Public Employee Press
DC 37 team averts layoffs
of 141 members
and thirty members of Board of Education Employees Local 372 and 11 Dental Assistants
from Health Services Employees Local 768 had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving
Union negotiations with the city during November averted 141
layoffs planned at the Board of Education. The Local 372 titles that were threatened
were Parent Teacher Coordinators, School Aides, Community Associates and cafeteria
In addition to the members of Locals 372 and 768, the other
workers targeted were Research Associates in Local 154 and clerical employees
represented by Local 1251.
Upon receiving the news of the proposed layoffs
DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts, the unions Research and Negotiations
Dept., the DC 37 Political Action Dept. and local presidents sprang into action
to do what they do best: protect the rights of union members.
Local 372 and DC 37 President Veronica Montgomery-Costa, Local 768 President Darryl
Ramsey, and DC 37 Assistant Associate Director Henry Garrido held a series of
meetings with city officials to prevent the layoffs. Among the city officials
involved in discussions were James Hanley, director of Labor Relations, Schools
Chancellor Joel Klein and Deputy Mayor for Administration Edward Skyler. DC 37
Political Director Wanda Williams also worked with City Council members to avert
The Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) planned to
lay off the 11 Local 768 members after Thanksgiving. The members were provisional
part-time employees who worked less than 35 hours a week and had limited seniority
rights, making them vulnerable to layoffs.
The DOHMH considered closing
nine portable dental clinics based in public high schools. The Oral Health Program
has been a part of city schools for 100 years.
The Political Action
Dept. enlisted the support of City Council Majority Leader and member of the Health
Committee Joel Rivera and was able to have the layoffs postponed, with the hope
that they would eventually be rescinded. The good news came on Nov.16: none of
the union members would be laid off.
These negotiations with the
city were part of a well coordinated team effort that led to a happy holiday for
the members whose jobs were on the line, Roberts said of the unions