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Official Publication of Social Service Employees Union Local 371-DC 37 AFSCME, AFL-CIO

the Volume 38
Number 10
November 2008

Barack Obama Elected 44th

President of the United States

C heers of victory and tears of exhilaration

greeted the historic November 4 election
of Barack Obama as the first African-
American President of the United States.
Democrats also picked up at least six seats in
the Senate and at least 19 in the House, giving
them a majority in both bodies. The sweep
included a hard-fought victory in the New
York State Senate, which is under Democratic
control for the first time in 43 years.
In the union community, which has suffered
through eight devastating years of the Bush
Administration, the election was hailed as a
mandate for change in this country’s priorities
from health care to equitable taxation, to job cre-
ation and toward ending the War in Iraq. Local
371 President Faye Moore said, “I went out on
Continued on page 3

It’s been a
long time coming...
District Council 37 Reaches Tentative Contract
Agreement with City
D istrict Council 37 and the City reached a
tentative 24 month economic agreement
on October 30 that provides a four per-
cent increase retroactive to March 3, 2008, the
first day of the contract, and another four per-
The contract was approved by the DC 37 Bar-
gaining Committee with only two members voting
against it, Local 371 President Faye Moore and
Local 436 President Judith Arroyo. The contract was
approved by the DC 37 Delegates Council at its
am on December 8. There are no firm pay dates at
this time, pending ratification of the contract.
Moore voted against the settlement because it
Continued on page 2
cent increase, compounded, on March 3, 2009. meeting on November 6 and will be voted on by
The tentative agreement comes one year after the DC 37 membership in a mail ballot. Ballots were
bargaining began in October 2007. mailed on November 13 and are due back by 9:00
Delegate Training:
Strengthening Union Leadership
The Union’s first session of Delegate Training on
November 8 was attended by hundreds of Delegates
from throughout the city. (Story and photos on pages 4-5.)

Justice for Saigon Grill

On Monday, October 20, a United States District
Photo by Charles Brown

Court Judge in Manhattan awarded $4.6 million in

back pay to 36 delivery workers at two Saigon Grill
restaurants in Manhattan, thus justifying their long
struggle for economic justice. (Story on page 7.)
DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts shakes hands with City Labor Commissioner James F. Hanley
at the conclusion of contract bargaining.
The Unionist

DC 37 Reaches Tentative
Contract Agreement with City
Continued from page 1
p.m., Union Office, 817 Broadway, 12th Floor, Manhattan doesn’t include any additional contributions to the
Union’s Welfare Fund and does not restore items
DELEGATE ASSEMBLY, 6:30 p.m., School of the
19 Future, 127 East 22nd Street, Manhattan lost in previous contracts such as lower starting

27 THANKSGIVING DAY (An official City holiday)

“This contract doesn’t meet the needs of
December our members and doesn’t measure up to
contracts negotiated by other City unions...”

