SSA Samuels Honored With Full Inspector's Funeral

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					                                                              Local 237

                                                                                      O H R O


                                                                                                                                                        January 2006

Vol. 40, No. 1

                                                                                  I             S


                                                                                                                SSA Samuels
                                                                                                                Honored With Full
                                                                                                                Inspector’s Funeral
                                                                                                                      chool Safety Agent

                                                                                                                S     Vivian Samuels, who
                                                                                                                      had been a Local 237
                                                                                                                member for 24 years, re-
                                                                                                                ceived a full inspector’s
                                                                                                                funeral on Dec. 22, when
                                                                                                                the New York Police De-
                                                                                                                partment honored the
                                                                                                                first female peace officer
                                                                                                                to die in the line of duty. Commissioner
                                                                                                                Raymond W. Kelly, who attended the
                                                                                                                service, was quoted as saying that

                                                                                                                                                     Continued on page 6

Union Testifies to Raise SSAs’ Civil Service Status
    More than 200 school safety agents and Local
237 officials packed into a City Council hearing
room Dec. 14, with dozens more waiting in the
lobby at 250 Broadway across from City Hall, for
a hearing on the merits of placing SSAs in the
civil service competitive classes so they can
enjoy many of the same protections and benefits
as police officers and special officers.
    Local 237 Secretary-Treasurer Gregory Floyd
led the testimony at the hearing before the Com-
mittee on Civil Service and Labor chaired by
Council Member Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. Also rep-
resenting Local 237 were Recording Secretary
and Director of Political Action and Legislation
Patricia Stryker and Special Assistant George
Geller. Several SSAs testified, including Rose-
mary Colon, Vincent Lattimore, Laura Riley,
Daniel Fredericks, Paul Pass, Kangela Moore,
Michael Waldo, Arlinda Lambert, and Victoria
Chiaramonte.                                          Local 237 Secretary-Treasurer Gregory Floyd testifies at the City Council hearing as George Geller, special assis-
    The Department of Citywide Administrative         tant, and Patricia Stryker, recording secretary and director of political action, await their turn.
Services, which would have to amend the city’s
code to grant competitive status to school safety     resented more than 4,000 school safety agents             group on the chart, than is shown in the hiring of
agents attended the hearing, but the agency’s rep-    saying they are subject to rigorous training and          officers who guard New York City’s buildings, or
resentatives declined an invitation to testify.       fitness qualifications the same as other peace of-        who ticket automobiles in our streets. Both of
    Speaking before a standing room only audi-        ficers and, in addition, they protect “our chil-          these latter positions require applicants to take a
ence that spilled into the hall, Gregory Floyd rep-   dren, a precious population,” by performing dan-          formal civil service examination.”
                                                      gerous duties that include crowd control, confis-              As civilian employees of the New York Police
                                                      cating drugs, firearms and knives, and making ar-         Department since 1998, school safety agents “are
                                                      rests.                                                    not properly valued as professional peace offi-
The Catch of a Lifetime                                    “Yet I suspect the public would be amazed to         cers,” said Floyd, reciting long-held issues such
                                                      know that school safety agents are the only peace
Saves a Baby and Makes                                officers employed by New York City who are not
                                                                                                                as the annual turnover of at least 10 percent of the
                                                                                                                title and few or arbitrary promotional opportuni-
 A Local Member a Hero                                tested by a civil service exam,” said Floyd, illus-
                                                      trating his point with a chart featuring 10 of the
                                                                                                                ties,” which drives the exodus. “About 25 per-
                                                                                                                cent of SSAs are going to Corrections,” said
                   Page 4                             city’s peace officer titles. “Less care is given to
                                                      hiring school safety agents, the third largest                                                 Continued on page 3
2     NEWSLINE, January 2006

    Local 237 Member Services
UNION HEADQUARTERS                     problems, tenant rights and
216 West 14th Street                   bankruptcies.                                                   A Message From
New York, NY 10011-7296                212-924-1220                                                    the President
212-924-2000                           Office Hours:
                                       Mon. through Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
LOCAL 237 DIVISIONS                    Mary Sheridan Esq., Director
CITYWIDE DIVISION,                     Kenneth Perry Esq., Deputy

                                                                            The New Year Ushers In Changes
2nd FLOOR                                Director
Gregory Floyd, Director                COMMUNICATIONS
Civilian Unit
                                                                            And Challenges
Mal Patterson, Deputy Director         5th FLOOR
Law Enforcement Unit                   Moronke Oshin, Director
Peter Gutierrez, Assistant             Tania M. Lambert, Assistant

  Director                             Communications Director and             t had been almost 25 years — April 1980 —        pension and health care benefits has now
Al Soto, Assistant Director            Editor/Writer                           since the members of the Transit Workers         reached New York’s public employees. So far,
PREVAILING WAGE DIVISION,              Local 237 Newsline                      Union (TWU) Local 100 walked off the job         we have done a good job of preserving our
2nd FLOOR                              POLITICAL ACTION &                   and crippled the city for 11 days, that was until   benefits and fighting against givebacks, but
(Citywide and Housing)                 LEGISLATION, 6th FLOOR               December 20, 2005, when workers called a            the battle is not over. Unfortunately, we some-
Donald Arnold, Deputy Director         Local 237 protects members’          strike because the Metropolitan Transportation      times take for granted that we have a non-
HOUSING DIVISION,                      rights by helping to sponsor leg-    Authority (MTA) refused to negotiate in good        contributory health insurance, welfare fund
2nd FLOOR                              islation that is important to mem-   faith. This latest three-day strike cost New York   and annuity fund, and that we only pay a
Edmund Kane, Director                  bers, and by opposing initiatives
                                                                            City an estimated $1 billion dollars in lost rev-   nominal amount into our pension fund. We
Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island        that would hurt members.
                                       Patricia Stryker, Director           enue during the hectic Christmas shopping           must take note of how much our fringe bene-
James Giocastro, Deputy                                                     week, according to reports. In the same way         fits mean to us, because this will be the bat-
  Director                             EDUCATION DEPARTMENT,
                                                                            that TWU Local 100 members knew what was            tleground on which any new contract will be
Bronx & Manhattan                      8TH FLOOR
                                       Provides a variety of training       at risk for them personally when they voted to      fought. If employers get their way, those
Remilda Ferguson, Assistant
                                       and educational advancement          strike, so did the city and the MTA, but they       members who have not yet joined a pension
                                       opportunities for Citywide and       allowed talks to stall.                             plan will no longer have the option.
General Membership
                                       Housing Division members.                 The Taylor Law, which the State Legisla-            Last year, as unions — including Local
Jeannette Woods, Deputy
                                       212-807-0550                         ture passed in 1967 following the first TWU         237 — fought the givebacks in our contracts,
                                       Frederick Dunn, Director             strike in 1966, prohibits public employees          newspaper editorials criticized our “cushy”
                                       GRIEVANCES/DISCIPLINARY              from striking and requires public employers         fringe benefits, arguing that public employees
1727 Veterans Memorial
                                       PROBLEMS                             to recognize and negotiate in good faith with       should not be getting free health care and
Highway, Suite 308
                                       For grievances and job related       the union representatives of a bargaining unit.     funded pension since private sector workers
Islandia, NY 11749
                                       problems, first contact your shop
631-851-9800                                                                If either the public employer or the union          have long lost those fringe benefits. This
                                       steward and/or grievance repre-
John Burns, Director
                                       sentative. If they cannot resolve
                                                                            does not negotiate in good faith, the Public        month, IBM joined the parade of corporations
Kenneth R. Yurcak, Deputy                                                   Employee Relations Board (PERB), which ad-          that are replacing their traditional guaranteed
                                       the issue, they or you should
  Director                                                                  judicates, has the authority to impose stiff        pension plan with a 401(k) plan.
                                       contact your business agent.
LONG ISLAND WELFARE FUND               Debra Singer Esq., Grievance         penalties. The Taylor Law also permits union             Labor experts agree that the TWU strike
For information on the various           Coordinator                        organizing, and provides a system within            merely reflects the harsh reality that workers
Funds call:                                                                 which to resolve labor-management conflicts         everywhere are already facing a vicious attack
                                       HEALTH & SAFETY
                                       Investigates health and safety       short of striking, and establishes certain          on our wages, health and pension benefits
RETIREE DIVISION,                      hazards at work sites. To report     mandatory bargaining issues, which public           even during relative economic expansion and
8th FLOOR                              unsafe working conditions or         employers must negotiate with union repre-          regardless of the employer’s ability to pay.
Provides a variety of pre- and         serious accidents members            sentation. Permanent and system-wide
post-retirement services, includ-      must contact their shop steward      changes to the pension system is not “bar-
                                                                                                                                           What Can We Do?
ing pension and health insur-          and/or business agent.
                                                                            gainable” with an individual union under the             The TWU successfully beat back the pen-
ance counseling to members.            CIVIL SERVICE BAR                    Taylor Law. Yet, the MTA, last month, tried to      sion issue by going public, but lost the battle
(Pension counseling by appoint-        ASSOCIATION, 7th FLOOR
ment, Thursdays only). General                                              force TWU to accept a new pension plan as a         to keep health care free for members, as have
retirement counseling and              Gloria Johnson, President
                                                                            condition of their contract.                        many other unions before them — most no-
retirement planning series dur-        Aldona Vaiciunas, Office                                                                 tably those in the automobile and airline in-
ing spring and fall.
                                                                                    What’s Going On Here?                       dustries. The issue regarding TWU’s pension-
                                       Administrator and
212-807-0555                           Grievance Coordinator                     By illegally putting the pension issue on      refund side agreement is a mere distraction
Nancy B. True, Director                Saul Fishman, Business Agent         the table, we can assume the MTA wanted             from management’s central plan to get workers
LOCAL 237 DEPARTMENTS                  John Picucci, Business Agent         TWU to back down on something else: They            to pay a portion of their health care. The fact
MEMBERSHIP, 2nd FLOOR                  CSBA WELFARE FUND,                   wanted TWU workers to pay toward their              is, MTA owes about 20,000 transit workers
Provides membership services           7th FLOOR                            health insurance. The strike brought two is-        thousands of dollars for overpayments they
and records, including address         Alicare 212-538-5117                 sues to light: First, that the Taylor Law unfair-   made into their pension over several years.
changes.                               USEFUL NUMBERS FOR                   ly favors the employer, and second, that pub-            So, as we gear up for our own contract ne-
John Felder, Director                                                       lic employees in New York are now openly            gotiations, let us not lose sight of what our
WELFARE FUND,                                                               confronting an attack on their health and pen-      goal should be: to maintain our benefits. That
3rd FLOOR                              NYCERS (New York City
                                       Employees Retirement System)
                                                                            sion benefits.                                      should be our number one priority. With that
For Citywide and Housing mem-                                                    While TWU faced stiff penalties of             in mind, I can assure you Local 237 will use
bers, the Fund administers the         By Mail: 335 Adams St., Suite
                                       2300, Brooklyn, NY 11201-3751        $1 million a day for striking, and their mem-       all its resources to do that.
eligibility, enrollment, disability,
                                       In Person: 340 Jay Street,           bers faced the loss of two days pay
optical and death benefits
directly by the Fund’s in-house        Mezzanine, Brooklyn, NY 11201        for each day they were out, the Tay-
staff, as well as prescription         Gen. Information: 347-643-3000       lor Law does not fine the MTA for
                                                                                                                                                                                       Bill Kresse

