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Volume 41 Number 6 June 2011

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

www.sseu371.org

CityTime Is a City Crime


he Bloomberg administration just cant seem to get the message: this costly, inefficient systemwhich has been the bread and butter of alleged criminal elementswill never work. Last month, the Mayor did a victory dance about the legally embattled CityTime system for clocking City workers, claiming that it was fully operational. The cost of the system has skyrocketed to $700

million from $68 million, and four subcontractors have been charged with stealing $80 million from taxpayers in the process. Just days after City Hall gave itself a pat on the back, it was revealed that SAIC, the primary contractor on CityTime, terminated the senior project manager for CityTime, Gerard Denault. As Comptroller John Liu told reporters, the company said he violated SAICs policies and standards

with respect to timekeeping practices while working on CityTime. He routinely billed hours to the CityTime project that he did not in fact work. He was then arrested and charged in Manhattan Federal court with fraud conspiracy and money laundering. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara accused Denault of taking
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June 14: Gearing Up to Fight Back

DC 37 activists from many different locals got prepped on bringing out members to the big rally.

SSEU LocaL 371 Delegates, along with their sisters and brothers in other locals, descended on DC 37 headquarters for a pep-rally June 1 to prepare for a major City Hall demonstration against the Bloomberg administrations budget cuts.

The June 14 action, which was scheduled to take place as the Unionist went to press, is the result of municipal workers coming together to send a unified message to the Mayor that instead of laying off dedicated City workers who serve

New Yorkers, he should instead get rid of the wasteful private contractors who are leeching off the taxpayers, some of whom have been accused by Federal prosecutors of stealing millions of dollars.
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Update in Bell/Adams Case


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Remembering Charles Ensley


Pages 4-7

Pushing the Assault Bill


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CALENDAR
JUnE
22 Committee for Concerned Social Workers/Political Action Committee: 6:30 p.m. Union Office, 12th Floor 27 Latino Heritage Committee: 6:30 p.m. Union Office, 12th Floor 29 Civilians in Law Enforcement Chapter Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Union Office, 15th Floor

The Gloves Are Off


he budget battle has begun, and once again, City Hall has decided social services are going to take a substantial hit. The Mayor plans to layoff 39 Child Welfare Workers who help teenage parents in TASA finish school and take care of their babies, and work in other essential programs. He also wants to lay off 15 Juvenile Justice Workers, the very people communities depend on to help youth transition back into their homes. It is outrageous that given the Citys current budget surplus the City sees fit to cut vital services that aid working and low-income families. It is important that all members participate in the efforts to avert these layoffs. It has been said many times that right now there are attacks on workers and working families, and these layoffs are an example of that. Defending civil service, pensions, health care and wages is a part of our battle. We mobilize not just to prevent the current layoffs but to STAND UP and BE HEARD, and let the Mayor know that we will not accept any attacks on workers, our families and our rights. We stand up to demand a living wage and safe working conditions. We STAND UP, energized, organized and ready for the challenges that lay ahead. City Council averted these same cuts last year after the Union and community groups spoke out. We can win again, if members stand together and speak with one voice. That means coming out to rallies and hearings, talking to the Unions officers, reaching out to members in other work locations and, most importantly, recognizing that all City workers are united in the same struggle. As we face these challenges, we take time to celebrate the life and legacy of our late President Charles Ensley. Charles was the embodiment of a committed union leader who understood that the strength of the union is an energized and involved membership. He embraced and appreciated the diversity of the membership, but reminded us that the Union is the common ground. Charles further believed that he should do everything possible and use all the Unions resources to protect the members and the institution. We honor the memory of Charles Ensley by committing ourselves to making SSEU Local 371 a MIGHTY, MIGHTY Union. Anthony Wells

JULy
6 Executive Committee: 6:30 p.m. Union Office, 12th Floor

11 Latino Heritage Committee: 6:30 p.m. Union Office, 12th Floor 13 Womens Committee: 6:30 p.m. Union Office, 12th Floor 19 Alumni Meeting: 2 p.m. Union Office, 12th Floor 20 Delegates Assembly: 6:30 p.m. Advance Realty Building, 235 West 23rd Street in Manhattan 25 Latino Heritage Committee: 6:30 p.m. Union Office, 12th Floor