Photo by Charles Brown

Union Office, 817 Broadway, 12th Floor, Manhattan President Faye Moore


School of the Future, 127 East 22nd Street, Manhattan salaries and loss of the floating holiday for new
employees. “This contract doesn’t meet the needs President Faye Moore speaks against the contract at
MEETING, 6:30 p.m., Union Office, 817 Broadway, of our members and doesn’t measure up to con- the final bargaining session as Vice Presidents
12th Floor, Manhattan tracts negotiated by other City unions,” said Anthony Wells and Beverly Mallory-Brown look on.
Moore. “I still feel that we’re being treated as sec-
ond-class citizens.” demands is scheduled for a Special Membership
The contract also includes .10 percent which will be Meeting on January 5. The SSRT Contract must be
applied to additions to gross, such as assignment dif- ratified before the second-year four percent
ferentials and longevity steps, based on salaries as of increase can be paid.
December 31, 2007. The increase, which will come to
8.16 percent, will become effective on the last day of
the contract, March 2, 2010. There is no retroactivity.
SSRT Bargaining Process
SSRT Bargaining Process Begins The Union’s Negotiations office is soliciting
Now that a tentative economic agreement has demands for the Social Service and Related
been reached by DC 37 and the City, Local 371 is Titles contract bargaining, which will begin
gearing up for negotiations on the Social Service early next year. After they are compiled and the
and Related Titles Contract. No additional money Bargaining Committee has met to discuss them,
was negotiated this round to addresst the needs of the demands will be printed in the December
Unit Bargaining. The Union is soliciting negotiat- 2008 issue of The Unionist. The membership
ing demands and Union Chapters will be electing will meet to vote on the demands at a member-
the representatives to the Bargaining Committee in ship meeting on January 5, 2009. Demands
early December (see notices below). Once the should be submitted in writing to Anthony
demands are approved by the Bargaining Com- Wells, vice president of negotiations, SSEU
Published monthly except for a combined issue in July/August by mittee they are expected to be published in the
the Social Service Employees Union Local 371, District Council 37,
Local 371, 817 Broadway, NY, NY 10003.
AFSCME, AFL-CIO. Subscription Price $2.00 annually. Periodical December issue of The Unionist. Voting on the
postage paid at New York, N.Y.
POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: The Unionist, SSEU
Local 371, 817 Broadway, New York, New York 10003.
USPS# 348990 (212) 677-3900
15-Day Election Notices
President The following Chapter Meetings are scheduled to nominate and elect representatives to the Collec-
Faye Moore tive Bargaining Committee for upcoming contract negotiations. All meetings will be held at the Union
Executive Vice President
Yolanda Pumarejo Office, 817 Broadway, Manhattan:
Joe Nazario
6:30 p.m., nomination and election of two Delegates and four Alternates.
V.P. Negotiations & Research
V.P. Organization & Education
Beverly Mallory-Brown
AGENCIES CHAPTER, 6:30 p.m., nomination and election of one Delegate and two Alternates.
V.P. Grievances & Legal Services Monday, December 1, 2008, BUREAU OF CHILD WELFARE EMPLOYEES CHAPTER, 6:30 p.m.,
Lloyd Permaul
V.P. Legislation and Political Action
nomination and election of five Delegates and ten Alternates.
Michelle Akyempong Tuesday, December 2, 2008, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH EMPLOYEES CHAPTER, 6:30 p.m., nomi-
V.P. Publicity & Community Relations
Michelle Conklin nation and election of one Delegate and two Alternates.
Trustees Tuesday, December 2, 2008, SHELTERS AND INSTITUTIONAL EMPLOYEES CHAPTER, 6:30 p.m.,
Michael Ballesteros
Yolanda DeJesus nomination and election of three Delegates and six Alternates.
Melva Scarborough
Tuesday, December 2, 2008, COMMUNITY SERVICE WORKERS CHAPTER, 6:30 p.m., nomination
Martin Fishgold and election of one Delegate and two Alternates.
Director of Communications
Photographer 6:30 p.m., nomination and election of one Delegate and two Alternates.
Charles Brown
Metro NY Thursday, December 4, 2008, SOCIAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES CHAPTER, 6:30 p.m., nomination and
Editorial Associate Labor
Jessica Ramos Communications election of five Delegates and ten Alternates.
Visit us on the Web at p.m., nomination and election of one Delegate and two Alternates.