and dental programs indirectly.        Outside NYC toll-free:               failing to negotiate in good faith with
212-924-7220                           877-6NYCERS                          TWU.
Paul E. Juergensen, Director                                                     As some of you may know, Local
LEGAL SERVICES PLAN,                                                        237 has been working with the state
4th FLOOR                              NYC Department of Education          AFL-CIO over the last year or two to
Lawyers advise and represent           Retirement System
                                                                            get the Legislature to correct this in-
Citywide and Housing Division          65 Court St., Brooklyn, NY
                                       11201                                equity in the Taylor Law, but it is clear
members on covered personal                                                 we have to double our efforts. Local
legal problems, including              718-935-5400
                                                                            237 intends to push this issue as a high
domestic relations (family court       Social Security Administration
proceedings, divorce and sepa-         800-772-1213                         priority with the Central Labor Council
ration), purchase and sale of a                                             and the Municipal Labor Committee.
                                       NY State and Local Retirement
primary residence, wills, adop-                                             Change is necessary now.
tions, credit and consumer             518-474-7736
                                                                                 What is going on is that the na-
                                                                            tional movement to strip workers of                                      Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Day
                                                                                                                                                 NEWSLINE, January 2006       3

Testimonies Support Competitive Status for SSAs
Continued from page 1                                  calling when SSAs were deployed
                                                       on 9/11 to evacuate schools and
Floyd, emphasizing the need for a                      civilians. “Some were in the rubble.
fair system of promotions.                             Thirty SSAs were injured at WTC
      “We’ve gone backward,” said                      and treated to Band-Aids instead of
George Geller. Agents no longer                        appropriate medical treatment.
have opportunities to advance to pa-                   Courageous people didn’t get credit.
trolman with two years experience                      We’re not offered the same benefits
on the job. This [Police] Commis-                      as peace officers.”
sioner took that opportunity away.                         Listening intently, Addabbo re-
[Raymond] Kelly said he would re-                      quested injury statistics, to which
consider, and we hope as a result of                   Floyd responded, “The NYPD won’t
this hearing he will.”                                 give me one shred of paper on the
      “Most shameful is how injured                    issue.” Addabbo also noted, for the
SSAs are treated,” said Floyd,                         record: “There’s strength in num-
adding, “There’s no such thing as an                   bers here,” as he viewed the crowd
assault injury for them in the                         of officers who overflowed the
NYPD.” He also noted that agents                       room, the halls and even the down-
are often “brow beaten” and denied                     stairs lobby, where many were
sick time or personal leave time.                      forced to remain, and where, Floyd
“The refusal to designate school                       said, he was told the NYPD was            SSAs filled the Council hearing room and spilled out into the hall.
safety as a competitive civil service                  monitoring members who came to
title is reflected in the shameful                     the hearing.                           bany. It can be done in New York.”           was that my radio wasn’t working.”
treatment of agents on the job.”                           Looking back to 2003, Floyd re-        Weighing in further with ac-             Similarly, Paul Pass, a Queens South
Floyd emphasized the issue by re-                      called that Commissioner Kelly said    counts of their front-line experiences,      agent, said he was hurt on the job
                                                       he was not opposed to competitive      school safety agents’ testimonies            and needed an operation. “I knew I
                                                       status, although Governor George       highlighted many reasons their posi-         had to use my own time, so I chewed
                Local 237                              Pataki vetoed the bill.                tion should be validated by a selec-         on Tylenols for a year.” The 17-year
      NEWSLINE                                             “I was told the chancellor had
                                                       no objection to this bill,” said Patri-
                                                                                              tion process including a formal civil
                                                                                              service examination to guarantee not
                                                                                                                                           veteran warned, “If we don’t move to
                                                                                                                                           civil service New York City is going
   216 West 14 St., New York, NY 10011
               212-924-2000                            cia Stryker, noting that the obstacle  only that the highest quality of civil       to suffer. We lost 150 members to
         Website:                     may be “fear” of paying higher         servants will protect our children but       Corrections in one command.”
  e-mail Newsline:               wages. “I believe that’s the bottom    that SSAs receive the benefits of the             Level III agent Moore said she
 Local 237 Newsline (USPS 700-000 ISSN                 line. We don’t need legislation in Al- competitive civil service titles.            passed the Corrections Department
 1083-3536) is published 10 times a year in                                                                            “We’re uni-         test and even went to their orienta-
  the following months: January, February,                                                                      formed for disci-          tion. “Jails are safer than schools,”
  March, April, May, (June, July and August
      will be combined into one issue),
                                                                                                                pline, but civilian        said Moore, who decided, neverthe-
     September, October, November and                                                                           for salary,” said          less, against switching to Correc-
           December by Local 237,                                                                               Level III agent Latti-     tions. “I love what I do, but hope
   International Brotherhood of Teamsters,                                                                      more, who has 16           things will get better.”
 216 West 14 Street, New York, NY 10011.
  Periodical postage paid at New York, NY.
                                                                                                                years of service.               Chiaramonte, an agent at Cen-
   Postmaster: Send address changes to                                                                          Level I Agent Colon        tral Headquarters Operations Unit,
 Local 237 Newsline, 216 West 14th Street,                                                                      said she was assault-      said, “We get at least three line of
             New York, NY 10011.                                                                                ed three times in her      duty injuries every day. They’re get-
              Executive Board                                                                                   five-year stint. On        ting hit with chairs and bats.” She
                                                                                                                May 5, 2005, her           added that agents are “burned out,”
                    Carl Haynes
                           President                                                                            nose was fractured         and have to do overtime to make
                                                                                                                and she suffered a         ends meet. “Most of us work Satur-
            Richard Hendershot
                    Vice President                                                                              shoulder injury. “I        days and Sunday. On Monday, I’m
                Gregory Floyd                                                                                   exhausted my sick          not late. I’m tired.”
              Secretary-Treasurer                                                                               and vacation time so            In his parting words, Addabbo
               Patricia Stryker                                                                                 I went back to work,       expressed hope that the mayor’s ad-
              Recording Secretary                                                                               even though I hadn’t       ministration would be as “gung ho
             Evaristo Pabon Jr.                        Council Member Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., makes his point. healed. One problem          as I am.”
          Noreen Hollingsworth
                                Trustee                     Radiologic Technologists Get Well-Deserved Recognition
                 Ruben Torres
                                Trustee                        Local 237 officials joined
                Newsline Staff                           members at the Department of
                                                         Health’s Bureau of Tuberculosis
  Moronke Oshin Tania M. Lambert                         Control on Nov. 4, to kick off Na-
   Managing Editor                        Editor
                                                         tional Radiologic Technology
                If you move...                           Week, which ran from Nov. 6 to 12.
  Please send your change of address in                      To mark the nationwide event,
  writing to Membership to insure that you               which celebrates the contributions
    continue receiving your newspaper.
                                                         made by radiologic technologists
     Local 237 Telephone Numbers                         to patients’ health through med-
 Citywide Division .................212-924-2000         ical imaging and radiation thera-
 Housing Division..................212-924-2000          py, union officials recognized
 Long Island Division ............631-851-9800           members with the title and pre-
 Welfare Funds .....................212-924-7220         sented them with plaques honor-
 Education Department.........212-807-0550               ing their dedication and profes-
 Legal Department ................212-924-1220           sionalism.
 Health & Safety ...................212-741-8609
                                                             Pictured here, from left, are:      Treasurer Gregory Floyd; and Radi-       Technologist Christine Jakubowski
 Retiree Division/
  Pension Counseling ..........212-807-0555              Business Agent Janie Elliott; Su-       ologic Technologists Frida Mar-          and Deputy Director Citywide Di-
 Membership.........................212-924-2000         pervisor of Radiology Services          golina; Ronald Benjamin; Shirley         vision Donald Arnold, who took
 CSBA...................................212-675-0519     Joan McKinney; Radiologic Tech-         Luck; Erica Flowers and Koshy P.         the photograph and coordinated
               Metro NY
                                                         nologist Jeffrey Diaz; Secretary-       Koshy. Not pictured are Radiologic       the event.
4     NEWSLINE, January 2006

