pledged to take members needs and concerns in consideration with all of her moves. She was joined by the new Council President Linda McPherson and Council Treasurer Larry Barton.

 

 

Read more >>>

DC 1707 Political Action Committee Meeting

Wednesday, September 13th 2017

MEETING BEGINS PROMPTLY AT 6:30 PM

AT
DISTRICT COUNCIL 1707
420 West 45th Street
(Between 9th & 10th Avenues)
Convenient to the A, C, E, N, R, #1,2 and 3 Trains

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
G.L. TYLER, POLITICAL ACTION DIRECTOR
PAC Hotline 646-527-6647

Lorraine Guest
Political Action Committee Chairperson
All Members are Welcome
Refreshments will be Served

 

Local 215 Former FEGS members Settlement Checks

 As you may be aware, Local 215, District Council 1707, CSAEU, AFSCME, AFL-CIO (the "Union"), through its outside lawyers, has for the past several months been engaged in discussions with FEGS and the Creditors’ Committee about a settlement of the members’ severance and WARN Act claims. On November 23, 2016, FEGS, with the support of the Creditors’ Committee, filed a Motion to approve a proposed Settlement Agreement with the Union regarding the WARN and Severance claims as well as the claim of the National Labor Relations Board for back pay. The settlement amounts (“Settlement Amounts”) to be paid to the Union Employees are set forth in Exhibits appended to the Motion. All Union Employees have received a copy of the Motion and Exhibits via US Mail. The Motion and the Settlement Agreement were approved by the Bankruptcy Court.

On Friday, February 17, 2017, settlement checks paying applicable members for the WARN and Severance claims were mailed. Members whose checks were returned to sender should contact Mr. Cheoliver Sprosta (212) 219.0022 at the Union. Questions regarding the Motion, the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the Settlement Amounts or any other related matters must be directed to Larry Cary, Esq., of Cary Kane, LLP, counsel to the Union. Mr. Cary’s address and phone are as follows: 1350 Broadway, Suite 1400, New York, NY 10018; Phone: (212) 868-6300

Local 215 Former FEGS members!

 As you may be aware, Local 215, District Council 1707, CSAEU, AFSCME, AFL-CIO (the "Union"), through its outside lawyers, has for the past several months been engaged in discussions with FEGS and the Creditors’ Committee about a settlement of the members’ severance and WARN Act claims. On November 23, 2016, FEGS, with the support of the Creditors’ Committee, filed a Motion to approve a proposed Settlement Agreement with the Union regarding the WARN and Severance claims as well as the claim of the National Labor Relations Board for back pay. The settlement amounts (“Settlement Amounts”) to be paid to the Union Employees are set forth in Exhibits appended to the Motion. All Union Employees will receive a copy of the Motion and Exhibits via US Mail. The Motion and the Settlement Agreement are subject to Bankruptcy Court approval. The hearing on the Motion is scheduled to be heard by the Bankruptcy Court on December 12, 2016. Any questions regarding the Motion, the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the Settlement Amounts or any other related matters must be directed to Larry Cary, Esq., of Cary Kane, LLP, counsel to the Union. Mr. Cary’s address and phone are as follows: 1350 Broadway, Suite 1400, New York, NY 10018; Phone: (212) 868-6300.

FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK!

DC 1707 has a NEW FACEBOOK PAGE!

We will be posting pictures, making announcements, listing events, and much more! You can also access the Facebook page through our website using the link located in the upper right hand corner.

So please take a look, like us, follow us, and suggest others to view our page!

 

  The first weeks of the Trump administration confirm that AFSCME representatives, members and immigrant communities need to prepare for ramped up and targeted immigration enforcement. The administration's early actions include an illegal executive order banning certain migrants, refugees and even U.S. residents from entering the country, and raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain and deport immigrants. The Trump administration's irresponsible actions are causing chaos, creating panis, tearing families apart and traumatizing our children. Read to read more on how to protect yourself and be aware CLICK HERE!

 

For information in Spanish, click read more. 
 

