Union News, Upcoming Events and Services

POLITICAL ACTION

Help Get Out The Vote! During this upcoming election, your voice can be powerful.

Join our DC 37 Reach Beyond Program, our relational organizing program. Relational organizing is just your influence in your personal relationships, that helps you engage friends and family on current issues that affects everyone.

Will you join us for an upcoming Wednesday evening training? Visit: https://www.mobilize.us/afscmedc37/event/388172/

Join our Virtual Phonebanks!  We’re hosting daily phone banks to make sure our entire union family has all the important information they need to know about voting this year. Sign up to volunteer for an hour or two on the DC 37 virtual phone bank.

Even if you’ve never participated on a phone bank before, using the DC 37 virtual phone bank is easy and can be done from the comfort of your own home. All you need to do to get started is sign up for a shift at https://www.mobilize.us/afscmedc37/event/388567/

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GET HELP PAYING for CHILD CARE

The Child Care Facilitated Enrollment Project is a NYS funded pilot program that was developed to assist working parents to increase access to childcare subsidies and quality care in New York City for children up to 13 years of age with qualifying incomes (up to $72,050 for a family of four). For more information, visit: https://www.cwenet.net/nysfe-1

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The Disability Advisory Committee meets tonight, Tuesday June 8 at PM. Guest Speaker Roy Mccallister, Assistant Director of the Office of Safety and Health for the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) will discuss Worker's Rights Protected by OSHA, Occupational Safety Hazard Administration.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1496771563. For the best audio experience, please use computer audio. Or iPhone one-tap:

US: +1(646)3573664,,1496771563# Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1(646)3573664 Meeting ID: 149 677 1563 No password needed.

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COVID-19 WORKERS' COMP and SHORT-TERM DISABILITY BENEFITS

DC 37 urges members who believe they have contracted coronavirus in the line of duty to apply for New York State Workers’ Compensation. For a list of Workers' Comp lawyers click here: https://bit.ly/3f1wK8z.  Additionally, DC 37 Health & Security short-term disability benefits may be available for members who have filed Workers’ Comp claims. For more information click here: http://bit.ly/3ptCdt0

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FEMA COVID-19 BURIAL RELIEF

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) burial relief program is accepting applications. The maximum amount of financial aid available is $9,000 per funeral up to $35,500 per application with multiple COVID-19 decedents. FEMA federal funeral assistance can be used to help with expenses for funeral services held in 2020 for COVID-19 deaths, interment or cremation. Call the FEMA hotline: 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585), 8 AM to 8 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday. For additional burial assistance programs, please visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/burial-assistance.page.              

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MELS

COVID Emergency Rental Assistance

New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is accepting applications for the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Apply Here

Eligibility Guidelines:

  • Household income before taxes is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). AMI levels for NYC by household size are available online at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/new-york-emergency-rental-assistance-program-erap.page
  • A member of the household received unemployment benefits OR experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs OR experienced other financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the pandemic.
  • The applicant owes past due rent at their primary residence that was accumulated on or after March 13, 2020.
  • The applicant is at risk of housing instability or homelessness (this can be demonstrated by having rental arrears owed on or after March 13, 2020.
  • Benefits ERAP Provides:
  • Up to 12 months of rental assistance for arrears accrued on or after March 13, 2020.
  • Up to 3 months of additional rental assistance if the household expects to spend 30% or more of their gross monthly income to pay rent.
  • Up to 12 months of electric or gas utility arrears that have accrued on or after March 13, 2020.
  • Prioritization of Applications:
  • From June 1 to June 30, 2021, applicants with incomes at or below 50% of the AMI and who have been unemployed for at least 90 days, have pending eviction cases, are veterans or domestic violence survivors, live in buildings with 20 or fewer apartments and/or live in a community that was disproportionately impacted by the pandemic will be prioritized.
  • After June 30, 2021, applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis, as long as funds remain available. Funds are limited to all eligible households should apply as soon as possible regardless of whether they are in a priority group. More information on priority categories is available at https:/otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/#eligibility

Additional Protections:

In order to receive ERAP payments, landlords must agree to waive any late fees and not increase a tenant’s monthly rent for one year and are restricted from evicting tenants, except in limited circumstances for one year.