Catch of a Lifetime Makes
Housing Member a Hero
    It was a routine morning at Morris       people stood beneath the smoke
Houses in the Bronx Dec. 14, when            filled window including Caretakers
Supervisor of Caretakers Felix               Blanca Ramos and Donald Brayton
Vazquez got a call from Caretaker            and a resident named Luz Jusino.
Mushimby West about a fire at one of         “They wanted to do a group catch
the 17 buildings in the 2,000-tenant         with tied-up housing coats, but
complex. Vazquez immediately called          when they saw the baby had been
the Fire Department and several other        let go, they let me run in for the
caretakers before rushing to the site.       catch,” says Vazquez, who admits
    A 20-year Housing veteran, who           that being a catcher for nearly 20
                                                                                      Housing Supervisor of Caretakers Felix Vazquez holds a Local 237 award for
is also a member of Local 237’s              years on the softball team “had
                                                                                      meritorious achievement as he is flanked by union officials, from left: Director of
championship softball team, [See             something to do with it.”
                                                                                      Housing Division Edmund Kane; Trustee Evaristo Pabon Jr.; Deputy Director
“Forest Houses Team Wins Third                    The mother was able to throw the    Housing Division Jeannette Woods; Vice President Richard Hendershot; and
Straight Series,” Newsline Decem-            baby out the window right through        Business Agent David Gonzales.
ber 2005], Vazquez arrived at the            the window guards, says Vazquez, re-
scene of the fire and saw a mother           calling how he managed the catch: “I     the window and you caught him.’”           ances at a Jets, Giants or Knicks
standing at her third-floor window           went down with it, and then I            That image was broadcast around the        game may be in Vazquez’ near fu-
holding an infant.                           brought him back.” But when he           world the week before Christmas and        ture. He received “excuse time”
      “The first thing I thought was         looked closely, the infant was “throw-   Vazquez was celebrated as a hero.          from Housing Authority chairman
‘don’t throw the baby.’” recalls             ing suds from his mouth,” says               News of Vazquez’ catch made            Tino Hernandez for the goodwill
Vazquez. “Everyone was panicking.            Vazquez, a former lifeguard, who         the local newspapers and he ap-            mission and also used his vacation
Some people were saying ‘jump’ to the        used his CPR training to revive the      peared nationally on CNN, ABC,             time to collect awards from Mayor
mother while others said ‘don’t jump.’”      baby, and then handed him to Blanca      “The Today Show,” “The Early               Michael Bloomberg, former State
Apparently the fire started in the           Ramos who also performed CPR.            Show,” and “Inside Edition.” His           Senator Pedro Espada and State As-
kitchen just after 8:30 a.m., according to        “Everything happened so fast, I     interview aired live on “Sabado Gi-        semblyman Michael Benjamin.
news reports. The mother, Tracinda           forgot we had a surveillance camera      gante,” the hit Spanish-language               For a guy who says he was
Foxe, had sent her two other children        controlled by the NYPD,” says            TV variety show. He was also               “going through hell,” the day before
ages 11 and 9 to school and had fallen       Vazquez, who has three children of       named “New Yorker of the Week,”            he caught the baby — his future god-
asleep while heating a bottle for her 1-     his own: Charlene, 22; Justin, 8; and    by NY1 News. A radio celebrity as          son — things are looking up. “Now
month-old baby, Eric Guzman.                 Joshua, 6. “I just went back to work     well, interviews with Vazquez              they call me Mr. Hero,” says
    “I heard the mother yelling,             like a regular day until my 8-year-old   aired as far as Japan, Brazil and          Vazquez. Co-workers crack jokes
‘Catch my baby, catch my baby,’”             son called later and said, ‘Daddy,       Puerto Rico.                               like, “Stay away from me, you’re
says Vazquez, noting that several            your on TV. A baby was thrown out            Even Oprah called, and appear-         dressing too nice!”

BA Neves Retires After 38 Years
      It was an emotional farewell for Local        his farewell speech to union colleagues.
237 Housing Division Business Agent Ar-                  Married for 31 years, Neves plans
mando Neves, who retired Dec. 31, after 38          to move to South Carolina with his
years of service. Neves became a business           wife Leila, who comes from there.
agent in 1993 after retiring from the Hous-              The couple look forward to visits
ing Authority where he worked for 25                from their daughter, Vinita, a medical
years.                                              engineer. Moving away won’t be easy
     Neves, a former maintenance worker             for Neves, however, who thanked his
at Red Hook East Houses in Brooklyn,                friends, family, colleagues and shop
“brought his expertise in maintenance —             stewards for their support, adding that
where not everything is written down — to           “in the Housing Division we’re just
the union,” said Housing Division Director          like family. I’m going to miss them.”        Laughter and tears marked the retirement of Local 237 Housing
Edmund Kane at the retirement party held            But he is grateful for the chance to rest.   Division Business Agent Armando Neves, flanked from left by Trustee
Dec. 12 at union headquarters.                      “I’m 66 years old and, thank God, I          Evaristo Pabon Jr., President Carl Haynes, Neves’ wife Leila, his daugh-
     President Carl Haynes recalled that            made it.”                                    ter Vinita and nephew Val Neves.
Neves was “always a gentleman. I’m very
proud of you.” He also recognized Neves’
loyalty as “rare,” adding that “he was al-
ways there, and we appreciate that.”
                                                       SSA Harris Retires
     A native of Portugal, Neves arrived in                School Safety Agent Level 1 June M. Harris re-
America in 1961 and joined his brothers                ceived a plaque on her retirement, from Local 237
working as a longshoreman. Later he                    President Carl Haynes, Secretary-Treasurer Grego-
sailed off to work on a U.S. Merchant Ma-              ry Floyd and Business Agent Michelle Walters last
rine ship. Eventually he married and set-              month in honor of her 24 years in school safety.
tled in New York City, where he took a job                 Harris, who spent her entire career in School
painting bridges, but “it’s not steady                 Safety at I.S. 84 in the Bronx — a school that pri-
work,” recalled Neves, citing the whims of             marily serves the handicapped — retired last Sep-
the weather.                                           tember. She began at the school in 1981.
     He ultimately found steady work as a                  Harris said while she had been looking for-
city housing caretaker, and upgraded his               ward to retirement and had attended all the
title to heating plant technician and mainte-          union’s pre-retirement seminars, “It took me a           School Safety Agent June M. Harris is handed her
nance man. After retiring from housing, he             while to get used to the idea that I will not be         retirement plaque by Local 237 President Carl
served 13 years as a Local 237 business                going back to work. I’ve always loved the job.”          Haynes, second left, and Secretary-Treasurer Gregory
agent motivated by one guiding principle:                  However, June is staying active in the union         Floyd. Looking on at far left is Business Agent
“My belief is to help people,” said Neves,             through the Retirement Division. “I’ve already           Michelle Walters.
who represented housing members in the                 taken two classes with the Retirees. I do Tae Chi
Bronx for eight years and Brooklyn mem-                and we’ve been to the theater to see two Broadway        Local 237 retirees aboard the Spirit cruise ship
bers for five. “I love this job,” said Neves,          plays.”                                                  where, she admits, she couldn’t stay off the dance
fighting back tears as nine of his shop stew-              Harris also celebrated Christmas with other          floor.
ards and his family surrounded him during
                                                                                                                               NEWSLINE, January 2006          5