Published monthly except for a combined issue in July/ August and a Supplement in January by the Social Service Employees Union Local 371, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO. Subscription Price $2.00 annually. Periodical postage paid at New York, N.Y. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: The Unionist, SSEU Local 371, 817 Broadway, N.Y., N.Y. 10003. USPS# 348990 (212) 677-3900 ISSN# 0041-7092 President Anthony Wells Executive Vice President Yolanda Pumarejo Secretary-Treasurer Joe Nazario V.P. Negotiations & Research Rose Lovaglio-Miller V.P. Organization & Education Ingrid Beaumont V.P. Grievances & Legal Services Lloyd Permaul V.P. Publicity & Community Relations Patricia Chardavoyne V.P. Legislation & Political Action Michelle Akyempong Trustees Vincent Ciccarello Yolanda DeJesus Melva Scarborough Editor Ari Paul Visit us on the web at www.sseu371.org

Have Questions? Get in Touch!


Do you have a question for the Unions officers? Do you have an idea for SSEU Local 371s leadership? Is something happening in the field that we need to know about? Our ears are open, and we want to hear from you, whether its about issues in the field, on location, or at the Union office. Please direct questions to the Vice President of Publicity and Community Relations Patricia Chardavoyne at pchardavoyne@sseu371.org or call the Unions main switchboard.

The Unionist | June 2011

CityTime Is a City Crime


Continued from page 1

$5 million in kickbacks and redirecting $450 million in City dollars to a shell company. It is deeply disturbing that while he was hired to help cut costs and save money, in reality, Gerard Denault was allegedly ripping city taxpayers off to pad his own pockets, Bharara said in a statement. Unions including SSEU Local 371 have long argued that there was no problem with the previous time-keeping system, and the endeavor has only led to a waste of money during a time of budget tightening, service cuts and layoffs. Liu told DC 37 Executive Board Members that as of July 1 City workers could opt out of the palm scanning system. As for the scandal, Liu told reporters, By their own admission, this latest development now implicates, for the first time in this scandal, SAIC. The very company entrusted by our City to build a timekeeping system for NYC employees has grossly mismanaged their own time

keeping, and in the process over charged the city for sums of moneystill to be determined. He added, This is a sad day for the New York City taxpayer. With the proposed budget cuts looming, we at least need to tightly manage expensive outside consultants.

We Told You So
SSEU Local 371 Vice President for Research and Negotiations Rose LovaglioMiller said, Weve said all along that this system was unnecessary and would cost the City much more than it was worth. But the Mayor chose to ignore us. Lets hope hes thinking about that right now. According to the Wall Street Journal, eight people have now been arrested in connection with the CityTime project; one defendant has died, and another has already pleaded guilty and agreed to help prosecutors with the case. And yet, Mayor Bloomberg has the

nerve to say, We actually did a pretty good job here, in retrospect. This, from a two-term Mayor who ran on what he called a record fiscal responsibility. Even before the Federal charges and overspending came up, Lovaglio-Miller said, SSEU Local 371 members and other City workers had complained that the system was shorting them on their hours worked, resulting in paychecks that did not accurately reflect how much time they put into their jobs. To be fair, SAIC has said that it will refund the City nearly $2.5 million in what the Denault improperly billed. But as Lovaglio-Miller said, City Hall had every opportunity to avoid this entire predicament.

JUNE 29: Support Bell and Adams!