 

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Brothers and Sisters,

The Governor has received legislation awaiting his signature containing the power to dramatically improve the working conditions for thousands of our members. This bill, S5130, the Workplace Violence Prevention bill, will afford our Direct Care, Home Care, Child Care, and Social Workers the same protection under the law as their direct counterparts in the Public sector.
  Read more >>>

Congress is continuing to debate not only the funding priorities for the Fiscal Year 2016, but also whether or not to raise the caps on the spending before December 11th. This decision will inevitably impact the amounts of funds available for these programs including early learning. It is critical to have as many state and local groups as possible sign the letter and circulate it as well. We Care, we Count! Read more >>>

Protecting Home Care Workers Requires Community, Legal and Political Support

 

By Manuela Butler
President of Home Care Employees Local 389, DC 1707, AFSCME

In recent years laws have been passed to protect city bus drivers, traffic enforcement personnel and law enforcement officers who are consistently placed in dangerous situations.

But thousands of home care workers in New York City and across the state do not have similar protection, even though home care workers work in dangerous neighborhoods, questionable homes and sometimes are confronted by threatening neighbors or family members of their clients.

The agencies that employ home care workers consistently send us to homes without indicating that the client is either “difficult-to-serve” or family members may be potentially dangerous.

In a recent case, a member of our local was physically assaulted by a male family member of an aging client. When the police arrived, our member was arrested and charged with a felony because she protected herself from being beat by the client’s relative.

We do not know what to expect in many of the home we serve. But it is apparent that many of our agencies and the state are not willing to come to our aid with protective policies or laws to fully protect home care workers who work alone in sometimes frightening environments.

We Do Not Know What to Expect

We do not know what to expect. We assume we are going to take care of someone incapacitated and alone. In some cases the client lives with relatives who assume that we are employed as a maid of the family. Many of the workers believe they have no recourse but stay and wait on client’s relative hand and foot to remain employed. Sometimes if we complain the employer may take us off that assignment and in retaliation may not give the home care worker another assignment for weeks or months.

While a state anti-workplace violence bill is order (even though two NYS governors have vetoed legislation passed by the senate and the assembly which would provide additional protection to home care workers), home care agencies could strongly detail the duties of home care workers to both clients and family members to avoid our members being seen as maids.

Home care workers should be informed if the home they are entering has the possibility of danger to us in our workplace. The safety of home care workers should be paramount. In 2007, several people in a patient’s home were shot to death in Queens, including one of our members who was a young mother with three children

My members want to go to work and return safely to their families. My members should not be concerned that going to work become a life or death situation because our agencies and the state have little regard for our safety.

NEW AFSCME BENEFIT!

Back in July, we announced a new AFSCME benefit available to you and your family: a free associate degree from Eastern Gateway Community College. Your response has been overwhelming, with nearly 20,000 inquiries made, more than 5,000 applicants and more than 2,000 students currently enrolled in classes. We are thrilled that so many of you are taking advantage of this great benefit. 

Having a college degree is more important than ever for getting ahead these days, but tuition costs just keep getting higher and higher. That's why theAFSCME Free College Benefit is absolutely free. You, your spouse, your children and grandchildren can earn a college degree without digging into your own pockets or piling on student debt. And because Eastern Gateway is a public, regionally accredited college, the credits you work hard to earn are transferable to other schools. This can literally save you and your family thousands of dollars.


You won’t be left to figure this out for yourself, either. Every student gets to talk to real people who will help you through the process. The classes are online, so they fit into anyone’s busy schedule, and there are tutors and coaches who make sure you aren’t on your own.

An associate degree can be your pathway to new opportunities, greater responsibility, a better job and higher wages. This is a unique opportunity — available only to AFSCME members, your families and retirees. You can find more information about the benefit and available degree programs here.
You work hard for your community, and that work can often go unsung. The AFSCME Free College Benefit is one more way AFSCME helps members secure the opportunities and the respect you deserve.


Enrollment for the first spring session is now open and Early Childhood Education degrees are now offered. Classes begin on January 17. Don’t wait to start this exciting new program and help grow your career!