                                                     The Political Scene
Pataki Sets National Course In Final ‘State of State’
      Sounding very much like a          12th and final State of the State mes-                                           “reduce the tax burden on working
politician running for national of-      sage to a jointly convened session of     Would You Vote for Pataki              families, stimulate the economy and
fice, Governor George Pataki deliv-      the State Legislature. Highlights fol-         For President?                    foster the competitiveness that will
ered his 12th and final State of the     low:                                          Results of a 1010 WINS Radio       attract even more investment and
State address, and in the 54 minutes           “Blah, blah, blah….government       poll on Jan. 4 showed that 74.46       jobs to New York,” it will also “em-
that he spoke he managed to articu-      that works…blah, blah, blah,              percent of listeners who respond-      power New York State to excel in
late only a sketchy vision for New       blah…empower the people…blah,             ed to the question “Would you          the emerging global economy...Tax
York in 2006, identifying “cutting       blah, blah and blah, blah….un-            vote for George Pataki?” said NO.      cuts work. And when we cut taxes,
taxes, improving our children’s edu-     shakeable resolve…blah, blah.             Only 15.86 percent said YES and        New Yorkers work,” Pataki de-
cation, creating jobs, and protecting    Blah…”                                    9.68 percent were unsure.              clared.
our natural environment” as his               Pataki didn’t even try to play                                                  Local 237 President Carl
agenda for the year.                     down the appearance that he was                                                  Haynes, who attended the governor’s
    By all accounts, Pataki’s speech     using the opportunity to project         are not excited or paying any atten-    address in Albany with Secretary-
before a joint session of the State      himself as a potential presidential      tion to Pataki’s presidential ambi-     Treasurer Gregory Floyd and Politi-
Legislature, Jan. 4, offered little in   candidate to a national audience.        tions, his tax cutting proposal is      cal and Legislative Director Patricia
the way of ideas or a realistic          It’s hard to miss the reference to       likely to excite the Republicans in     Stryker, said he was “not surprised”
roadmap for governing the nation’s       President John F. Kennedy’s Inau-        Iowa and other key primary states.      that the governor “would squander”
third largest state, with an estimated   gural Address whose message “in-         Pataki’s “pro-family” tax cutting       the state’s budget surplus on give-
population of 19,254,630 (NYS Data       spired” a 15-year-old George Pataki      program — which includes elimi-         aways instead of using it to bolster
Center). One observer, who watched       with its “energy, optimism, and pa-      nating the marriage penalty tax, cut-   education in the city and public
the speech live on television, noted     triotism…When JFK urged us to            ting taxes to help family farms and     services across the state. “The MTA
that “Pataki said little of any value    consider what we as Americans            small businesses, and cutting the in-   — a state agency which Pataki con-
to New Yorkers. He could very well       could contribute to our nation,          come tax rate for families and busi-    trols — did the same thing when
have given that speech in Iowa.”         rather than what we could expect         nesses — echoes the Bush White          they used their budget surplus to re-
The ultra conservative New York          from it…”                                House theme that tax cuts are good      ward tourists to the city with bonus
Post had this to say in its editorial:        If, as recent news reports and      for the economy. Pataki said his pro-
“Gov. Pataki yesterday delivered his     polls results suggest, New Yorkers       family tax cut program will not only                        Continued on page 8

City Council Elects First Female Speaker
      With the departure of former       York City Council.                       Council Member who represents
Speaker Gifford Miller due to term            “Christine Quinn is an excel-       the Chelsea area, Christine has been
limits, the members of the New York      lent choice as Speaker, and we are       a frequent visitor to union head-
City Council easily found an able re-    extremely proud of her,” said Local      quarters, and actively participates
placement for his coveted leader-        237 President Carl Haynes. “Chris-       in our events and programs. We
ship post when they elected Man-         tine has been a friend and support-      look forward to working with her
hattan Council Member Christine          er of Local 237 and working men          and welcoming her back at 14th
Quinn. As Speaker, Quinn, 39, be-        and women during her eight years         Street as Speaker.”
came the second most powerful offi-      in the Council. She is vocal on              Following her election on Jan. 4,
cial in City Hall and the first woman    many issues and unafraid to stand        at the opening of the Council’s new
and openly gay leader of the New         up for what she believes. As the         legislative session, Quinn thanked
                                                                                  her colleagues and praised her
                                                                                  “great friend” and predecessor Gif-
  Same Team Sworn in for Second Term                                              ford Miller for leading the Council                Christine Quinn
                                                                                  “with strength, courage and
       The start of the new legislative year also saw the inauguration of
                                                                                  thoughtfulness…He leaves a city         people we hear from, the more good
  Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and Comp-
                                                                                  stronger than he found it.”             ideas we get, the more effective we
  troller Bill Thompson outside City Hall on January 1, at a joint swear-
                                                                                                                          will be as a legislature.”
  ing-in ceremony before 500 invited guests.                                            A More Responsive                     The newly elected Speaker is
       Bloomberg, a Republican launching his second term in office,                        Government                     considered a strong counterbalance
  pledged to take on the challenge of “ending the threat of guns and the
                                                                                       Quinn, who easily won the          to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She is
  violence they do,” managing the city’s finances “without abandoning
                                                                                  Council leadership position after her   well-known as an outspoken advo-
  the compassion that defines our city,” and creating “from pre-school
                                                                                  main opponent for the post, Bill de     cate for issues she supports. Before
  through high school, a public education system second to none.”
                                                                                  Blasio, gave up the challenge and       being elected to the New York City
       Gotbaum and Thompson, both Democrats in their second term,
                                                                                  supported her, added that she will be   Council, Quinn served for five years
  pledged to work with City Hall “to ensure that New Yorkers get the gov-
                                                                                  “guided by the principles that will     as Chief of Staff to NYC Council
  ernment services they need and deserve.”
                                                                                  make our government even more re-       Member Thomas K. Duane. She
       Scott Stringer was sworn in Jan. 8, at the Metropolitan Museum of
                                                                                  sponsive to people’s needs and more     later served as Executive Director of
  Art as Manhattan Borough President succeeding C. Virginia Fields
                                                                                  effective for all New Yorkers.”         the New York City Gay and Lesbian
  who held the office for eight years until term limits forced her out. A
                                                                                       “I am committed to being a five-   Anti-Violence Project.
                                                       priority on the for-
                                                                                  borough Speaker,” Quinn said.               The Council’s January 4th char-
                                                       mer     Assembly-
                                                                                  “Whether you speak Spanish in the       ter meeting was also the first meeting
                                                       man’s agenda will
                                                                                  South Bronx, Chinese in Flushing,       of newly elected Council Members
                                                       be the redevelop-
                                                                                  Yiddish in Borough Park, Creole in      Inez E. Dickens, representing Man-
                                                       ment plans of low-
                                                                                  Flatbush, Bassa in Park Hill or Eng-    hattan’s District 9; Daniel Garodnick,
                                                       er Manhattan.
                                                                                  lish in Chelsea, we work for            representing Manhattan’s District 4;
                                                                                  you….our job is to make your life       Jessica Lappin, representing Manhat-
                                                                                  better.”                                tan’s District 5; Darlene Mealy, repre-
                                                         Public Advocate               Quinn pledged to promote “an       senting Brooklyn’s District 41; Rosie
                                                         Betsy Gotbaum is         aggressive legislative agenda” and      Mendez, representing Manhattan’s
                                                         sworn in to her          promised “to be as good a Speaker       District 2; James Vacca, representing
                                                         second term by for-      as I am a listener. So my message to    Bronx’s District 13; Melissa Mark
                                                         mer Mayor David
                                                                                  my colleagues, to our constituents      Viverito, representing Manhattan’s
                                                                                  and to all New Yorkers is simple:       District 8, and Thomas White Jr., rep-
                                                                                  My door is always open…the more         resenting Queens District 28.
6    NEWSLINE, January 2006

SSA Honored With Full Inspector’s Funeral
Continued from page 1
                                                                                                             cated to the students and her job.
                                                                                                             She loved the idea of mentoring
Samuels’ untimely death Dec.                                                                                 children,” said Floyd. “She was a
16, from a heart attack after                                                                                peacekeeper, performing her
being assaulted by a student,                                                                                duty.”
was “an unfortunate incident,”                                                                                   Officer Samuels carried out
adding that “she was doing her                                                                               her final assignment at I.S. 390, a
job; doing what was requested                                                                                Brooklyn-based Middle School
of her by the principal.”                                                                                    also known as Maggie L.Walker.
    Despite frigid temperatures                                                                              She had been asked to escort an
and a paralyzing citywide tran-                                                                              unruly student from a school
sit strike, nearly 2,000 people                                                                              dance. At around 5:50 p.m.,
came to pay their respects,                                                                                  Samuels was walking behind the
spilling out of the Wayside                                                                                  student, a12-year-old girl, who
Baptist Church in Brooklyn,                                                                                  was flailing her arms and kick-
where Samuels and her two         Commanding Officer Sherman Richards of Brooklyn North presents the         ing, striking the agent at least
sons were active members of its   American flag to SSA Vivian Samuels’ sons Ronnique and Irving Benjamin.    once in the head, according to
Usher Board. In attendance                                                                                   Commissioner Kelly.
were Local 237 Vice President     Recording Secretary Patricia         Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and              After being struck, Samuels
Richard Hendershot; Secretary-    Stryker and several business         Department of Education Chan-         fell to the ground, but got up
Treasurer     Gregory    Floyd;   agents. Also in attendance was       cellor Joel I. Klein. The church      and complained of shortness
                                                                                   was a sea of blue         of breath and chest pains. Col-
                                                                                   uniforms          with    leagues rushed to her aid, but
                                                                                   white-gloved safety       soon after, Samuels passed out
                                                                                   agents and police of-     and was taken by ambulance
                                                                                   ficers applauding         to Kings County Hospital Cen-
                                                                                   the rousing speakers      ter where she died of a heart
                                                                                   who         celebrated    attack. Her 12-year old as-
                                                                                   Samuels’ life during      sailant was arrested and
                                                                                   the Baptist Homego-       charged with harassment and
                                                                                   ing Service.              resisting arrest. On hearing of
                                                                                       Gregory Floyd re-     the tragedy, Samuels’ family,
                                                                                   called his long friend-   including her two surviving
                                                                                   ship with Samuels, a      sons, Irving Benjamin Jr. and
                                                                                   shop steward for 11       Ronnique Lamel Benjamin,
                                                                                   years. “Vivian was a      who are Baptist ministers, said
                                                                                   warm person, dedi-        they forgive the youth.