The next big court date for Chereece Bell and Damon Adams is June 29 in the tragic Marchella Pierce case. In the past, members have packed the courtrooms in support of these former members. Now they need members support more than ever. Get there early, the case starts at 9:30 a.m. The courtroom is located at 320 Jay Street in Brooklyn, 15th Floor, Part 15. Bells attorney has requested key information from the Administration for Childrens Services regarding workplace practices and directives to build her defense. The Union continues to urge members to come out to these hearings to provide emotional support for these former members, and to let the media and the people of New York City know that SSEU Local 371 will not accept this blatant case of scapegoating social service workers. The Brooklyn District Attorney charged the two former ACS workers with criminally negligent homicide, on grounds that they did not do the necessary work to prevent Little Marchella from dying at the hands of her mother who starved her last September. The Union counters that not only is this allegation dubious at best, ACS workers are overburdened with heavy caseloadssometimes dozens of cases at a timeand that cuts to the agency have resulted in workers not being able to have the proper time to devote to a case.
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EnSLEY DEnOunCES SSC BuDGET AT HEARInG President Charles Ensley told members of a City Council committee looking into deteriorating conditions in Special Services for Children that there is a desperate need for staffing increases and program improvements over and above the agencys appropriation for the proposed fiscal 1987 budget...Pointing to the 60 percent attrition rate, the yearly 10 percent growth in the number of abuse and neglect reports and the growth in the undercare caseload of 38 percent in the past year, Ensley stated that the workload has doubled over the past few years and we need to double the workforce.

25 YEARS AGO JunE 1986

15 YEARS AGO JunE 1996

STRIKInG nEWSPAPER WORKERS nEED YOuR HELP Vito Sciuto, a mailer with Teamsters Local 2040, said good-bye to his wife and children, Ashley and Vito Jr., and headed off to a picket line outside a Detroit News warehouse on the evening of October 1, 1995. That night, Sciutos head was cracked open by repeated blows from a nightstick wielded by a private security guard. He was admitted to a hospital, where the top of his scalp was stitched closed from ear to ear. Now, Sciuto may be permanently brain-damaged. His hearing may never fully return, and Gannett Knight-Ridder, owners of the Detroit News, might get away with it. PROBLEMS COnTInuE AT unHEALTHY HEALTH CLInIC The unhealthy health clinic run by Coney Island Hospital at 2201 Neptune Avenue in Brooklyn has been the recent subject of a number of television and newspaper stories...The sick windowless building on the toxic Coney Island Creek was featured in a story by reporter Melissa Russo on WNBC Channel 4 News on May 24. Russo interviewed workers, examined the shoddy ventilation system and the heavy industry located in the neighborhood, and came to the same conclusion as everyone else: The clinic should be relocated.

20 YEARS AGO JunE 1991

10 YEARS AGO, JunE 2001

FOOD PROGRAM WORKERS WIn BACK PAY, AWAIT PROMOTIOnS Five workers in the citywide Office of Food Programs and Policy Coordination were recently paid thousands of dollars in back money after the Union won an out-of-title work grievance on their behalf. The settlement, dated February 15, recognized the Senior Community Liaison Workers as Principal Community Liaison Workers, since 1988, and paid them as such. The five are still waiting for promotions to the higher title agreed to by the City in the Stipulation of Settlement.
June 2011 | The Unionist

his month marks one year since the passing of Charles Ensley, who led SSEU Local 371 members in a quarter-century fight against management assaults as well as problems within the labor movement, and continues to be an inspiration for this Union every day. Elected in 1982, Ensley was tireless in his efforts to organize members and to expose wider injustices in the City. In 1986, he helped the New York Times cover the overcrowding in the child welfare system that was overburdening SSEU Local 371 members. And under his leadership the Union saved several important programs, such as the Community Alternative Systems Agency and the Division of AIDS Services (on three separate occasions, no less). All the while, he was defending the rights of civil servants and fighting City Halls efforts to reduce and outsource services. And he increased the size of the Union from 8,000 members when he

Remembering charles Ensley

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took the helm to more than 17,000 when he retired.

