Union News, Upcoming Events and Services

COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATE HOTLINE

To answer any outstanding questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine mandate agreement between DC 37 and the City, DC 37 has established a COVID-19 vaccine mandate hotline. Members can call this dedicated phone line to speak to a representative for assistance. The DC 37 hotline at 212-815-1100 is available Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM. Find the terms of the agreement here.

COVID-19 VACCINE, BOOSTER, and FLU SHOT

If you need the COVID vaccine, the flu vaccine, or the COVID-19 booster, DC 37 urges you to get immunized so you can enjoy a healthier holiday season. Children age five and up can get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. City workers can use up to four hours of excused leave to travel to get themselves or their child(ren) immunized. The employee should give their supervisor three days' notice. For more details, please speak to a union representative. Hundreds of sites across the city offer appointments or walk-up vaccines at no cost. Help end the pandemic. Get vaccinated.

DC 37 DENTAL CENTER

The DC 37 Dental Center is open. The state of the art, 30-chair facility at 115 Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan is accepting appointments Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM and Saturday from 8 AM to 5 PM. To schedule your visit, please call 212-766-4440.

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLUS PLAN for NYC RETIREES

The Municipal Labor Committee has voted to move to a Medicare Advantage Plus Plan designed specifically for DC 37 NYC retirees. The plan goes into effect January 1, 2022. For more information, call 833-325-1190.

MSK LUNG HEALTH SCREENING IS EASY

Lung cancer is the #1 cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States. It causes more deaths each year than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers combined.

During the early stages of lung cancer, most people have few symptoms, or none at all. With early lung cancer screening, doctors find 80% of lung cancer at an early stage when it is easier to treat.

Learning about the risk factors associated with developing lung cancer, such as smoking history, age, family history, and exposure to toxic substances, can help lower fear and uncertainty commonly associated with this disease.

To encourage you to learn more about lung health and early lung screening, MSK Direct has partnered with DC 37 to provide resources on DC 37's dedicated MSK Direct webpage. MSK Direct provides DC 37 members and their families dedicated access to exceptional cancer care, support, and expert resources from the world's leading specialists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK).

If you or a family member are impacted by cancer and would like to discuss treatment options at MSK, call MSK Direct at 883-786-3365 or visit DC 37's dedicated webpage. Take charge of your health.

NYC PUBLIC SCHOOL FAMILIES CAN GET A $50 MONTHLY INTERNET CREDIT, APPLY NOW

New York City public school families can receive a $50 monthly discount on internet broadband service and a one-time $100 credit for a laptop, tablet or desktop computer. Families must apply and find a broadband provider in their area participating in the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The broadband service provider then offers eligible families a discounted rate and is reimbursed by the federal government. Apply here while funds last.

DC 37 EVENTS:

PARENTAL LEAVE WORKSHOP DEC. 13 at 2 PM

ONLINE FREE for DC 37 MEMBERS

Taking a parental leave soon? Attend a free virtual Planning Workshop from the Center for Parental Leave Leadership on Monday, DEC. 13, at 2 PM. We've made special arrangements with the Center for Parental Leave Leadership and authors of the recently released book The Parental Leave Playbook to attend this free parental leave planning webinar.

In this free workshop you'll:

  • Learn the ten touchpoints of the parental leave transition
  • Learn how to plan for all three phases of parental leave:
    • Prepare for leave
    • During leave
    • Return from leave
  • Get a free Next Steps Action Plan template for planning your leave
  • Have the chance to ask your questions of the parental leave experts!

Register at: https://cplleadership.com/register-for-a-leave-planning-workshop/. Use our unique code when you sign up: DC37

MELS REAL ESTATE WEBINAR DEC. 13, 6 PM

MELS, the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services, will host a virtual webinar for members and retirees who are interested in buying a home, co-op or condominium apartment. On Monday, Dec. 13 at 6 PM, MELS Housing experts will discuss retaining and working with a realtor, seller’s concerns, purchaser’s concerns, financing and mortgages, home inspections, closings and more.

To register visit: https://rcm.ringcentral.com/webinar/register/WN_T0sU7o-PRBahq82Wtg-jAQ. For more information, please call the MELS Screening Unit at 212.815.1111 or email: [email protected].

CLIMATE JUSTICE COMMITTEE

The DC 37 Climate Justice Committee meets the first and third Tuesday of every month. To join, please email Committee Chair Jon Forster at: [email protected].

MELS:

STUDENT LOAN FORBEARANCE UPDATE

To take advantage of the temporary waiver (see below), otherwise qualified borrowers with indirect student loans, or borrowers who simply have a history of repayment on non-qualifying plans, must consolidate their indirect loans; select an income driven repayment plan, and submit the PSLF Employer Certification form by October 31, 2022. Doing so will allow the borrower to receive credit for payments made on any plan.

Whether your loan is in default, you need assistance in qualifying for PSLF, you wish to learn how switching to an income driven repayment plan will affect your cost, or you just want help understanding student loans, MELS can help. To connect with a MELS attorney call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111. MELS can help!

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Temporary Waiver:

On October 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education temporarily waived a number of the requirements borrowers who qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) must meet. The waiver period expires on October 31, 2022. Appropriate steps must be taken prior to that date in order to take advantage of the benefits of the waiver. 