                                                                                   Local 237 officials attending SSA Samuels’ funeral
                                                                                   service included, from left Secretary Treasurer
                                                                                   Gregory Floyd; Executive Assistant Joel
                                                                                   Sosinsky; and Vice President Richard Hendershot.
                                                                                                                        NEWSLINE, January 2006    7

New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg and New York Police
Department Commissioner                International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa
Raymond W. Kelly give a final          stood in solidarity with Local 237 President Carl Haynes in calling for
salute to Officer Samuels.
                                       the governor and state legislators to “act now to rectify inequities in
    In a statement, Internation-       the injury leave and disability benefits provided to peace officers.”
al Brotherhood of Teamsters
General President Jim Hoffa
stood in solidarity with Local        on the job: She made several         procession exiting the church           military pomp, including long
237 President Carl Haynes in          arrests and “took action” to         and noted the “excellent                blue lines of officers and offi-
calling for the governor and          save the tip of a child’s finger,    turnout for school safety, and          cials standing silently at atten-
state legislators to “act now to      when the sixth grader almost         the respect” that was shown.            tion outside the church as bu-
rectify inequities in the injury      lost it in an accident. “Her         “It goes back to the issue. We’re       gles and bagpipes played taps,
leave and disability benefits         name will always be active,”         first in the line of fire,” said Jef-   a helicopter flew overhead,
provided to peace officers.”          said her son, Ronnique.              ferson. SSA Cindy Torres of             and pallbearers delivered
     Hoffa noted that the New             Sgt. Isaac Jefferson, a school   Manhattan North Command                 Samuels’ casket to the waiting
York State Legislature has rec-       safety agent at Springfield Gar-     said the service was “so beauti-        hearse, removed and folded the
ognized the risks faced by sim-       dens H.S., with more than 17         ful you couldn’t be sad.”               American flag, and handed it
ilar professions, such as correc-     years of service, watched the            The funeral ended with full         with pride to her sons.
tions officers, police and fire-
fighters, by granting three-
quarters annual pay for those
forced to retire due to job-relat-
ed injury. Those titles also re-
ceive extended benefits with
no charge to leave after assaults
on the job. “This same respect
has not been afforded to school
safety agents.”
    Since the 1998 merger
with NYPD, Samuels is the sec-
ond SSA to die in the line of
    Several      speakers       at
Samuels’      funeral     service
shared their greatest respect
with fond memories of her love
for students, gospel music, and
her big, infectious smile.
Mayor Bloomberg recalled
Samuels’ stellar performance

 The Wayside Baptist Church choir
        sings a selection of sister
  Samuels’ favorite Gospel songs.
8    NEWSLINE, January 2006

New Members Gather For Night of Orientation
     Dire weather forecasts did not                                                                                        ing Secretary and Director of Politi-
deter some 20 Local 237 members,                                                                                           cal Action and Legislation Patricia
who joined the union as recently as                                                                                        Stryker, who described her role rep-
2004, from attending the first-ever                                                                                        resenting members’ interests in Al-
orientation meeting Dec. 5. Also at                                                                                        bany and urged everyone to be reg-
the meeting, hosted by the Member-                                                                                         istered to vote, adding, “There’s
ship Department, were union offi-                                                                                          nothing more important to your
cials, directors, and business agents                                                                                      worklife than getting the right peo-
who introduced themselves, min-                                                                                            ple in office.” Also, Citywide Divi-
gled with the members, and present-                                                                                        sion’s business agents each identi-
ed an overview of the many services                                                                                        fied the titles they represent.
Local 237 provides.                                                                                                             School Safety Agent Malikia
     “It’s so easy for members to be-                                                                                      Burton said, “I like to be informed,”
come isolated and singularly fo-                                                                                           adding that she had attended a union
cused on their own title without                                                                                           meeting in September, just after grad-
ever getting to know the union as a                                                                                        uating from the training academy. An
whole,” President Carl Haynes                                                                                              agent at I.S. 292 in Brooklyn, Burton
said. “This orientation is intended     New members introduce themselves at the Orientation Night gathering.               understands the importance of get-
to familiarize our new members                                                                                             ting to know her business agent. “I
with their union and the people         and figures: Local 237 represents         been negotiated. If you add up the       had an incident at my school and
who help to make the union what         nearly 24,000 members, 240 titles,        benefits you have, it’s about 41 per-    Steve Gordon helped me a lot. He
it is. That way members will know       and about 1,500 locations in the five     cent of your of the most    backed me up,” says Burton, obvi-
they have more than just their in-      boroughs and Long Island. The             important parts of your compensa-        ously pleased with her agent.
dividual shop steward and busi-         largest title is school safety agent,     tion.” He reminded the new mem-               Also in attendance was Patricia
ness agent backing them up in the       with more than 4,000 members. In          bers that the city plans to trade        Siegel, an attorney with the Depart-
workplace — they have an entire         total, there are more male members,       raises for givebacks, and warned         ment of Transportation and a Local
operation working for them.”            at 14,000, but women are quickly          that “once you give it back you          237 member for nearly two years. “I
Haynes added that he hoped this         catching up with 9,000 members            never get it back.” Haynes also fo-      help the law department defend the
type of event will encourage more       and counting.                             cused on the union’s main goal,          city with lawsuits,” said Siegel,
members to participate in union             Haynes shared his insights            which is “to make sure you have          adding that there are about 12 other
activities.                             based on 46 years of union mem-           job security.”                           people in the title. Among the atten-
     Attendees were greeted by          bership, many of them as a leader.            Other presenters included Di-        dees were several attorneys from the
Membership Department Director          Since 1960 when Local 237 was             rector of Housing Division Edmund        Department of Corrections, Housing
John Felder who prefaced the pro-       founded, he said, “all the benefits       Kane, who explained how the union        caretakers and custodians, and pub-
gram with a rundown of basic facts      we’ve come to take for granted have       helps enforce contracts, and Record-     lic health educators.