Protecting Civil Service


Protecting the merit and fitness system of civil service and combating patronage and corruption was the hallmark of Charles Ensleys leadership, said Larry Glickson, a former Vice President and close advisor. He was able to make the connection between the workers and the people we serve. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Ensley brought his skills from the civil rights struggle in the South to the municipal labor movement in New York City. Known for never backing down from a fight against a Mayorwhether it was Ed Koch, David Dinkins or Rudy Giuliani Ensley believed that members should never get less than they deserved. When DC 37 brought home a contract he thought shortchanged social service employees, he led a campaign to vote it down. And when DC 37 found itself the subject of a large criminal investigation, he was proactive in reforming the institution for the better. Diane Silver, the Unions Shelter Chapter Chair, recalled that Ensleys leadership was key to fighting privatization in homeless services. I will always be grateful to Ensley for being on the frontlines to keep these vital services staffed by dedicated civil servants, she said. The Unions Executive Vice President, Yolanda Pumarejo, said recently, He was my mentor and friend. Charles inspired members no matter who they were or where they worked. His honesty and integrity was never compromised. His commitment to the labor movement was immeaJune 2011 | The Unionist

surable. His core principle was that the Union was our common ground. And for 26 years Charles led this Union in a member-driven style and afforded me the opportunity to learn and understand the true meaning of leadership and unionism. Shirley Gray, a Union staffer, recalled, He trained me as a grievance rep. He taught me everything about being an active union member. He was an outstanding and outspoken example of leadership, and above all, an unforgettable friend. VP of Grievances Lloyd Permaul, who started working at the Union as a Grievance Representative in 1996, recalled, Charles taught me from the very beginning that the Union is about the membership, not any one individual. No single person is more important than the membership. Since Ensleys retirement and then unfortunate death, I have remained vigilant to en-

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1. Thousands march on HRA

sure that his legacy of members first remains at the forefront of this mighty Union. He added that Charles was a kind and loving teacher and protective big brother. Ensley inspired members and leaders of other unions, especially the ones working closely with SSEU Local 371. Social work is a caring profession, but in City service it is also very tough, said Bob Croghan, Chairman of the

headquarters in 1992 in defense of the civil service system. in 1984 over understaffing at Special Services for Children.

2. Ensley confronts Mayor Koch

3. Members cheer the saving of


CASA at City Hall, 1992.

Organization of Staff Analysts. A social work union, therefore, must be both caring and tough. Charles made sure that SSEU Local 371 lived up
Continued on page 7

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Remembering c

4. Ensley leads ACS workers in 2006 against the scapegoating of members


after the death of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown.

7. South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela and Ensley share a


moment in the summer of 1990 at the AFSCME convention.

5. Ensley tells Mayor Dinkins to stop closing Fire Salvage units. 6. Ensley at a rally in Union Square in 1999 protesting Mayor Giulinis
regressive homeless policies.

8. Coretta Scott King (second from left) leads a singing of We Shall

Overcome with Ensley during a 1986 celebration of MLKs life in Atlanta.

The Unionist | June 2011

charles Ensley
Continued from page 5

to its reputation. Union member Kathie Sabate recalled how memorable Ensleys speeches could be, and that she thinks about his words and his charisma whenever she thinks about the challenges Union members are facing today. I can just hear him say, Stick with your Union. Former VP Linda Schleicher recalled the times Charles would get angry when reading the newspapers about the right wing attacks on unions.

I know he would ask Union members to be informed and to be proud of the work they do. She emphasized that he also knew how to have a good time with the members. He was politically savvy, funny and generous. He loved a good time but he never waivered in his belief in the Union and its members. Reggie Styles, the current Executive Assistant to the President, said Charles always referred to me as the son, and I will always remember him as my Union father.

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June 2011 | The Unionist 7

Celebrating

he DC 37 Jewish Heritage Committee held its annual event June 2, and, oy, what a good time! Members were treated to a traditional klezmer clarinet performance, a set of songs by a Jewish youth group, Borscht

Belt comedy by Freddie Roman, and a traditional spread of Jewish cuisine. The focus of this years event was on the role Jews have played throughout not only New York City history, but American history, and the role they have played and continue to play in the labor movement.

