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DC 37 News

Members engage leaders at union town halls

PEP photo by Alfredo Alvarado
Local 1549 member Francina Nelson raised concerns at union meeting.

DC 37 members skipped the live music, street vendors and food trucks parked outside Brooklyn Borough Hall during their lunch hour, and instead came to learn about important union issues at the June 6 town hall meeting.

Parag Pandya, a member of Local 2627, arrived with two other members of his local from their Dept. of Education workplace across the street.

“We want to hear how contract talks with the city are going,” said Pandya, as he waited for the second session to start. Pandya also came prepared to present an idea to include in contract negotiations. He thinks the union should negotiate for free gym memberships. “They offer that for managers,” said Pandya, an avid jogger. “It’s a good way to encourage people to exercise and be healthy, so they should offer that to us too.”

Francina Nelson, a Local 1549 member at the NYPD had an opportunity to sit down with her union representative before the meeting started. “It’s great the union comes to Brooklyn and I get sit down with my rep and ask questions,” said Nelson, who’s been working for the city for 29 years.

Like many members, Nelson is concerned about the consequences of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v AFSCME. “I’m concerned and I’m waiting for the decision like everyone else,” she said.

At the meeting, Executive Director Henry Garrido warned members about a national network of union-busting scam artists calling them at home posing as DC 37 members to get them to quit the union. “They’ve been trying to destroy unions for a while now, so this is nothing new,” he said.

Members at work places across the city had an opportunity to raise questions about benefits and services and speak with Garrido and union representatives during the town hall meetings that began on May 2.