Labor Committee Backed TWU Strikers’ Stand on Pensions
    In the thick of a stalemate in      in midtown on Dec. 21, the second         issue.                                   peatedly fail to bargain in good
contract talks between striking Tran-   day of the three-day strike, and              The lead speaker, committee          faith.”
sit Workers Union (TWU) Local 100       broadcast live at 5:40 p.m. on NY1        head Randi Weingarten, president             By the following evening, the
and the Municipal Transit Authority     cable TV news, Local 237 Vice Pres-       of the United Federation of Teach-       MTA had agreed to remove pen-
(MTA), the Municipal Labor Com-         ident Richard Hendershot, Secre-          ers, announced, “We’re here to say       sions from the table and TWU Local
mittee (MLC), a group of citywide       tary-Treasurer Gregory Floyd, and         ‘Get the pensions off the table.’”       100 members were headed back to
labor leaders, stood in solidarity      Recording Secretary Patricia Stryk-       Noting that TWU Local 100 Presi-         work, while contract talks contin-
with the union and helped it suc-       er, joined forces with MLC officials      dent Roger Toussaint had already         ued. On Dec. 27, TWU Local 100 ac-
ceed in its battle to have the MTA      from Unite Here, Change to Win            given assurance that the union           cepted the MTA’s contract offer,
withdraw its demand that new em-        Federation, New York City Central         “would settle as quickly as possi-       which left the 2 percent pension
ployees contribute 6 percent of their   Labor Council, Uniformed Firefight-       ble” once the pension issue was          contribution untouched but would
wages to their pensions.                ers Association and several other         dropped, Weingarten explained that       take 1.5 percent of workers’ wages
    In an emergency news confer-        major labor organizations to inter-       traditionally, “a big systemic issue,”   for health benefits. Raises for the 37-
ence held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel      vene and help resolve the pension         such as pensions, “is raised on a        month contract would be about 10.5
                                                                                  statewide or citywide basis,” and        percent over three years. The
                                                                                                                           union’s 33,700 members were urged
Pataki Sets National Course                                                       not with a single union. Weingarten
                                                                                  also said that the issue was raised by   by its Executive Board to ratify the
Continued from page 5                                                             the MTA after its final offer, which     contract by voting “yes” on Jan. 20.
                                        ing, is reported saying he would
                                                                                  makes it “an illegal subject of bar-         The union and members face
                                        prefer the surplus be spent on edu-
tickets during the holidays while                                                 gaining.”                                steep fines for each day they were
                                        cation than on tax cuts.
telling the workers they were negoti-                                                 Gregory Floyd said, “It is illegal   on strike. The union is fined a mil-
                                             Besides tax cuts, other items on
ating with that they couldn’t give                                                under the Taylor Law to discuss          lion dollars a day and members are
                                        Pataki’s agenda included tougher
them decent raises and couldn’t af-                                               pensions during negotiations and         fined two days pay for each day they
                                        action against sexual predators, in-
ford to pay for their hospital insur-                                             collective bargaining. This is not the   were out.
                                        cluding longer sentences to those
ance. It’s the same Bush White                                                    appropriate venue for this discus-           One labor-friendly result of the
                                        convicted of violent sexual crimes,
House obsession with giving away                                                  sion.” Speaking at the microphone        tense weeks of negotiations and the
                                        and ending the statute of limitations
our hard-earned surplus to people                                                 on behalf of tens of thousands of        three-day strike, which hobbled the
                                        for rape and other sexual assaults.
who do not need a tax cut.                                                        city workers, Floyd told reporters       city during the height of the holiday
                                        He also plans, in his final year in of-
     “Our taxes pay for vital public                                                                                       season, was that municipal labor
                                        fice, to embark on a “comprehensive       that “To have one union discuss
services for residents. If you cut                                                                                         unions came together as a united
                                        package of education reforms and          pension legislation and changes that
taxes you cannot provide those es-                                                                                         force to stop the city’s relentless de-
                                        enhancements to provide new op-           affect all [ctywide workers] is im-
sential services, which means you                                                                                          mands for givebacks of our precious
                                        portunities for students and to em-       proper, and municipal unions will
either have to reduce or eliminate                                                                                         benefits.
                                        power parents. This would include         not sit by and allow this to happen.”
services. That’s why President          access to tutoring services and after         Other speakers, including Steve        NOTABLE & QUOTABLE
Bush’s budget slashes education,        school programs, adding more char-        Cassidy, president of the Uniformed
health care, tuition aid, and child     ter schools, new math and science         Firefighters Association, called for           “So much of what we call
care funding to finance greater tax     summer programs at community              “reforms” to the Taylor Law, which        management consists in making it
cuts for the wealthy.”                  colleges, and free SUNY or CUNY           condones “onerous penalties on            difficult for people to work.”
     Even Mayor Bloomberg, who sat      tuition to students who pursue math       workers and unions, but no penal-                              Peter Drucker
in the audience in the Capitol build-   and science.                              ties on management when they re-
                                                                                                                                                      NEWSLINE, January 2006   9

Local 237 Paintballers Ready                                                                                                  R       O


To Enter National Tournaments


                                                                                                                         IN            S


     An interesting group                                                               Happy belated Birthday and best wishes to EVIDENCE AND PROPERTY
of Local 237 members ar-                                                           CONTROL SPECIALIST JOY BAILEY assigned to Office of Chief Medical Ex-
rived at union headquar-                                                           aminer. Bailey’s birthday was on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. (e-mail 12/8)
ters in December, fully                                                                                              •••
armed with guns, masks,                                                                 Congratulations to SCHOOL SAFETY AGENT LEVEL III ANTHONY ROGER-
edgy uniforms and strong                                                           SON of Manhattan North Task Force, whose grandson, Keith Copeland
handshakes for President                                                           Jr., was born Aug. 12, 2005. Baby Keith weighed 9 pounds at birth.
Carl Haynes and Trustee                                                                                              •••
Evaristo Pabon Jr., who                                                                 Congratulations to SCHOOL SAFETY AGENT LEVEL I JACQUELINE DIXON
contributed toward the                                                             of Prospect H.S. in Brooklyn South, whose grandchild, Noel Davis Jr.,
paintball team’s equip-                                                            was born Sept. 8. Noel, whose mom is Natasha Dixon, weighed 6
ment expenses.                                                                     pounds 13 ounces and was 19 inches long.
     The team, which                                                                                                 •••
                              Housing Division members of the paintball team            Four cheers for the following campus peace officers who were pro-
calls itself Rapid Suffoca-
                              surround Local 237 President Carl Haynes as
tion and includes mem-                                                             moted to sergeant at Queens College: JAIRAJ RAMRAG, GEORGINA MEDINA
                              Trustee Evaristo Pabon Jr. looks on from left.
bers who work at Mill-                                                             AND RUFUS MESSIAH. CPO CHERYL HOLDER was also promoted to sergeant
brook and Sedgewick Houses in the ly since paintball can be played year            and transferred to the Graduate Center.
Bronx, has been competing at paint- round.                                                                           •••
ball tournaments throughout the tris-          The idea to form the team arose          Special birthday shout-outs to the following Evidence & Property
tate area for about a year. The sport in a job-training class. “Some of us         Control Specialists assigned to the medical examiner’s office:
entails shooting at rivals with a large played before and when we were in                  MOHAMMED BHUIYAN, Jan. 8      JOSÉ CARBO, Jan. 17
gun loaded with balls made of gela- electrical class we talked about it,”                  EDWARD ANDRADE, Jan. 12       TANYA PETTIFORD, Jan. 25
tin skin filled with nontoxic dyed explains Sanchez, who along with                        TIMOTHY JOHNSON, Jan. 14      GOLDIE ACK, Jan. 31
liquid.                                   co-captain Danny Burgos plans to
                                                                                       We’d like to hear from you. If you’d like us to report on what’s
     Luis Sanchez, captain and advance the paintball team from
                                                                                      happening in your life, drop a line to Teamster Notes, Newsline,
founder of the team, says injuries local tournaments to national ones.
                                                                                             216 W. 14 Street, NY 10011, or call 646-638-8636,
hurt very little and may leave a They also seek other Local 237
                                                                                                      or e-mail
mark, called a “hickey.” Neverthe- members to join the team. For fur-
less, the sport is safer than most and ther information e-mail Sanchez at
is growing in popularity, particular-

    Letters to the Union
    Letter to President Haynes
    November 17, 2005
    Dear President Haynes,
        It is with deep pleasure that I send this Thank You note to you
    for the thoughtful and considerate gesture of appreciation given to
    the Radiologic Technologists (Rad Techs) for New York City’s De-
    partment of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC-DOHMH) — Bureau of
    Tuberculosis Control (BTBC) — on Friday, November 4, 2005, during                 In December Newsline’s page 3 article, “Haynes Recognized by the
    our In-Service and celebration of National Radiologic Technology               Arthritis Foundation,” a photograph caption omitted mention of Local
    Week.                                                                          237 Vice President Richard Hendershot. Pictured above flanking
        What a pleasant surprise to have your staff with their busy                Haynes are, from left, Trustees Ruben Torres and Noreen
    schedules come and pay tribute to BTBC’s Radiologic Technologists.             Hollingsworth; Danny Donohue, president of CSEA Local 1000; Local
    Please forward our warmest wishes to Gregory Floyd, Donald Arnold              237 Recording Secretary Patricia Stryker; Local 237 Vice President
    and Janie Elliott. It was such an uplifting and caring time for the            Richard Hendershot; and Secretary-Treasurer Gregory Floyd.
    team to have a visit and be given plaques showing how important the
    BTBC Rad Techs are to the IBT.
        The show of solidarity by you and your team will always be               Students Need to Apply Now
    treasured by each member of BTBC’s Radiology Services — Radio-
    logic Technologists.                                                         For 2006 Hoffa Scholarships
        With kindest regards,
                                                                                     The deadline for receiving ap-                   ty-one of the awards total $10,000
        Joan McKinney, supervisor
                                                                                 plications for the 2006-2007 James                   each.
                                                                                 R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship                            These four-year scholarships are
        Radiology Services
                                                                                 Fund is March 31. To get an appli-                   disbursed at the rate of $2,500 per
                      BTBC – Radiologic Technologists:                           cation log onto                     year and are renewable annually.
                   Shirley Luck       Christine Jakubowski                       and click on “Resources for Stu-                     Sixty-nine of the awards are one-
                   Koshy Koshy        Ronald Benjamin                            dents,” at the lower left-hand side of               time $1,000 grants. The scholar-
                   Frida Margolina    Jeffrey Diaz                               the home page.                                       ships are disbursed to the college or
                   Erica Flowers                                                     One hundred scholarships will                    university at the beginning of the re-
                                                                                 be awarded this program year. Thir-                  cipient’s freshman year.
    (The story about our visit to the radiologists appears on page 3.)
                                                                                                       CONDOLENCES TO...
              Raises and Promotions                                               ...JOHNNY IRVING, a caretaker X truck driver with 25 years of service at Red
                                                                                  Hook West Houses in Brooklyn, on the death of his wife, Eleanor, on Nov.
     JAKWAN RIVERS has been appointed a business agent for the Housing
                                                                                  27. She is survived by Irving, their two sons, two daughters, two grand-
 Division effective as of January 1. In his new position he will earn a
                                                                                  sons and one granddaughter.
 salary of $62,036 a year ($1,193 per week) with a monthly expense al-
 lowance of $725 per month ($8,700 per year). All his welfare and med-
                                                                                  ...BETSY LOPEZ, who works in Local 237’s Welfare Fund department, on
 ical benefits will begin immediately.
                                                                                  the death of her grandfather, Ruben Torres, on Dec. 18.
10      NEWSLINE, January 2006