Theres a word Jews often use to describe their commitment to things like workers rightsTzedakah, a Hebrew word for justice or fairness. Diane Silver, one of the co-chairs of the SSEU Local 371 Jewish Heritage Committee, said she was almost overwhelmed by the turnout and the show of appreciation members had for all the performances. SSEU Local 371 President Anthony Wells said, This is a time when our Union reflects on how Jewish labor activists brought their ideals of social justice and equality to the early days of our Union, and to the labor movement as a whole.

Joseph Vicinanza

Diane Silver

Freddie Roman

Members got a kick out of some real Catskills Comedy.


8 The Unionist | June 2011

Dave Sanders

Joseph Vicinanza

Jewish Heritage

The event featured a range of Jewish music.

Joseph Vicinanza

Dave Sanders

June 2011 | The Unionist

Joseph Vicinanza

Members to Council: Restore These Jobs!

he Mayor tried to get away with it last year, but the City Council wouldnt let him. Now, the Bloomberg administration is trying once again to cut vital social services through layoffs in a sector that has already been cut to the bone. On June 6, SSEU Local 371 President Anthony Wells, joined by other labor leaders, testified before a City Council panel, urging the lawmakers to restore funding to save 39 Child Welfare Workers and 14 Juvenile Justice Workers. This funding is vital to prevent these workers from losing their jobs and to maintain necessary and vital services within the Administration for Childrens Services, Wells said. In addition to testifying, with members

SSEU Local 371 President Anthony Wells addresses City Council Members.

packed into the gallery, Wells and other Union officers have met with Council Finance Chair Domenic Recchia and Council Speaker Christine Quinn to find ways to avert these cuts. Wells continued, Every year since 2008, the Mayor has targeted child welfare services for cuts, putting vulnerable children

and families at even greater risk. In these tough economic times, as families continue to struggle, we cannot allow the Mayor to cut the Citys most important safety needs or neglect the Citys most vulnerable populationits children. To see Wellss full testimony, please visit the Unions website.

June 14: Gearing Up to Fight Back


Continued from page 1

We never took it before, and were not going to take it anymore, said Clifford Koppelman, DC 37s Secretary, referring to both the Bloomberg administrations proposed cuts and the nationwide assault on public-sector workers rights. Activists, Shop Stewards and Delegates from various locals including SSEU Local 371 mingled and spoke with Organizers about how to prepare for the massive rally. In years past, the District Council has brought as many as 25,000 union supporters to such demonstrations.

Bring Everyone
Your job is to come out there with 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 people, DC 37 Associate Director Oliver Gray told the participants, urging them to go back to their work locations and organize rank-and-file members to join together to voice their anger at the administration. SSEU Local 371, like its parent union and many other municipal labor organizations, maintains that not only is the City not in financial trouble and that the real waste is not in civil service employment but in wasteful contracts. DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts said during the pep rally that City Hall
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Members received t-shirts and literature during the event at DC 37 headquarters, and got the chance to meet workers from different agencies and locals.

currently has 17,000 different contracts worth nearly $10 billion. If [Bloomberg] can do that hes going to give us a raise, thats whats going to happen, she said, adding that DC 37 has already submitted a request to begin collective bargaining with the City. Roberts also said that the Bloomberg administrations cuts were not just an attack on City workers but on the citizens who depend on the services these workers provide, many of whom are low-income

and working class people. She said the struggles of both service recipients and civil servants were one in the same: We have members in the shelters, we have members in the projects. Organizers equipped members with rally t-shirts, buttons and other paraphernalia in preparation for the rally. The more members show up and defend their rights and the services New Yorkers rely on, the more likely labor will triumph over greed.
The Unionist | June 2011

Pat Arnow

Eddie Rodriguez Takes DC 37 Presidency

Know Your Rights


In the event you are called to be interviewed by someone outside your normal supervisory chain of command regarding a matter that may lead to disciplinary action, you have important legal rights. You have the right to receive notice of the interview in writing at least two days in advance of the interview date. You have a right to receive a written statement of reasons for the interview, except under unusual circumstances of emergency or where confidentiality is legitimately required. Most importantly, you are entitled to Union representation, or representation by Union attorneys, at any such meeting. If you request to exercise these rights and are denied them, no statement you make at any interview may be used against you in any subsequent proceeding. If you are notified that you are required to appear at any such interview you should immediately contact the Union to be provided with appropriate advice and representation. You should not ignore these important rights that the Union has negotiated for you, but instead take advantage of them. Contact Lloyd Permaul, Vice President of Grievances, at (212) 598-7058 or at lpermaul@sseu371.org.

