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A Message from President Fitz Reid
Sisters and Brothers,
Bargaining on our current union contract, for members in the Health Services Bargaining Unit, is not complete. That’s the reason why some members of Local 768 have not yet received the 3% wage increase that was due from the City on September 3, 2016.
As you may recall, especially if you have been a municipal employee for some time, wage increases on a year-to-year basis are negotiated between the City and DC 37 every three to five years. DC 37 often sets the pattern for the entire municipal workforce. You also may recall that, during the last term of the Bloomberg administration, no contracts were negotiated.
Mayor Bloomberg did not engage in good faith bargaining, leaving negotiations with DC 37 and other unions to be sorted out by his successor, Bill de Blasio. Once Mayor de Blasio came into office, he made settling the outstanding contracts a priority, and DC 37 and other unions came to terms, three years ago, on a retroactive deal with a final raise payable earlier this month.
This explains why we waited so long for a contract. Once the overall wage deal was negotiated, the “unit contracts” were still left outstanding. Unit contracts are different from the overall wage and benefits pattern, which governs all municipal employees.
Unit contracts bind workers in various titles together into groups, and these unit contracts often include titles from different locals.
Local 768 members are part of four different unit contracts – the health services unit, the social services unit, the blue collar unit, and the NYCHA unit.
Each unit bargains separately with the employer over issues which are distinct from the basic wage and benefit citywide pattern. These issues generally include working conditions applicable to the titles in the unit, including assignment differentials (such as extra pay for hazardous or unusual duty), longevity payments, and uniform allowances.
So far we have settled the Social Services and the Blue Collar unit contracts, and dates for the payment of the 3% retroactive pay increases have been set.
In DC 37’s Professional Division, there are 17 Locals which have 28 unit contracts between them. Often, there are also members of other Locals which are not part of DC 37 in the units. This makes negotiations even more complicated.
Unit negotiators are free to bring up any issues of concern to the members of the bargaining units – with the understanding that basic wages have already been settled. However, there is generally a small amount of money, in this case, .52%, expressed as a percentage of a wage point, that is available to the unit negotiators and the City to address issues where money can solve them. And an overall agreement is generally in place, negotiated at the time the overall wages and benefit levels are set in a ew contract, that says that, until unit bargaining is settled, the final wage increase in the overall citywide contract will not be paid.
This is why members of our Health Services bargaining unit have not seen their This is one way the City puts pressure on the Union. They know that members will be unhappy if raises are delayed, and this is a way to force us to make concessions in unit bargaining. We shouldn’t be surprised by this. It’s been going on since the start of “pattern bargaining” in the City of New York.
Another way the City often puts pressure on us is to threaten layoffs as a bargaining tactic to demand concessions in wage and benefit demands.
It’s important to note that the 3% is set in stone, and our members will receive their raises once the health services unit settles, and with full retroactive back pay. So we are not losing our 3% raise – it is only being accumulated for retroactivity. And we expect the final unit bargaining agreement to be initialed within the next few weeks.
What are we bargaining for in the Health Services Unit? Local 768, as have the other locals which are part of the Health Services Bargaining Unit, has put certain unit demands on the table which can be funded by the .52% of wage point which has been allocated to the bargaining unit.
That’s several million dollars, spread out across the members of each unit. For our titles in the health services unit, this amounts to approximately $1 million.
We have put four demands on the table for our members in the health services unit, including the following:
1. We demand that our Creative Arts Therapists be granted the Recurring Increment Payments (RIP’s) that they are currently not entitled to.
These are small raises based on longevity in the title.
2. We demand that our school based health professionals, who are off payroll during the summer, be granted health benefits during the months they are off payroll.
3. We demand that, when employees are ordered to carry and store city-issued equipment at their homes, that the employer provide the member with a lock box and lock, and a pay differential, to compensate them for this additional duty.
4. We demand that Medico-Legal investigators be granted a pay differential for obtaining the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators certification.
I believe that all members will agree that these wage and benefit enhancements, specific to certain titles, are in the interests of every member of DC 37 Local 768. They follow in a longstanding tradition of evening out inequalities and giving relief to key titles in every contract negotiation. While particular titles may benefit in one set of negotiations, we will look to continue to benefit other titles in the next round. In this way, the .52% set aside by the overall citywide negotiators brings benefits to everyone in the long term.