November 2008

Barack Obama Elected President

Continued from page 1 Union members Maxine Francis, Michelle Woody
and Associate Treasurer Andrea Walters went to
the street in my neighborhood and the feeling was Philadelphia. “It was a great experience to be part
joy and disbelief. This is what all the sacrifices over of history,” Walters said. “We knocked on doors of
the decades were about. People were there of every union members and everyone was excited to have
color and of all ages. And the victory was unambigu- us come.” Assistant to the President John Talbutt
ous – clear and graceful. The last eight years have spent time in Allentown, Pa. Editorial Associate Jes-
been so hard on workers, on unions, on the ability to sica Ramos served as Queens Regional Director for
organize. Obama won and then he reached out and New York Latinos for Obama.
said, ‘Let’s come together and work on our problems In State races, Union members worked on a num-
together.’ It is finally a time for optimism.“ ber of campaigns. All Local-backed candidates
Many, many union members and staff worked won. Local 371 and the DC 37 Retirees were early
tirelessly for Obama, traveling to neighboring states major supporters of Joe Addabo, Jr. in his victory
to knock on doors, making phone calls and getting over Serphin Maltese for a Senate seat from Queens.
out the vote. Union Vice President of Political Action Inez Barron won in Assembly District 40, Kevin
Michelle Akyempong served as a labor coordinator Parker in Senatorial District 21 and Eric Adams in
for Obama in Staten Island. “I want to thank all of Senatorial District 20. Local 371 first backed Mal-
our members who did so much in this campaign. I colm Smith, who is running to become the new
am ecstatic about Obama’s win. Martin Luther King, Majority Leader in the Senate, when no one else Knocking on doors for Obama on election day in
Jr. and Bobby Kennedy both envisioned this great did. “We were there at the beginning,” said Moore. Philadelphia are (l-r) Local 371 Activists Maxine Francis,
moment in history. Obama will bring about a If Smith is selected as Leader, former Union Vice Associate Secretary Treasurer Andrea Walters, and Union
change in the country for all working people. I am President Diane Savino will be the new Assistant Trustee Michelle Woody. Homeowner is second from left.
so proud to have worked on his campaign.” Majority Leader and the head of a major committee.
“The people of New York, from one end to the campaign of Michael McMahon, who won the Con-
other, voted for change. This was the year, not only gressional seat vacated by Representative Vito Fossella.
in Washington, but in Albany as well, ” Savino said. “It was a great overall victory,” Akyempong said.
In Staten Island, Union members also worked on the
Union Campaigns —Linda Schleicher
to Stop NYCHA Educational Fund Offers Supervisor Prep Course
From Closing 18 The Educational Fund will offer a Civil Service Examination Preparation Course for the Child Protective Spe-
cialist Supervisor Exam No. 8556, Supervisor I (Social Services) Exam No. 8570 and Supervisor I ( Social Work)
Centers and Laying Exam No. 8571. All three exams are scheduled for 1/31/09. The course will consist of 5 classroom sessions. There
Off Workers will be two sections. Please fax or mail in the registration coupon. Unless you are contacted by the Fund you may
assume that your registration has been approved for the section you selected, you need not call to confirm.
Despite an announcement in early November by Section I Section II
Mayor Michael Bloomberg that the New York City Monday evening December 29, 2008 Tuesday evening January 6, 2009
Housing Authority would be closing 18 Community Monday evening January 5, 2009 Tuesday evening January 13, 2009
Monday evening January 12, 2009 Tuesday evening January 20, 2009
Centers and laying off 200 workers, 165 of them
Monday evening January 19, 2009 Tuesday evening January 27, 2009
Local 371 members, to address a $200 million budget Monday evening January 26, 2009 Friday evening January 30, 2009
shortfall, the Union is continuing its campaign to stop
the cuts. Location — P.S. 41 (Auditorium), 116 West 11th St. (off the corner of 6th Ave.), New York, NY
“These cuts are unconscionable,” said Local 371 Transportation — Subway to 14th Street Station (Trains #s 1, 2, 3 , V, F and L)
President Faye Moore. “I am calling on NYCHA, our
Time — 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.
city and state legislators, and community organizations
to stop this move that will do further damage to our Fax (212) 673-3813 or mail registration to:
most vulnerable citizens. We will use all means at our SSEU Local 371 Educational Fund, 817 Broadway, New York New York 10003
disposal to stop this attack on services to the residents
Information must be clearly printed to be processed
of public housing. The entire community depends on
these programs to provide positive, safe outlets for Name ____________________________________________________________
Print Last First
young people.”
NYCHA is required to notify the Union 45 days in Social Security Number_____________________
advance of any layoffs, at which time the Union would Home Address___________________________________________________Zip_________
negotiate alternatives. NYCHA would also have to Work Phone ( )_______________________Home Phone ( )____________________
identify targeted titles and layoff units, and targeted Work Location__________________________Title______________________________
workers would have to receive a 30-day layoff notice.
The Union participated in a City Council briefing Check Section selected:
Section I____ Section II___ (check only one)
October 7, organized by Rosie Mendez, chair of the
Council’s Public Housing Authority Committee, and If you have any further questions, please contact the Educational Fund at (212) 777-9000 ext. 3065
Councilmembers James Vacca, Erik Martin Dilan and
Please return coupon by December 5, 2008
Maria del Carmen Arroyo on the proposed cuts. We
have produced a button, pictured above, that is being Members MUST pick up the manuals for the classes at the Union’s Welfare Fund Office
distributed to NYCHA workers, seniors, and families in located at 817 Broadway N.Y., 15th floor. Training manuals will be available from 8:15 AM to
5:45 PM on December 22, 2008.
the 343 NYCHA complexes that would be hurt by the
current and future closings. Please note: No manuals will be distributed at the classes.

