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  Public Employee Press

PEP Dec 2006
Table of Contents
  La Voz

Public Employee Press

DC 37 team averts layoffs of 141 members

One hundred 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 holiday.

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 workers.

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 union’s 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.

Ms. Roberts, 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 layoffs.

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Health Committee Joel Rivera and was able to have the layoffs postponed, with the hope that they would eventually be rescinded.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 union’s victory.

— Alfredo Alvarado




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