In solidarity,
Lee Saunders
AFSCME President

Statement by the Executive Board of District Council 1707 AFSCME on the Orlando, Florida Shootings

 The horrific loss of life and injuries suffered in Orlando over the weekend at the Pulse nightclub calls for all of us to think again about our responsibilities to all our brothers and sisters.

President Barack Obama called the senseless shootings both a terrorist action and a hate crime.

These events do not happen in a vacuum. None of us are allowed to think that this can only happen to others. We are all “others”. We must join together to offer support to our neighbors, our coworkers and our families despite the small differences that exist between us sometimes.

On behalf of the Executive Board of District Council 1707, we grieve with the families of the victims and the city of Orlando. We must do what we can to coalesce and reduce the rhetoric of exclusion, to fight the irresponsible usage of weapons of destruction and encourage all of our members to vote in the November General Election.

If a member cannot vote, we encourage all members to actively participate in the electoral process by advocating others who can legally vote to take part in the election process and to organize and educate our members and our communities to elect officials who truly care about the safety and concerns of working families.

Lorraine Guest hung up the phone in her office, staggered by the news. Her bosses had given her hope that her job would be safe, that her colleagues would be safe. But now? Now, it was clear that no one was safe.

The call, on Feb. 9, was from the human resources department at FEGS Health and Human Services, one of the largest social service agencies in New York City. Minutes later, Ms. Guest and other FEGS employees were summoned to an emergency meeting where management laid it all out: New agencies were taking over their programs. There were no guarantees that they would keep their jobs.

Read more >>>

A federal judge on Monday struck down Labor Department regulations that would have meant higher pay for some home health care workers. Read more >>>

In 2011, President Barack Obama promised to raise the wages of home care workers, a chronically underpaid and poverty-stricken profession. But a legal challenge and a recent court decision have delayed that guarantee and put its fate in question. Read more >>>

Progressive Senators who have already criticized the administration on other economic issues — Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Tom Harkin — wrote a letter last spring to Obama, applauding his decision to revisit overtime pay. But in their letter, the liberal Senators also set forth their desired threshold: Around $54,000 per year, rather than $42,000, the amount the Obama administration is supposedly eying. Read more >>>

NEW YORK, August 6 ---- District Council 1707 announced the passing of Betty Powell, one of the original organizers and members of the nation’s first Head Start local in the nation. She was respected throughout the union movement and by child care advocates alike as a pioneer for child care workers’ rights at a time when child care workers were seen by many as babysitters and not educators. Read more >>>

NYS Independent Democrats Honor Local 205's Li Juang Chan for her union and child care activism. Read more >>>

Mitchell was honored for her many years of union activity, her humanitarian work in Jamaica and her work in her former position as Development Administration Manager for ORT America, where she was the Chapter Chair and the shop steward. Read more >>>

40 years is long enough. AFSCME urges you to stand up for home care workers wages and benefits

 Dear Sisters and Brothers,

After waiting 40 years to be covered by minimum wage and overtime law, home care workers may be forced to wait another 1.5 years—unless you help.

The Department of Labor did the right thing by issuing a rule to cover home care workers, but now there is an effort to delay its implementation.

Join us in telling the Department of Labor they cannot deny these basic labor protections any longer.

Home care workers provide vital services to the elderly and people with disabilities, yet earn poverty wages and struggle to sustain their own families on what they earn. They should NOT have to wait a moment longer to receive these basic protections afforded to virtually all other American workers.
Justice delayed is justice too-long denied. Tell the DOL: “No Delay to Fair Pay."

In Solidarity,

President Lee Saunders & Secretary-Treasurer Laura Reyes

(Text JOIN to 237263 for text message updates!)

During the May 20th Delegate Assembly meeting, Victoria Mitchell, Loraine Guest and Linda McPherson took office and all proclaimed they were prepared to take on the arduous tasks to build the union’s strength and vitality. Read more >>>

Members listened and spoke to about fifteen different programs regarding advancing and enhancing their careers and futures. The program was sponsored by the union’s Education Department, the Consortium for Workers Education and the NYC Day Care Council through a grant from the New York City Council. Read more >>>

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