The Unionist

O ver 200 Delegates from agencies
throughout the City attended the first of
two Delegate Training sessions on
Saturday, November 8. (The second ses-
sion was scheduled for November 15.) President
Faye Moore welcomed all the Delegates and
stressed the important role they play in the Union’s
make sure you have the last word.”
The Grievances and Legal Services section high-
lighted common grievances filed by Union mem-
bers, among them out- of -title work assignments,
payroll discrepancies, and unprofessional behavior
by a manager. Vice President Lloyd Permaul noted
an increase in disciplinaries issued for improper use
success. “We depend on our delegates to report of an agency computer to check information not
back to us. You are our eyes and ears at our mem- related to their own work.
bers’ locations. It is no secret we are in battle mode Vice President Beverly Mallory-Brown and
and this Union needs to be well-informed,” said Local 371 organizers informed Delegates of their
Moore. Following Moore’s opening remarks, other rights and duties when representing members.
Union officers and staff presented a brief overview Under the Weingarten rights, Union members are
of their section’s functions and responsibilities. All entitled to be accompanied by a Union representa-
urged Delegates to maintain good communication tive during incident interrogations; refusal of this
with the Union. right is unlawful. A skit pre-
After lunch, Delegates split up into three groups sented by organizers Aubrey
and heard presentations from the Research and Norris and Jose Velez dis-
Negotiations section, the Grievances and Legal Ser- played harassment at the
vices section, and the Organization and Education workplace and then
section. Each section concluded with a Question explained how to cope with
and Answer session. such working conditions.
Vice President of Research and Negotiations At the conclusion of the last
Anthony Wells led his section’s presentation along hour session, Delegates were
with Research and Negotiations staff members reminded that the second
Glenda Lee, Rose Lovaglio and Sladee Cole. He Delegate Training session on
informed Delegates of the contract bargaining pro- November 15 would cover
cess and how to deal with management in case of more information including Health and Safety.
discord. Wells advised, “Don’t let a manager tell Clockwise from top President Faye Moore, Associate
you what your Union knows. They do not know
– Jessica Ramos Welfare Fund Administrator Helen Wilson,
Communications Director Linda Schleicher, VP of
more about your contract than you do. Always
Political Action Michelle Akyempong and Secretary
Treasurer Joe Nazario.

Youth and
Davis ask
Union Organization Section (l-r): Adrienne Miller, Magda Santos, Ron Moore, Joe Locust, VP question
Beverly Mallory-Brown, Aubrey Norris, Jose Velez, Amador Suarez and Lisa Turner. other Del
Executive VP Yolanda Pumarejo speaks with Delegates. look on.
Photos by Charles Brown

Union Grievance Staff (l-r): VP Lloyd Permaul, Robert Jordan,

Peta Gaye Jaimeson, Patrick Verone, Dempsey Phillips, Jon Peek
and Reuben Adeshuko.
4 Delegates listen to presentation.
November 2008

NING: Strengthening
Union Leadership

ment of

VP of Negotiations Anthony Wells responds to questions as section staff looks

Delegate Ermanie on; (r-l) Glenda Lee, Rose Lovaglio and Sladee Cole.
Delegate Margaretta Mormon asks a question.
participates in discussion.

The Unionist

Bits &

Photos by Charles Brown

Women’s Committee Event

Above pictured (l-r) are Local 371 V.P. Michelle Conklin, Local 371 President Faye Moore,
Assemblyman Matthew Titone, N.Y. State Senator Diane Savino, parade founder/CEO
Bobby Digi, Local 371 V.P. Michelle Akyempong, parade Grand Marshal/President of the
Staten Island Chapter of the NAACP Ed Josey, Committee Head/Local 371 Grievance Rep.
Reuben Adeshuko, and Deputy Grand Marshals Tara L. Martin, N.Y. Field Director, Obama Reuben Adeshuko, a
for America, and Rose Kingston, Founder/Director of Century Dance Complex (CDC). Local 371 Grievance
Photo by Charles Brown Represen-tative and a
Staten Island resident,
Staten Island Black Heritage Day Parade 2008 headed the committee
and played a key role in

taten Island’s 2nd Annual Black Heritage Parade took place on Saturday, organizing the event.
Speaker Jessica Penaranda addresses Union Women’s October 18, with the support of numerous politicians, local businesses
Committee as speaker Brenda Jones (center) and and community groups. The parade is organized by Island Voice, whose mission is “to act as a
Committee Co-chairs Margaretta Mormon (l) and Helen resource in promoting community development by facilitating solutions to effect positive and lasting
Wilson (r) look on. change in the lives of its constituents through Economic Empowerment opportunities, Youth
Advocacy and Training and to cultivate a positive environment of cultural pride and unity amongst
the African-American, African, and Caribbean Communities of Staten Island.”