For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email [email protected]

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MELS will host an ID Theft and Scams webinar on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 from 5:30 to 7 PM.

Learn how to spot and respond to IRS scams, Social Security scams, Internet scams, and investment scams. Learn how to respond to identity theft discovered through banking and credit transactions or fraudulent unemployment claims. Learn about the three most popular credit report security devices, how they differ and how to use them for your advantage. Register at www.DC37mels.com A link to join online or by phone will be forwarded in advance. Call MELS Screening at 212-815-1111 for more information.

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EVICTION MORATORIUM UPDATE

On December 28, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into law the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020. The Act stayed residential eviction proceedings until May 1, 2021 where a tenant submits a completed Hardship Declaration.  

On May 4, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed the bill presented to him by state lawmakers and extended the eviction moratorium to August 31. Now, any tenant that previously served and filed a Hardship Declaration with the landlord and/or the Housing Court will be protected under the extended moratorium. Any tenant who has not served and/or filed a Hardship Declaration can do so at any time before August 31, to secure coverage under the Act.

The moratorium extension will allow time for the $2.4 billion COVID-19 EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM [ERAP] OF 2021, enacted in last month's state budget, to open and begin accepting applications for emergency rental assistance and/or utility assistance. The ERAP program is expected to open later this month on the Office of Temporary and Disability [OTADA] website. OTADA is currently building the platform it needs to process the high volume of applications expected statewide.

Please call the MELS Screening Unit at 212- 815- 1111 for help with filling out and filing a hardship declaration. MELS will provide advice regarding how the moratorium works. MELS also assists with securing financial assistance to pay rent arrears or utility arrears that accrued during the pandemic. Lastly, MELS provides legal representation in Housing Court eviction proceedings. If you have received any notices or court papers from Housing Court, your landlord or your landlord's attorneys, please contact MELS at 212- 815- 1111, or email: [email protected].

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UPDATE on STUDENT LOAN FORBEARANCE thru SEPT. 30

President Joe Biden extended the student loan payment forbearance created under the CARES Act through Sept. 30. Until that time, attempts to collect FFEL loans in default must cease and no further interest shall accrue. For FFEL borrowers who defaulted after March 13, 2020, the loans are to be returned to good standing. For more details, check the updated article on the DC 37 blog. Any member with questions about the status of their FFEL student loans can call the MELS Screening and Intake office at 212-815- 1111, or email: [email protected].

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WORKWELL NYC EVENTS

Eat Well to Live Well: A Live Q+A, Thursday, June 10, at 12:30 PMJoin WorkWell NYC's resident nutrition specialists for this virtual event, as they answer questions to help you eat for health and enjoyment!

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LGBTQIA+101: Creating Inclusive Spaces, Wednesday, June 16 at 12:00 PM

Join WorkWell NYC in celebrating Pride Awareness Month in a discussion to learn how to create inclusive spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community.

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Male Role Models: Workplace, Education and Family, Thursday, June 17 at 1:00 PM Join WorkWell NYC for an interactive discussion with Mr. Michael A. Deas, LMSW, Director of the CUNY Urban Male Leadership Program on the impact of male role models within the workforce, family, and education.

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Men’s Health: A Family Affair Webinar Replay, Wednesday, June 23 at 12:00 PM Balancing work, family and career obligations can be difficult. View this webinar replay featuring special guest Dr. Torian Easterling sharing key strategies to maintaining health and exploring what role partners and families can play in supporting men in their journey towards better health. Register for all WorkWell NYC events at on.nyc.gov/upcomingevents

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#STOPASIANHATE The recent hate crimes against members of our Asian community are devastating. Over the last year, violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has increased dramatically, especially against those who are most vulnerable. These acts of violence are rooted in ignorance and racism. WorkWell NYC and DC 37 condemn these acts and stands in solidarity with our Asian American colleagues and their families. Everyone deserves to live with dignity, without fear of working, walking, communing or thriving. We see you, we believe you, we support you. NYC prides itself on our diversity. We celebrate it each day and thrive on its enrichment to our daily lives. Hate has no home in our city. Together we can make that message louder than ever before.