ddie Rodriguez, the president of DC 37 Local 1549 and the newly elected President of the District Council, considers SSEU Local 371 to be like his locals cousin. When Rodriguez started working at the Human Resources Administration in 1972, he recalled, his local always worked closely with SSEU Local 371 on labor issues. Any issue at the work location, if we had a fight-back against management, we stuck together, Rodriguez told the Unionist. A rally, anything. Its great.

Side by Side
Local 1549, one of the largest in DC 37, represents thousands of clerical workers, many of whom work side by side with social service workers and other SSEU Local 371 members in nearly every City agency, often doing the critical support work the Unions members rely on. And this is why SSEU Local 371 members should be thrilled to see someone so close to their Union so close to the top at DC 37. He has vowed to work tirelessly with local leaders to organize against the severe budget cuts and layoffs that will cripple civil service and roll back vital social services for those who need them most. Were going to fight back, whatever it takes: rallies, a public ad, press conferences, Rodriguez said. Were going to do things together to defeat this Mayor, and not just the Mayor, but the Governor too. Bringing together all the members of DC 37 can be a challenging task, but Rodriguez thinks the time is ripe for unity. He pointed to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walkers attack on public-sector unions, which caused unions that were once split

A friend at the top.

from each other to come together for a common cause. He sees something similar going on here in the City, and the rest of the state. Its going to be all 55 locals, he said. What impacts one impacts all of us.

Congratulations
Congratulations to former SSEU Local 371 VP Bobbie Rabinowitz on winning this years Joe Hill Award from the Great Labor Arts Exchange for her years of activism and for founding the Labor Chorus.

Save the Dates


SSEU Local 371 Health and Safety Representative Deborah Williams will speak June 23 at 9:00 a.m. to noon on bed bugs at the workplace, at an event co-sponsored by the Central Labor Council and the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. The address is 275 Seventh Avenue, Room 1644, in Manhattan. The Committee for Concerned Social Workers and the Political Action Committee are sponsoring a joint meeting June 22 with State Assembly Members Matthew Titone and City Council Member Daniel Dromm, on the campaign for marriage equality and the assault bill. It will be at the Union office on the 12th floor at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Correction
In last months issue we incorrectly listed Michael Ballesteros as a Trustee of the Local and Michelle Gaskin as a Welfare Fund Trustee. Those slots are held by Vincent Ciccarello and Michelle Blackstock respectively.

Caribbean Heritage!
At press time, the Union was prepping for its annual Caribbean Heritage event for June 17. This years speaker was slated to be former Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Roger Toussaint, a Trinidadian labor leader who made headlines in 2003 when he took workers off the subways and buses and into the streets to demand that the MTA bargain in good faith. This years entertainment is calypso performer Winston Henry, also known as Say Explainer. As usual, the event was set to include a spread of delicious West Indian cuisine. Check out the next issue of the Unionist for more coverage.