ocal 371’s Women’s Committee event, “Safety
and Self-Protection,” on October 29 featured The parade ended at Staten Island Yankee Stadium, where Local 371 President Faye Moore gave
guest speakers Jessica Penaranda from Safe the Keynote address, followed by speeches from several elected officials and dignitaries including
Horizons and Brenda Jones from the Center for current N.Y. State Senator/former Local 371 V.P. Diane Savino. The Cultural Drummers Ensemble
Anti-Violence Education. Both women educated of Steel Bands and Talking Drums provided entertainment, along with performances by the Century
Local 371 women about safety planning and self- Dance Complex, Pink Diamonds, the First Central Baptist Choir, and others.
defense tactics in a domestic violence situation.
Penaranda advised women to pack a “go bag” in
case of an emergency, with cash and personal
documents, aside from basic necessities such as
clothing. She emphasized the importance of
Dedicated to Saving Souls
keeping a journal and having a support network avid Kayode has been helping New York
of friends and church leaders. Jones taught the City’s homeless men for nearly 20 years as
Photo by Jessica Ramos

women several blocking techniques and told them an outreach worker and Addiction
that running away and speaking up are also forms Treatment Counselor. He’s worked out of
of self-defense. She also informed the audience Pennsylvania Station, Tompkins Square Park,
that the Center for Anti-Violence Education offers Grand Central Station and
classes on a sliding scale, or based on the elsewhere. Since 1996 he
Audience members at Women’s Committee event practice
individual’s income, and free childcare. self-defense techniques. has worked in the
Brooklyn Homeless Shelter
on Nostrand Avenue,

Photo by Jessica Ramos

where he is the sole addic-
ACS Staten Island Field Office Celebrates Italian Heritage tion counselor to hundreds
of homeless men.
“Ninety percent of the

n October 10, 2008, clients are addicted to something, alcohol,
workers at the ACS Stat- cocaine, crack, heroin,” says Kayode. “My biggest
en Island Field Office success is that some of my clients have turned
pulled together to celebrate their lives around.”
Italian heritage in a big way. Kayode, who emigrated to New York from
With the goal of promoting Nigeria in 1977, says his mother was a great influ-
“cultural awareness through- ence on him. “My mother liked to take care of
out the agency . . . to highlight people less fortunate than she was. She said that
Photo by Charles Brown

and promote the achievements whatever you do for other people, God will pay
and accomplishments of Ital- back to your children.”
ians,” the afternoon event Kayode, who is also a pastor in Marantha
included the Honorable Judge Baptist Church in Brooklyn, has five children and
Porzio as guest speaker, an has been married for 25 years to Adunni Cecilia
Italian buffet lunch, a comedian, Italian dancers, Italian Heritage Committee, which included Kayode, a Local 371 member who works in
and elaborate displays of Italian heritage and Victoria Brunetti, William Colavito, Trudy Queens as a Fraud Investigator II. In the family
culture. Prizes were raffled off, and each partici- Cristallo, Pat Ditmore, Grace Festa, Mary Fitch, tradition, his oldest daughter is attending school
pant received a cookbook of Italian recipes, com- Janis Formisano, Laura Gold, Emelia Ippolito, for her MSW degree.
piled by the committee. The event was a great Pat Matarrese, Carol Meduri, Eileen Moclaire, Kayode is in his late 50s but has no plans to
morale-booster for all involved. Dawn Picone, Alice Pietracatella, Marie Regula, retire, even though his work has become more
Committee Chairperson Andrea Liota is pic- Kathy Roda, Angela Schiavone, Robert Salemi, difficult because of staffing shortages. “This is my
tured with many of the members of the ACS Frank Schulz, and Lisa Warren. passion,” he says, “to help more people regard-
less of where they come from.”
November 2008

Important Notice From SSEU Local 371 Welfare Fund About

Your Prescription Drug Coverage and Medicare
P lease read this notice carefully and keep it
where you can find it. This notice has infor-
mation about your current prescription drug cov-
You can keep your current coverage from the
Fund. However, because your coverage is non-
creditable, you have decisions to make about Medi-
have to wait until the following November to join.