Waiver of the Qualifying Repayment Plan Options:

Under the traditional rules, to qualify for PSLF a borrower working full-time in a qualified employment was required to make 120 payments toward their direct federal student loan debt pursuant to one of the four income driven repayment plan options: PAYE, RE-PAYE, Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment. The repayment plan requirement is temporarily waived. During the waiver period, payments made on any plan will count toward PSLF.

Borrowers with FFEL and Perkins Loans:

Borrowers with FFEL and Perkins loans now have an improved pathway to PSLF. Under the traditional rules, only direct federal student loans qualified for PSLF. Borrowers with FFEL loans and Perkins loans had to consolidate into a direct consolidated federal loan in order to qualify for PSLF. Payments made prior to consolidation did not count toward PSLF. During the waiver period, borrowers must still consolidate. However, provided a borrower consolidates during the waiver period, payments made prior to consolidation, on any repayment plan, will count toward PSLF.

For information on the appropriate steps to take, affected members and their eligible family members are encouraged to call MELS at 212.815.1111. MELS can help! 

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON EVICTION MORATORIUMS

NEW YORK STATE EVICTION MORATORIUM

New York State lawmakers agreed on Sept. 1 to extend sweeping protections against evictions. The state’s amended eviction moratorium, extended through Jan. 15, 2022, is one of the most extensive protections put into place in the nation. Under the amended law, landlords can challenge a tenant’s declaration of hardship. However, tenants are still encouraged to file New York State hardship declaration forms. MELS can help with issues related to the state hardship declaration form and the other protections available to tenants. Call the MELS Screening Unit at 212.815.1111 for advice and legal representation.

EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ERAP)

New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will no longer accept Emergency Rental Assistance Program applications. Tenants who have applied for ERAP are protected from eviction while the application is processed. ERAP can provide up to 15 months of rent and up to 12 months of gas and electric utility arrears. If you have questions or need assistance, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212.815.1111.

HEALTH and COVID:

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

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 (7 AM to 7 PM EST), Monday through Friday. For additional burial assistance programs, please visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/burial-assistance.page.            

FAMILIES:

PAID FAMILY LEAVE BENEFIT

The New York State Paid Family Leave benefit is 12 weeks. The maximum weekly paid benefit is $971.61 or $1,943 bi-weekly. This union-negotiated benefit is available to nearly all DC 37 members, including members in the six nonprofit and private sector locals. For more details about the PFL benefit, please contact your union representative. To access the 2022 PFL benefits calculator, visit: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/PFLbenefitscalculator2022

Be sure to join the free PLANNING PFL WORKSHOP DEC. 13 at 2 PM. Register at: https://cplleadership.com/register-for-a-leave-planning-workshop/. Use code: DC37

GET HELP PAYING for CHILD CARE

The Child Care Facilitated Enrollment Project is a New York State 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

EDUCATION:

AFSCME FREE 4-YEAR COLLEGE

AFSCME offers a free 4-year college program to members and their immediate family. You can go to college for free from anywhere in the country. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. For more information, visit: https://freecollege.afscme.org/

DC 37 EDUCATION FUND

THE EDUCATION FUND IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE WINTER 2022 CYCLE: Please visit the DC 37 website at www.dc37.net/benefits/education/edfund to sign up for classes beginning in January. Classes fill up quickly so register today!

CUNY COUNSELING IS HERE FOR YOU! This is the ideal time to plan for Spring 2022 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 caters to your specific goals and needs. To view the calendar and schedule your CUNY advisement session visit: https://cunydays.eventbrite.com. Can't find a date/time that works for you? Email: [email protected].

EDUCATION AND CAREER COUNSELING: Do you need guidance selecting a class from our offerings, updating a resume or need assistance reaching a career or educational goal? Contact a counselor to schedule a virtual appointment: https://www.dc37.net/benefits/education/offerings/counseling

TEST PREP WORKSHOPS: Workshops offered in the Winter term will assist members to prepare for Civil Service and other exams. Members can select from one or more subject areas: Reading, English Language Arts and Math. Each workshop is six sessions long.

These classes will provide essential knowledge of the subject area that is being tested in addition to strategies for selecting the best response. Familiarity with the question types will reduce anxiety and improve success. Although the workshops do not address a specific exam, the essential learning is beneficial to all exams. The workshops are online. Applications are available on the website: https://www.dc37.net/benefits/education/offerings/testprep

RETIREES EDUCATION COURSES FOR WINTER 2022: We are accepting applications for online classes for the WINTER 2022 cycle. Apply here to file online; or go to the website if you prefer to print and mail the application to the address indicated. For more information, email Manuel Gomez-Rosa: [email protected] or call 212-815-1700.

WORKWELL NYC:

FLU SEASON IS HERE. FREE FLU SHOTS ARE AVAILABLE!

The City and its unions offer free flu shots to municipal employees and their families. Learn more and make a flu shot appointment at a WorkWell NYC Clinic here: on.nyc.gov/wwnycflu.

To see the full list of WorkWell NYC events, visit: on.nyc.gov/upcomingevents