June 2011 | The Unionist

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Condolences
Condolences are extended to Sharon Owens, Caseworker at HASA Brownsville Center in Brooklyn, and her family on the death of her mother, Dessie Owens, who died April 10. Condolences may be sent to Sharon Owens at 1594 Eastern Parkway, Apt. 3C, Brooklyn, NY 11233. Condolences are extended to Sarah Lawani, Caseworker at HASA Brownsville Center in Brooklyn, and her family on the death of her father, Stephen Lawani, who died March 25. Condolences may be sent to Sarah Lawani at 142-41 122nd Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11436. Condolences are extended to Cecelia Hawkins, Caseworker at ACS/CSCFP at 66 John Street Manhattan, NY and her Family on the death of her sister, Jamesetta Lois Williams, who died May 16. Condolences may be sent to Cecelia Hawkins at 714 East 43rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11203. Condolences are extended to David Butler, AJOS1 HRA and his family on the death of his mother, Bernice Butler, who died on May 20. Condolences may be sent to David Butler at the Dept. of Fair Hearing, 14 Boerum Place, 6th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Condolences are extended to Jim Welby and his Daughter Monica on the death of his wife and her mother Maria Rivadeneira a SUP 1 in HEAP, who died on May 25. Condolences are extended to Melissa Abram, Child Welfare Specialist at Administration for Children Services in Manhattan, on the death of her grandmother, Mary York, who died May 21. Condolences may be sent to Melissa Abram P.O, Box 757, New York, NY 10272. Condolences are extended to Carmen Smith, CPS II-OSI at 110 William Street in Manhattan NY, on the death of her father, Randolph H. Isaacs, who died on May 22. Condolences are extended to Edward Okoro, CPS-OSI at 110 William Street in Manhattan on the death of his father-in-law, James Alexander Tyrell, who died on May 22. Social Service Employees Union Local 371 817 Broadway New York, N.Y. 10003

Periodicals Postage Paid at New York, NY

Assault Bill: 371 Goes to Albany


he high profile arrests of former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and former Egyptian bank head Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar have given the Hotel Trades Council great leverage with all the press attention. That union has even made some progress in creating more protections for hotel housekeepers who are vulnerable to horrific assaults. Not as much on the minds of the tabloid editors but all too familiar for SSEU Local 371 members are the same kind of threats social service employees face on the job throughout the five boroughs. Numerous assaults have been reported to the Union as of late; the Unionist reported on two separate assaults on members while on duty in April. And an ACS worker was attacked this month. Members (including three assault victims) and officers arrived in Albany June 7 to meet with the State Legislators, urging them to vote for a bill that would make assaulting a social service worker a felony offense, the same protection currently afforded to our brothers and sisters in transit, traffic enforcement and sanitation. There are two similar bills in the State Assembly and Senate that would grant SSEU Local 371 members this type of protection. The Union is in the process of working with lawmakers to fuse them into one bill that can be swiftly passed by both houses and signed by the Governor. This member-led trip to Albany was a major feature of that campaign. The presence of members in Albany really hammered home the message to these lawmakers that these hard-working civil servants are at risk every day, said Michelle Akyempong, the Unions Vice President of Legislation. I think we are making great progress with this. The Union hopes that this measure will pass before the end of the legislative session. Akyempong stressed that members should contact Assembly Member Joseph Lentol, Chair of the Codes Committee, to demand passage of the assault bill.

BULLETIN BOARD
SWAP- FSU/CPS worker at 1200 Waters Place wanting to switch, even if its not for a CPS position. Please call me at: (917) 349-2474 SWAP- AJOS1 at East River Job Center in Long Island City would like to swap with AJOS1 in Far Rockaway. If interested, please call (917) 776-1223. SWAP- JOS in HRA in Bushwick, Brooklyn is looking to swap, at any location other than the Bronx. If interested, call (917) 208-8612. FOR SALE- Multi-ex tower/Modells Exercise equipment used for push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, abs and dips. Brand new and still in shipping box. $225/negotiable. Contact Mr. Shabazz at (212) 862-5625 or (646) 626-0685.
CLASSIFIED ADS are free to Union members and agency shop fee payers in writing only (typewritten if possible) to THE UNIONIST, 817 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10003. Include your work phone with ad copy, but work phone numbers will only be printed with swap transfer ads. In no instance will ads run longer than three months. No real estate or business ads accepted. The Union neither endorses nor is responsible for these offerings.

MEMBERS

Sup II and III Exam Case


The Union May 27 filed a lawsuit against the City, challenging the Supervisor II and III (social services) exams in Manhattan Supreme Court. The basis of the challenge is that the point system created by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services gives an unfair advantage to provisional employees. SSEU Local 371 believes this violates civil service law and creates and uneven playing field for the taking of the exam. The Union will continue to keep the membership updated as this case moves forward.

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The Unionist | June 2011