What Happens To Your Current Coverage If

erage with the SSEU Local 371 Welfare Fund and care prescription drug coverage that may affect You Decide to Join A Medicare Drug Plan?
about your options under Medicare’s prescription how much you pay for that coverage, depending If you decide to join a Medicare drug plan, your
drug coverage. This information can help you on if and when you join a drug plan. When you current Fund coverage will not be affected.
decide whether or not you want to join a Medicare make your decision, you should compare your cur- For More Information About This Notice Or
drug plan. Information about where you can get rent coverage, including what drugs are covered, Your Current Prescription Drug Coverage…
help to make decisions about your prescription with the coverage and cost of the plans offering Contact Funds Administrator John Brown at (212)
drug coverage is at the end of this notice. Medicare prescription drug coverage in your area. 777-9000 for further information. You will also get
There are three important things you need to Read this notice carefully - it explains your options. another notice before the next period when you can
know about your current coverage and Medicare’s join a Medicare drug plan, and if this coverage
When Can You Join A Medicare Drug Plan? through the SSEU Local 371 Welfare Fund changes.
prescription drug coverage:
You can join a Medicare drug plan when you You also may request a copy of this notice at any time.
Medicare prescription drug coverage became
first become eligible for Medicare and each year For More Information About Your Options
available in 2006 to everyone with Medicare. You
from November 15th through December 31st. Under Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage…
can get this coverage if you join a Medicare Pre-
scription Drug Plan or join a Medicare Advantage When Will You Pay A Higher Premium More detailed information about Medicare plans
Plan (like an HMO or PPO) that offers prescription (Penalty) To Join A Medicare Drug Plan? that offer prescription drug coverage is in the
drug coverage. All Medicare drug plans provide at Since the coverage under the Fund’s Prescrip- “Medicare & You” handbook. You’ll get a copy of
least a standard level of coverage set by Medicare. tion Drug benefit is not creditable, depending on the handbook in the mail every year from Medi-
Some plans may also offer more coverage for a how long you go without creditable prescription care. You may also be contacted directly by Medi-
higher monthly premium. drug coverage, you may pay a penalty to join a care drug plans. For more information about
The SSEU Local 371 Welfare Fund (“Fund”) has Medicare drug plan. Starting with the end of the Medicare prescription drug coverage:
determined that the prescription drug coverage last month that you were first eligible to join a Visit
offered by the the Fund’s Prescription Drug benefit Medicare drug plan but didn’t join, if you go 63 Call your State Health Insurance Assistance Pro-
is, on average for all plan participants, NOT expected continuous days or longer without prescription gram (see the inside back cover of your copy of the
to pay out as much as standard Medicare prescrip- drug coverage that’s creditable, your monthly pre- “Medicare & You” handbook for their telephone
tion drug coverage pays. Therefore, your coverage is mium may go up by at least 1% of the Medicare number) for personalized help.
considered Non-Creditable Coverage. This is impor- base beneficiary premium per month for every Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY
tant because, most likely, you will get more help with month that you did not have that coverage. For users should call 1-877-486-2048.
your drug costs if you join a Medicare drug plan, example, if you go nineteen months without cred- If you have limited income and resources,
than if you only have prescription drug coverage itable coverage, your premium may consistently extra help paying for Medicare prescription drug
from the Fund’s Prescription Drug benefit. This also be at least 19% higher than the Medicare base ben- coverage is available. For information about
is important because it may mean that you may pay eficiary premium. You may have to pay this higher this extra help, visit Social Security on the web
a higher premium (a penalty) if you do not join a premium (penalty) as long as you have Medicare at, or call them at 1-800-
Medicare drug plan when you first become eligible. prescription drug coverage. In addition, you may 772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Justice for Saigon Grill Workers

Workers at Saigon Grill Picket fo
W hen pickets appeared in front of the Saigon
Grill restaurant on University Place and 12th
Street, near Local 371 headquarters, last year,
we interviewed them and wrote a story about their hero-
ic struggle for the June 2007 issue of The Unionist (see
hortly after noon on Tue
erymen picketed the Saig
University Place betwee
in Manhattan. Carryin
labor,” “Rehire All Wo
r Better Wages
sday, June 5, 15 deliv-
on Grill Restaurant at
n 11th and 12th Streets
g signs that read “Slave
rkers,” and “Obey the
eted other established
and Our Place.
restaurants, including