     CEOs Get Richer, Workers                                    which has blocked a raise in the minimum                                    The right to form and join unions “is vital to
     Make Less for More Work                                     wage three times this year, voted Nov. 18 to                                promoting broadly shared economic prosperi-
                                                                 give itself its eighth pay raise since the mini-                            ty, social justice and strong democracies,”
         CEO pay is rising at an astronomical pace               mum wage was last raised in 1997.                                           they wrote.
     while workers’ wages are dropping or stagnat-                   While millions of minimum wage workers                                       The peace prize winners, including for-
     ing, according to new reports.                              continue to struggle on $5.15 an hour, the con-                             mer President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama,
         The average CEO made 431 times the                      gressional pay raise, approved as part of the                               the Rev. Desmond Tutu and former Polish
     salary of a production worker in 2004, up                   fiscal year 2006 Transportation-Treasury Ap-                                President Lech Walesa, said they are “gravely
     from 301-to-1 in 2003 and 24-to-1 in the mid-               propriations bill, will give lawmakers a $3,100-                            concerned about the state of workers’ rights
     1960s, according to a report by the Economic                a-year pay hike. Minimum wage workers who                                   in many countries.’’
     Policy Institute. While CEOs get richer, work-              work full-time earn just $10,700 a year. Mem-
     ers are producing more and taking home less                 bers of Congress, though, will be making                                    Family Leave Threatened
     pay. Worker productivity increased 4.7 per-                 $31,600 a year more than they did in 1997.                                      The Department of Labor is widely expect-
     cent during the third quarter of 2005, accord-                                                                                          ed to cut back protections of the Family and
     ing to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics,              Americans Say Nation Is                                                     Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that has helped
     while real hourly wages and benefits de-                    On Wrong Track                                                              tens of millions of workers since it was signed
     creased by 1.4 percent, compared with an                                                                                                into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
                                                                      More than half of voters polled — some
     even higher 3.1 percent decrease in the previ-                                                                                              Big Business groups — including the U.S.
                                                                 56 percent — think the United States is on
     ous quarter.                                                                                                                            Chamber of Commerce and the National Asso-
                                                                 the wrong track, while only 29 percent think
                                                                 the nation is moving in the right direction, ac-                            ciation of Manufacturers — are pressing to
     Tax Cuts for the Rich on Hold
                                                                 cording to a new poll by Peter D. Hart Re-                                  limit workers’ ability to take time off without
          The House of Representatives finished its              search Associates Inc.                                                      pay for the birth or adoption of a child and to
     legislative business Dec. 19 without taking                      In the same poll, respondents said Con-                                care for a sick loved one or for their own ill-
     final action on a $56 billion package of tax                gress and President Bush are out of step on                                 ness.
     cuts for the rich. But the House did narrowly               the issues that most concern working families.                                  In its recently released regulatory agenda,
     approve (212–206) more than $40 billion in                       The poll shows the public’s concern over                               the Labor Department said FMLA changes are
     spending cuts in vital working family pro-                  the nation’s direction includes not only the war                            among its regulatory priorities and could
     grams.                                                      in Iraq but key domestic issues as well. Five                               come as early as December. But unions and
          The Senate followed suit on Dec. 19.                   important issues on which respondents said                                  other groups have urged the Labor Depart-
          The cuts are aimed at Medicaid, student                the nation was on the wrong track were: health                              ment to keep the current FMLA regulations
     loans, food stamps, child support enforce-                  care (69 percent), retirement security (65 per-                             intact.
     ment and other important programs. On the                   cent), fair taxes (57 percent), education (53 per-
     tax cut side, more than 84 percent of the                   cent) and jobs and the economy (47 percent).
     House tax cut bill would go to households in                     The survey also found that 63 percent of                                          You May Be Eligible
     the top 20 percent of income. The Senate                    seniors aged 65 and older were dissatisfied                                            To Save Tax Dollars
     passed a similar, but slightly smaller, tax cut             with the new Medicare prescription drug ben-
     bill. Republican congressional leaders said a                                                                                            Qualifying individuals and families with
                                                                 efit plan that opened to enrollees Nov. 15 for
     final version expected to be reached during a                                                                                        low incomes may claim the Earned Income Tax
                                                                 coverage that began Jan. 1.
                                                                                                                                          Credit (EITC), which returns federal, state and
     January House and Senate conference likely
                                                                 Nobel Laureates Back Right                                               city tax dollars through cash refunds. For ex-
     would include the major House tax cuts for
                                                                                                                                          ample, a refund of about $6,000 may be avail-
     the wealthy, including capital gains, divi-                 To Form Unions                                                           able to working families earning less than
     dends and business tax cuts.
                                                                     Eleven Nobel Peace Prize Laureates called                            $35,000 a year.
     Minimum Wage                                                on all nations to honor the Universal Declara-                               In order to claim the EITC, eligible taxpay-
                                                                 tion of Human Rights and protect workers’                                ers must have been full- or part-time workers
         One of this year’s most popular holiday                 freedom to form unions in a joint statement                              in 2005 and must file a tax return. According to
     toys — the $120 Roboraptor — would cost a                   running as a full-page newspaper ad last                                 the Internal Revenue Service, the EITC is often
     parent earning the minimum wage three days’                 month in The New York Times, The Washing-                                overlooked by workers who don’t file tax re-
     wages, said congressional backers of an in-                 ton Post and the International Herald-Tribune.                           turns because they know they don’t owe taxes.
     creased minimum wage at a news conference                       In many countries around the world,                                  Yet, the only way to get the credit is to file a tax
     Dec. 14 in front of the U.S. Capitol Christmas              workers trying to exercise their right to form                           return.
     tree.                                                       unions are brutally suppressed through beat-                                 The Citywide EITC Coalition of more than
         The federal minimum wage has been                       ings, arrests and even murder, they wrote.                               40 free tax preparation centers are available to
     $5.15 an hour since 1997 and congressional                  “Even the wealthiest nation in the world —                               help qualified taxpayers starting this month
     Republicans have blocked repeated attempts                  the United States of America — fails to ade-                             through April 15.
     to increase the wage, most recently in Octo-                quately protect workers’ rights to form unions                               To find out if you are eligible for the EITC
     ber. “If we value the Christmas tree, the                   and bargain collectively. Millions of U.S.                               and to locate a convenient free tax prepara-
     menorah, the crescent, [raising the minimum                 workers lack any legal protection to form                                tion center dial 311 or go online to
     wage] is the very least we ought to do,” said               unions and thousands are discriminated                          Basic details are available
     Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).                                   against every year for trying to exercise these                          by phone or online in 11 Languages, includ-
                                                                 rights,” wrote the Nobel Laureates.                                      ing English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Hait-
     More for Us, None for You                                       They also pointed to the connection be-                              ian, Creole, Hindi, Korean, and Russian.
         The Republican-controlled Congress,                     tween workers’ rights and living standards.

                                            All meetings listed below will be held at Local 237 headquarters, 216 W. 14 St., Manhattan.
                                           The shop steward and chairperson of each title are required to attend. The monthly meeting
                                                            schedule is also posted on our Website:

                                          CITYWIDE DIVISION                                                                    HOUSING DIVISION
                                                                                                                               Maintenance Men Emergency
                                          Stores .........................................Jan.   19...................5 p.m.      Service..................................Jan.       17...................1   p.m.
                                          Health Department Police ..........Jan.                25..............5:30 p.m.     Caretakers..................................Jan.       17...................6   p.m.
                                          Maintenance Workers ................Jan.               26...................5 p.m.   Plasterers and supervisors.........Jan.                24...................6   p.m.
                                          Evidence and Property                                                                Heating Plant Technicians..........Jan.                24...................6   p.m.
                                             Control Specialists ................Jan.            31..............5:30 p.m.     Stores .........................................Jan.   31...................6   p.m.
                                                                                                                                NEWSLINE, January 2006            11

