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Public Employee Press

Local 983 beats raid attempt


PEP Officers subdue an emotionally disturbed man in Hudson River Park June 4 as Paramedics arrive.
Fake news refers to false information or propaganda published to convince readers it is authentic. When tested, fake news proves to be all lies-no matter how rampant, it just cannot stand up as truth.

To protect more than 300 Urban Park Rangers and debunk false information, Local 983 and DC 37 organized an informational campaign to separate union facts from harmful lies. Like Flavor Flav says: “Don’t believe the hype!”

“Unfortunately some Urban Park Rangers and other city employees who are Peace Officers have been duped by a sham union that was cobbled together by some guys with dubious pasts and questionable motives,” said Local 983 Joe Puleo. “A few municipal law enforcement workers even joined that union and now regret it. They want to come back to DC 37 Local 983 because that other group cannot deliver the benefits or the salaries they promised and don’t even have a contract with the city.”

Puleo and Local 983’s executive board members along with the union’s Organizing Dept. were in the field every day in public parks from Randall’s Island to Staten Island, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Flushing Meadows, Queens, and Van Cortlandt Park the Bronx, talking one-on-one to members about union facts and the iron-clad contractual benefits DC 37 and Local 983 offer.

Local 983’s message is detailed on a colorful fact card UPRs carry in their summons pads. The Local 983 Union Strong fact card highlights many negotiated benefits, such as:

  • 44 percent salary increase for Urban Park Rangers
  • Recurring incremental payments (RIPS) that add $7,680 to the base salary
  • $800 longevity pay
  • Peace Officer status
  • Retirement after 25 years of service, regardless of age
  • Pension
  • 75 percent line of duty disability pension
  • $800 tuition reimbursement from DC 37
  • Full medical and dental coverage, and
  • Free online college through AFSCME, DC 37’s national union.

Recently, unionized Urban Park Rangers voted overwhelmingly to approve a 40-hour weekly schedule that hikes starting salaries to $47,135, up from $32,700.

“No other union offers a salary and benefits package as comprehensive as DC 37 Local 983,” said Puleo.

The local and other unions who represent municipal law enforcement officers have formed a coalition, CLEAN, to disabuse members of false information and rumors. The Coalition of Law Enforcement Associations of New York had its first meeting June 14 at DC 37 headquarters in lower Manhattan (see below).