Under the state minimu

entitled to receive $4.8

m wage act, workers are

5 an hour before tips and
the workers chanted, “Bo an hour without tips.
ycott Saigon Grill” and The workers, almost all
story on right). On Monday, October 20, a United States booed when customers whom are immigrants of
entered the restaurant from China, have also
. filed
District Court Judge in Manhattan awarded $4.6 million Since February, Simon
and Michelle Nget, the
Federal wage lawsuits
in Manhattan against
ers of Saigon Grill, have own- restaurants. On the
in back pay to 36 delivery workers at two Saigon Grill locked out the deliverym e of the workers, who
after the workers refused en be identified said, “W did not want to
to sign affidavits stating e want to make minimu
restaurants in Manhattan, thus justifying their long receive minimum wage.
The workers allege they
they wage, that’s all.” m
forced to accept $1.60 to were The deliverymen also
struggle for economic justice. Some of the deliverymen, claim they were fined
$2.00 an hour, and if they for
all of whom are from Fujian Province in China, were calling in sick, slammin
complained, they were g
fired. doors, and entering ord
awarded as much as $328,000 in back pay and damages. With restaurants at 620 ers into
computers 15 minutes
Amsterdam Avenue, 93 late. The
The judge, Michael H. Dolinger, also ruled that the com- men noted that they wer
e ver-
University Place and 170 bally abused by manag
pany had improperly made the deliverymen buy and 2nd Avenue (which is tem ement
- who referred to them
as “dirty
maintain the bicycles and motorbikes they used to make porarily closed), the wo
rkers dogs.” The deliverymen
say the Saigon Grill gen also
deliveries. Still to be adjudicated is the finding that er- maintain they received
Photo by Tania Gelin

ates nearly $2 million a no

medical benefits, no lun
Saigon Grill illegally retaliated against 23 delivery work- month in business and
can breaks, and were given
surely afford to pay bett no
ers by firing them when they notified the employer of er time to call their familie
their intention to file a wage complaint. “Because of the Advocacy groups like
Justice Will Be Served, Workers picket in front of the
an Saigon Grill. Chinese Staff and Wo
ruling in this case,” said Josephine Lee, an organizer advocacy group that hel rkers'
ps Association, the Nation
restaurant, hotel, deli, al
with Justice Will Be Served, an advocacy group for immi- and other service worke
rs in
Mobilization Against
different communities Sweatshops, and elected
across New York fight officials like Manhattan
grant workers, “many restaurants have already started to long hours, second-cla against Borough President Sco
ss wages, stolen tips and tt Stringer and City Cou
pay their deliverymen much better.” sweatshop conditions, other member Gale Brewer ncil
is assisting the workers have publicly displayed
gaining legal representa in support for the delive their
tion. The group has also ry workers. The courts,
pick- ever, have yet how-
to make a ruling on the

The Unionist

Local 371 Educational Fund Offers JOS Prep Course

The Educational Fund will offer a Civil Service Examination Preparation Course for the Job
Opportunity Specialist Exam No.8105 scheduled for 1/24/09. The course will consist of three class-
room sessions. There will be two sections. Please fax or mail in the registration coupon. Unless you
are contacted by the Fund you may assume that your registration has been approved for the section
Placing Classified ADS you selected; you need not call to confirm.
CLASSIFIED ADS are free to Union members and Section I Section II
agency shop fee payers. Ads must be in writing Friday Evening January 9, 2009 Friday Evening January 9, 2009
only (fax, mail, or e-mail). Include your work Friday Evening January 16, 2009 Friday Evening January 16, 2009
phone and social security number with ad copy. Friday Evening January 23, 2009 Friday Evening January 23, 2009
Please contact the Unionist’s editorial associate,
Location — Local 237 Main floor Location — P.S. 41 (Auditorium)
Jessica Ramos, at (212) 677-3900, extension
216 West 14th St. 116 West 11th Street
3011 or if you have any ques- (between 7th & 8th Ave.) (off the corner of 6th Ave.)
tions. In no instance will ads run longer than three New York , New York New York, New York
months. No real estate or business ads accepted.
The Union neither endorses nor is responsible for Transportation — Subway to 14th Street Station (Trains #s 1, 2, 3 , V, F and L)
these offerings. Time — 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

Fax (212) 673-3813 or mail registration to:

SSEU Local 371 Educational Fund, 817 Broadway, New York New York 10003
New Edition of Funds
Information must be clearly printed to be processed
Benefit Book
The new edition of the benefit book has been Name ____________________________________________________________
Print Last First
mailed to all Fund members. Members who have
not received a book should contact the Funds by e- Social Security Number_____________________
mail at Members should Home Address___________________________________________________Zip_________
include their current mailing address in their e-mail, Work Phone ( )_______________________Home Phone ( )____________________
so that a new book can be mailed to them. Work Location__________________________Title______________________________

Check Section selected:

Section I____ Section II___ (check only one)

If you have any further questions, please contact the Educational Fund at (212) 777-9000 ext. 3065
Get Well Please return coupon by December 5, 2008
Get well wishes are extended to Yasmin Martinez and
Members MUST pick up the manuals for the classes at the Union’s Welfare Fund Office located
Nena Purewal, Caseworkers at Bronx APS, recovering from at 817 Broadway N.Y., 15th floor. Training manuals will be available from 8:15 AM to 5:45 PM
dog bites suffered during a home visit. Get well wishes can on January 6th, 7th and 8th.
be sent to them at Bronx APS 1209 Colgate Avenue, Bronx,
Please note: No manuals will be distributed at the classes.
NY 10473.

Condolences are extended to Richard Albrecht, Associate Counselor I at Rikers Island, on the death of her sister, Grecia McCormick on Broadway, 14th Floor; New York, NY 10003.
Associate Fraud Investigator II, on the death of his death of his father, Solomon Cohen Reiser on September 25. Condolences are extended to Gregory Davis, JOS
mother, Lillian Albrecht. Condolences may be sent October 13. Condolences may be sent to AMKC Condolences are extended to Peta-Gaye worker at Crotona Job Center #46, on the death of
to Richard Albrecht 250 Livingston Street, 6th 18-18 Hazen Street, East Elmhurst, NY 11370. Jamieson, Local 371 Grievance Representative, on his father, Henry Daniel Davis. Condolences may be
Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11211. Condolences are extended to Julia Diatloff, the death of her father, Ezra Jamieson, on sent to Gregory Davis at Crotona Job Center #46
Condolences are extended to Irwin Reiser, Substance Abuse Counselor at Rikers Island, on the October 28. Condolences may be sent to 817 1910 Monterey Avenue, Bronx, NY 10457.

Swap, Buy & Sell

FOR SALE – 55 inch Panasonic television. cordless telephone with clock radio, large interested call Giovanny at 917-977- FOR SALE – New Jersey Nets ticket holder and agency shop fee payers in writing
TV is 5 years old with original parts. ceiling fixture, large flags, and lots more. 0012. (9) has 2 excellent seats available for the only (typewritten if possible) to THE
Asking $500.00. All serious buyers can Call Lisa at 718-430-1769. (9) 2008-2009 season. Tickets are $80 UNIONIST, 817 Broadway, New York,
FOR SALE – 1999 Dodge Caravan in good
call (718) 978-7005. (7) each. VIP Parking Pass is $10 with pur- N.Y. 10003. Include your work phone and
SWAP – Job Opportunity Specialist (JOS) at condition, AC, CD player and radio. chase of any set of same day games.
WANTED – Top cash for your old jazz, soul, Riverview Annex Model Center, 132 Mileage 150,000 miles. Price $3,500, social security number with ad copy, but
Call Michael at (646) 338-2544. (11)
R & B and gospel albums. Call Howard West 125 Street in Bronx, would like to negotiable. Call 917-627-1320 (10) work phone numbers will only be printed
at 212-873-4016. (1) swap with JOS in Brooklyn or Downtown SWAP – CPS worker at Bronx ACS, 2501 with transfer ads. In no instance will ads
Manhattan. If interested call Natela at FOR SALE – 1999 FORD TAURUS, 73K Grand Concourse would like to swap with
FOR SALE – Electrician’s meters, dolly, MILES, LIGHT BLUE SEDAN, ASKNG be run longer than three months. No real
646-206-9309 or 347-713-1117. (9) CPS in Queens. Contact Tyanda Smith estate or business ads accepted. The
lady’s size small brown borghese fake fur PRICE $2700 NEGOTIABLE, MINOR (718) 933-5087. (11)
jacket in very good condition, gift items, SWAP – Caseworker at CASA X would like to REPAIRS NEEDED; CALL VIVIAN 917- Union neither endorses nor is responsible
clown collection, tie rack, never used swap with caseworker at CASA II. If 842-6948 (10) CLASSIFIED ADS are free to Union members for these offerings.