                                               Resumen en Español
Reunión de Orientación Atrae a Nuevos Miembros
      A pesar del pronostico de mal                                                                                         tante que pueda beneficiar su vida
tiempo, más de 20 miembros del                                                                                              como trabajador que el elegir a los
Local 237 quienes e unieron al sindi-                                                                                       candidatos idóneos a sus cargos.”
cato tan recientemente como el                                                                                                   Cada uno de los Agentes de Ne-
2004, asistieron a la primera reunión                                                                                       gocios de la División de la Ciudad
de orientación que haya sido cele-                                                                                          identificó los títulos que represen-
brada, el 5 de Diciembre pasado.                                                                                            tan.
También vinieron a la reunión, que                                                                                               Malicia Burton, Agente de Se-
fue patrocinada por el Departamento                                                                                         guridad Escolar, dijo: “Me gusta
de Membresía, oficiales del sindica-                                                                                        estar informada,” añadiendo que
to, directores, y agentes de negocios,                                                                                      asistió a una reunión sindical en
quienes se presentaron y hablaron                                                                                           Septiembre, justamente después de
con los miembros, e hicieron pre-                                                                                           graduarse de su entrenamiento en la
sentaciones acerca de los muchos                                                                                            academia. Como Agente en la es-
servicios que provee el Local 237.                                                                                          cuela I.S. 292 en Brooklyn, Burton
     El Presidente Haynes dijo: “Es                                                                                         comprende la importancia de llegar
muy fácil que los miembros se                                                                                               a conocer a su agente de negocios.
                                         Socializando después de las presentaciones, de izquierda a derecha: Dan Matías,
aíslen y se enfoquen únicamente en                                                                                          “Tuve un incidente en mi escuela, y
                                         Agente de Negocios del Local 237; Pricilla Prince y Gregory Jonson, trabajadores
sus propios títulos sin jamás llagar a                                                                                      Steve Gordon me ayudó muchísimo.
                                         de mantenimiento del Departamento de Servicios Administrativos de la Ciudad, y
conocer la totalidad del sindicato.                                                                                         Me dio apoyo,” dijo Burton, obvia-
                                         Bertha Aiken, Subdirectora del Departamento de Educación y Entrenamiento del
Esta orientación tiene como                                                                                                 mente complacida.
                                         Local 237.
                                                                                                                                 También estuvo presente Patri-
propósito familiarizar a nuestros
                                         frutar como rutinarios han sido ne-      miembros tengan seguridad de em-          cia Siegel, abogada con el Departa-
nuevos miembros con su sindicato y
                                         gociados,” dijo Haynes. “Si uno          pleo.”                                    mento de Transporte y miembro del
con las personas que realizan las
                                         sumara todos los beneficios que ten-         Entre los otros oradores estuvo       Local 237 durante casi dos años.
funciones de la institución. De esa
                                         emos, sería como el 41 por ciento de     Edmund Kane, Director de la Di-           “Mi trabajo es ayudar al departa-
manera, los miembros sabrán que
                                         su sueldo…uno de los elementos           visión de Viviendas, quien explicó        mento legal a defender a la Ciudad
cuentan con más personal para apo-
                                         más importantes de su compen-            como el sindicato hace cumplir los        contra demandas legales,” dijo
yarlos en sus lugares de empleo,
                                         sación.” Haynes les recordó a los        contratos, y Patricia Stryker, Secre-     Siegel, añadiendo que su departa-
además de su representante de taller
                                         miembros de que la Ciudad planea         taria de Actas y Directora de Acción      mento consiste de unas 12 otras per-
y su agente de negocios—también
                                         canjear aumentos de sueldo por de-       Política y Legislación, quien de-         sonas en el título. Entre los concur-
tienen a toda una operación traba-
                                         voluciones, y advirtió que “Una vez      scribió su papel como representante       rentes hubo varios abogados del De-
jando por ellos.” Haynes también                                                                                            partamento Correccional, traba-
                                         que se devuelve un beneficio, jamás      de los intereses de los miembros en
añadió que espera que esta clase de                                                                                         jadores de mantenimiento y
                                         se recobra.” Haynes también enfocó       Albano, a la vez urgiendo a todos a
evento animará a los miembros a                                                                                             porteros de Viviendas, y educadores
                                         sobre la meta principal del Sindica-     estar inscritos como votantes, añadi-
participar en las actividades del                                                                                           de salud pública.
                                         to, la cual es, “el garantizar que los   endo que “No hay cosa más impor-
     Los concurrentes recibieron la
bienvenida de John Felder, Director
del Departamento de Membresía,             Despedida Emocionante
quien empezó recalcando datos es-
enciales: el Local representa a unos
24,000 miembros; 240 títulos; y en         Armando Neves,
unas 1,500 localidades en los cinco        Agente de
condados y en Long Island. El título       Negocios de la
con más miembros es el de Agente           División de
de Seguridad Escolar, con más de           Viviendas, se jubiló
4,000 personas. En total, hay más          el 31 de Diciembre
hombres, 14,000, aunque las mu-            después de 38
jeres, con número creciente de 9,000       años de servicio.
los están alcanzando.                      En un almuerzo de
     Carl Haynes, Presidente del           despedida celebra-
Local 237 compartió sus ideas              do en la sede del
basadas en sus 46 años como miem-          Sindicato Local
bro del Sindicato, muchos de ellos         237, Neves, oriun-
como dirigente. Desde 1960 cuando          do de Portugal, fue festejado por oficiales, familiares y amigos, incluyendo a nueve de sus leales representantes de
el Sindicato fue fundado, “todos los       taller con quienes se juntó para una foto. Neves es el quinto desde la derecha.
beneficios que hemos llegado a dis-

       Puede Cualificar Para Credito                                              Estudiantes: Entreguen Solicitudes
              de Impuesto                                                         Para Becas Hoffa 2006 Ahora
      Aquellos Neoyorkinos elegibles para el Crédito de Impuesto Sobre
  Ingresos Ganados (Earned Income Tax Credit-EITC) también son elegi-                  La fecha límite para recibir so-     Treinta y uno de los premios con-
  bles para ayuda en la preparación de sus planillas de impuestos al              licitudes para las Becas del Fondo        sisten de $10,000 cada uno. Estas
  reclamar el crédito, el cual devuelve dinero federal, estatal y de la ciu-      Memorial James R. Hoffa 2006-2007         becas de cuatro años son desembol-
  dad a familias y a individuos con ingresos bajos. La cantidad puede al-         es Marzo 31, 2006. Para obtener una       sadas a nivel de $2,500 cada año y
  canzar a $6,000 para una familia.                                               aplicación      entre   al    portal      son renovables anualmente. Sesen-
      Los requisitos generales de elegibilidad para recibir el EITC indican y haga clic en           ta y nueve de los premios son sub-
  que la persona debe haber mantenido un empleo de tiempo completo o              “Resources for Students,” en la           venciones de $1,000 dados una
  parcial en el 2005, con ingresos familiares menos de $35,000 anuales.           parte inferior, mano izquierda de la      sola vez. Estas becas son desembol-
      Para mas información acerca del EITC marque el 311, y pida el ser-          página principal.                         sadas al colegio o universidad del
  vicio en español o visite por Internet                             Unas cien becas serán otor-          recipiente al comienzo de su
                                                                                  gadas para este año programático.         primer año.
City Council
Honors a Housing
          ouncil Member Gale A. Brewer (D-Manhattan), chair of

C         the Committee on Technology in government, along
          with the New York City Council, honored Roberta
          Williams, a janitorial caretaker for more than 22 years at
          the New York City Housing Authority.
     Williams, a Local 237 member who works in the Wise Tow-
ers Houses in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was honored with
a formal proclamation from City Council Speaker Gifford Miller
and Council Member Brewer, who represents the borough’s 6th
     The Proclamation states that Williams is a “devoted and
compassionate team leader going above and beyond the call of
duty,” and “has demonstrated concern for her community and                          Housing Janitorial Caretaker Roberta Williams stands next to her husband, Robert Watson,
has been actively engaged in making the city of New York even                       holding her award as Council Member Gale A. Brewer reads the Proclamation in her honor.
better place to live.”                                                              Standing behind Williams, from left, are: Local 237 Business Agent Norberto Luna, Trustee
     Any doubts of Williams’ worthiness were put to rest by the                     Ruben Torres, and former City Council Speaker Gifford Miller.
adoring group of resi-
dents from Wise Tow-                                                                Left: Residents of
ers who surrounded                                                                  Wise Towers await
her with hugs and                                                                   the arrival of
                                                                                    Caretaker Williams at
flowers when she en-
                                                                                    the City Council.
tered City Council
Chambers for the                                                                           Right: Council
Proclamation Ceremo-                                                                 Member Brewer and
ny with her husband                                                                    Local 237 Trustee
of 35 years, Robert                                                                  Torres congratulate
Watson. Also in atten-                                                               Williams prior to the
dance was the superin-                                                                         ceremony.
tendent of Wise Tow-                                                                Below: Friends, fami-
ers, Steven Gonzalez,                                                               ly and fans from
who has worked with                                                                 Wise Towers join
Williams for more than                                                              Williams and Council
six years and said,                                                                 Member Brewer for a
“She not only does a                                                                group photograph.
great job servicing the
building, but she also has a personal touch.”
     Her personal touches were generously described by Towers
residents, including Rosemary Waldron, Irina Nakleushev and
Lorraine West, who said in chorus: “She’s so special; she knows
every tenant on the whole block...She talks to babies...Her beau-
tiful voice is musical...optimistic...She cares for our plants...She
knows our birds, cats, dogs. She knows everybody.”
     Williams, who plans to retire in September, expressed sec-
ond thoughts as she smiled through tears during the ceremony.
At her side, in addition to Council members and Towers resi-
dents were NYCHA Borough Director Carolyn Jasper; and Local
237 Trustee Ruben Torres and Business Agent Norberto Luna.
     On the job, Williams touches the lives of hundreds of resi-
dents daily with her inspired character. “Whenever you see
Roberta it puts a smile on your face,” says a Towers neighbor,
Elizabeth Wolgemuth. “She’s a ray of sunshine. We’re lucky to
have her.”
                                                                                                                                                            Photograph by Dan Luhman

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  City ___________________State _____Zip _________         DATED MATERIAL                                                                             JANUARY 2006