These are complicated and difficult negotiations. The City may try to drag them out, which your Union doesn’t want. But we recognize that we must fight in the trenches, with our researchers, Stewards, and lawyers meeting with their labor relations people, to iron out disagreements and to finally come up with arrangements that both sides can live with. I hope that this letter explains what has caused the delay in your 3% raise, and justifies our strategy.
Please feel free to call me at 718-607-4741 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have questions.
Fitz Reid, President, Local 768 DC 37 AFSCME
Click on each link to get the story:
From our last General Membership Meeting:
AFSCME imposes dues increase of 80 cents per month (about 37 cents per bi-weekly check). Click here for the letter authorizing the increass: AFSCME Dues Increase
The union is taking steps to organize around cutting down student loan debt.
For the latest click here Student Debt
Under our collective bargaining agreement (the 2010-2017 Memorandum of Agreement), our pay increased by 2.5 % effective September 3, 2015. Here are the pay orders for 9-3-15 Pay Orders – Health Services and 9-3-15 Pay Orders – Social Services. Check your pay stub or contact a Union Representative to make sure your pay is correct.
Read the latest from our Executive Director, Henry Garrido, here.
DC 37 to offer workshop on Student Debt — Click here for the flyer Student Debt Workshops FINAL
New Team Ready to Work for Our Members
With the Local 7 68 election completed after the final runoff resulted in the election of Charlton Smith as 2nd VP and Lorraine Bailey to the Executive Board, we are a unified team ready to get to work and serve the health care workers we represent.
Read the new Health Services Contract here.
At our last meeting on June 18, the Election Committee gave its report on the runoff election. Charlton Smith was declared elected as 2nd Vice President, with Lorraine Bailey declared elected for the remaining contested seat on the Executive Board.
Your full team is now in place, including Fitz Reid as President, Anthony Scruggs as Executive Vice President, Michele Wilson as First Vice President, Charlton Smith as 2nd Vice President, Adama Paddyfoote as Treasurer, and the following as at-large members of the Executive Board: Albert Leung, Lorraine Bailey, and Benita Joseph.
Brother Reid discussed income inequality: union gains are still negative because of the increasing cost of living. The one percent of the one percent continue to profit from massive gains, while the middle class is being eroded.
Brother Anthony Scruggs, our new Executive Vice President, discussed service and his determination to move the union to greater heights.
After the meeting, Brother Reid addressed members concerns informally.
Here are the new Pay Orders for our titles, as per the new contract: 2010-2017 Memorandum of Agreement; Social Services Pay Order 2011-2014; Blue Collar (Supervisory) Pay Order 2011-2014; Health Services Pay Order 2011-2014; Blue Collar (Non-Supervisory) Pay Order 2011-2014
Video Updates from Our Meetings
Brothers and Sisters,
As you know, the membership of our Local and DC 37 has approved the 2010-2017 contract agreement by a very large majority.
Here is the complete agreement, for your review and your reference: DC37MemorandumOfAgreement2010to2017.
Here is the schedule for your retroactive back pay: Pay Dates for Rate and Retroactive Monies. The checks are going out in October.
Here is the City’s memo which describes how the lump sum is to be paid out: OLR Interpretive Memorandum No 102 (8-26-14).
Here are Examples of Salaries and Back Pay showing the back wages which would be paid under this proposed agreement and the raises going forward.
Fitz Reid President Local 768 DC 37 AFSCME AFL-CIO
Health Services Local 768 is New York City’s third-largest Union of health care workers. Our approximately 4,000 members work primarily for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and the Offices of the five New York City District Attorneys. We bring a better quality of life to the 8.4 million New Yorkers and to the millions of other commuters who are here on a regular basis. We also are ready to serve the estimated 50 million tourists who come to New York each year.
Local 768 DC 37 is headquartered at District Council 37, which is located at 125 Barclay Street in lower Manhattan. We’re at room 768, and reachable via telephone at 212-815-1000. You can e-mail President Reid at: email@example.com