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY

  1. Speak up and speak out against hate, racism and violence. Use this guide to learn how to have conversations about racism.
  2. Report hate crimes here or by calling 212-416-0197.
  3. Seek support. Experiencing racism as a victim or as a bystander can be traumatic. The NYC EAP can help at [email protected]v.
  4. Build space for dialogue. WorkWell NYC can help coordinate conversations for small teams to discuss and process these events. Contact Anna Tan at a[email protected] for more information.
  5. Practice self-care. There are many ways to help nurture yourself as a daily restorative practice. Here is a self-care guide to get you started. For additional resources, please visit the Project BUILD resource center here.                          

Visit the Upcoming Events webpage to see a full list of WorkWell NYC events and programs to help you reach your life goals.      

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BENEFITS

PAID FAMILY LEAVE BENEFIT

The NYS Paid Family Leave benefit is 12 weeks. The maximum weekly paid benefit is $971.61 or $1,943 bi-weekly. This union negotiated New York State benefit is available to nearly all DC 37 members, including those in the six nonprofit and private sector locals. For more details please read the DC 37 blog. To access the 2021 PFL calculator, visit: http://on.ny.gov/2LsklQ8

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PAID FAMILY LEAVE SURVEY

DC 37 Members: Did you use the Paid Family Leave Benefit in 2019, 2020 or 2021? You will receive a short survey from ABSOLVE in the next week or so by email. We are working with the City to see how to improve the PFL experience. Your feedback will help inform our efforts.  Please be sure to look for the survey in your email and respond.

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EDUCATION

AFSCME FREE 4-YEAR COLLEGE

The AFSCME free 4-year college program has been extended for good. This can be combined with the Free College program, under which AFSCME members and their immediate family can earn associate degrees for free. This means members of the AFSCME family can go to college for free from anywhere in the country. All they need is a computer and an internet connection. For more information visit: https://freecollege.afscme.org/

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DC 37 EDUCATION FUND

EDUCATION FUND IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SUMMER AND FALL 2021 CLASSES: The District Council 37 Education Fund is now accepting applications for our Summer and Fall 2021 applications. For now, the majority of our classes are being offered online. We have computer, language, GED and labor education courses plus a lot more. For information on particular classes and schedules, please visit: www.dc37edfund.org/courses.

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CUNY COUNSELING IS HERE FOR YOU! This is the ideal time to plan for fall enrollment at the CUNY college of your choice. Let Worker Education at the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies (SLU) help guide you through the process of finding the best CUNY program to match your education and career goals. Expert advisors offer FREE one-on-one phone sessions on: academic requirements for specific jobs; choosing a CUNY campus and major; applying to and financing a CUNY degree; certificate and non-credit options at CUNY, transferring previous credits, and more. Each session is free and catered to your specific goals and needs. To view the calendar and schedule your CUNY advisement session visit.

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Local 372 members working in School Food can earn an Associate Degree in Nutrition and Culinary Management through a partnership with LaGuardia Community College. For more information, email [email protected].

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Local 372 Paraprofessionals can earn 18 credits annually towards a degree in Human Services through a partnership with Monroe College. A virtual Open House will be held on Tuesday, June 22, at 6 p.m. for those interested in entering college in the Fall 2021 term. To apply, please visit: www.dc37edfund.org/local372ctpfall2021. For more information, please email [email protected].

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The Retirees Education Courses Are Back for the FALL 2021 Cycle! The DC 37 Ed Fund is accepting applications for online classes to be offered during the upcoming FALL 2021 cycle. The application can be accessed through the following links: https://form.jotform.com/211390511235141, to be filed online; or at https://www.dc37.net/benefits/education/deptclasses/retirees, if you prefer to print and mail the application to the address indicated. If you have any problems getting an application, please contact Manuel Gomez-Rosa by e-mailing [email protected] or by calling 212-815-1700.

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DC 37 and CUNY EXPAND LABOR LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

DC 37 and the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) will fully fund a series of four Labor Leadership programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for 100 DC 37 members. Credits earned can be applied to SLU’s undergraduate and graduate certificates in labor relations, or can be applied to the School’s requirements for a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies or the master’s degree in Labor Studies. The new scholarship program provides free tuition and is another example of DC 37’s commitment to the academic empowerment of its members. For information and admission requirements: https://bit.ly/3oAXh10. Submit your application here: https://bit.ly/3fAsf5k