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Volume 44 Number 2 February 2014

Ofcial Publication of Social Service Employees Union Local 371-DC 37 AFSCME, AFL-CIO

Honoring Ensley

(story pages 4-5)

19 Delegate Assembly: 6:30 p.m. 235 West 23rd Street, Advance Realty 20 Next Wave: 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor 25 Shelters Chapter: 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor 26 Political Action Committee: 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor Civilians in Law Enforcement: 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor

The Time for a Contract Is Now

27 NYCHA Chapter: 10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.. Union Ofce, 12th Floor

MARCH 2014
5 Executive Committee: 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor 11 Latino Heritage Committee: 6:30 pm. Union Ofce, 12th Floor 12 Women's Committee: 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor 13 Committee of Concerned Social Workers: 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor 17 Membership Meeting: 6:30 p.m. 235 West 23rd Street, Advance Realty 18 Alumni Association: 2:00 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor 19 Delegate Assembly: 6:30 p.m. 235 West 23rd Street, Advance Realty 20 Next Wave: 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor 26 Political Action Committee: 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor Civilians in Law Enforcement: 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor

s Mayor Bill de Blasio enters his second month in ofce, it is time to prepare for contract negotiations. The mayor took a positive step when he said that the budget surplus, estimated at $2.5 billion, should be used to negotiate union contracts. He recognizes that the public workforce is suffering as expenses have gone up but our salaries have remained the same. Still, there are those who continue to attack us and our benets. Newspaper editorials advise the mayor to be hard on unions and extract givebacks on health and pension benets. However, we will not let them shape the discussion. We have worked without raises and continue to provide vital services that keep the City running. Through hurricanes, snow storms and everyday challenges, the City workforce has been there. There will be challenges. We cannot just focus on raises, but on a contract that meets our needs in health care and welfare fund benets. And, yes, retroactivity must be a part of the discussion.

[R]etroactivity must be a part of the discussion.

Black History
This month we celebrate Black History Month. It is a time to reect, recognize and honor the contributions that Black people have made to this country and civilization. We recognize that Black History is interwoven into American history and the labor movement. It is also a time to recognize that Black culture is as diverse as any culture. We also recognize that this Union embraces all cultures. Diversity is our strength. We struggle together for the common good, for a common goal and on common ground. And the common ground is the Union. We entered the year with a renewed hope, a new mayor who shared many ideals with us. A mayor who wants to end the tale of two cities, of which we live in the other city. At the start, he gave an indication of his direction, when the NYCHA layoffs were stopped. He has not gone after ACS workers, even when the misguided and uninformed sought to blame them in the tragic death of of a child. The attacks on unions remain a threat to our jobs, salaries, benets and pensions throughout this country. We cannot rest on the many successes we have made. We will remain vigilant, organized and prepared to battle anyone, anywhere who seeks to destroy this mighty, mighty Union. Together we move forward. God bless you and God bless the Union. Anthony Wells

Published monthly except for a combined issue in July/ August and a Supplement in January by the Social Service Employees Union Local 371, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO. Subscription Price $2.00 annually. Periodical postage paid at New York, N.Y. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: The Unionist, SSEU Local 371, 817 Broadway, N.Y., N.Y. 10003. USPS# 348990 (212) 677-3900 ISSN# 0041-7092 President Anthony Wells Executive Vice President Yolanda Pumarejo Secretary-Treasurer Juan Ortiz V.P. Negotiations & Research Rose Lovaglio-Miller V.P. Organization & Education Armenta Weekes V.P. Grievances & Legal Services Lloyd Permaul V.P. Publicity & Community Relations Patricia Chardavoyne V.P. Legislation & Political Action Michelle Akyempong Trustees Vincent Ciccarello Yolanda DeJesus Melva Scarborough Editor Ari Paul Visit us on the web at

The Unionist|February 2014

15-Day Election Notice

Ofcial 15-day notice is hereby given that the membership meeting on Monday, March 17, 2014 will hold the following nominations and/or elections. The meeting will be at 235 West 23rd Street, Manhattan, at 6:30 p.m. Nomination of candidates for the Union positions of President, Executive Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Vice President for Research and Negotiations, Vice President for Organization and Education, Vice President for Grievances and Legal Services, Vice President for Publicity and Community Relations, Vice President for Legislative and Political Action and three (3) Trustees of the Local. Nomination of candidates for three (3) positions of Trustee of the Welfare and Education Funds for the two-year term commencing in 2014. Nomination of candidates for the nineteen (19) positions of Delegate to the District Council 37 Delegates Council. Nomination of candidates for nine (9) positions of Delegate to the Central Labor Council. Nomination of candidates for nineteen (19) positions of Delegate and twenty (20) positions of Alternate Delegate to the AFSCME convention. Elections for all contested positions will be held by mail ballot referendum in April 2014.

Going Forward with ACS

UNION OFFICIALS met with new ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrin this month, and they are happy to report that the two sides are working together to address critical issues in the agency. This commissioner is listening and ready to work with us on creating change in ACS, said President Anthony Wells. The meeting came after some media outlets have jumped at the chance to blame ACS workers in the tragic death of Myles Dobson. In a stinging rebuke to a Chief editorial, Wells responded by saying, ACS workers make decisions that affect the lives of children and families for a lifetime. They carry caseloads, make visits in every imaginable condition and are required to complete inordinate amounts of paperwork. Still they do great work saving the lives of children and preventing child abuse. He added, Clearly, there can be sys-

temic changes such as law enforcement doing child abuse checks and notifying the agency if someone arrested has an ACS caseThere is also a need to look at stafng and case practices. In the end, this should not be a blame game but an opportunity to strengthen the system and provide protections to prevent the abuse and deaths of children.

Attention Recent SSEU Local 371 Graduates

SSEU Local 371s Celebration of Social Work Month will take place on Friday, March 28, 2014 at DC 37 with an evening of music, food, speakers, and recognition of the Unions social workers. This event honors those Union members who have graduated from social work school in the past year, said Executive Vice President Yolanda Pumarejo, the coordinator of the event and chairperson of the Unions Committee of Concerned Social Workers. We expect to have a great time this year, as always. All Local 371 members, family and friends are invited to attend the celebration, which will begin with a free buffet dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The program will follow, and is expected to end by 9:00 p.m.

Attention Recent SSEU Local 371 Graduates:

Please ll out the coupon below if you have graduated from social work school in the last two years, June 2012 or 2013, August 2012 or 2013, January 2013 or will graduate in January 2014, so that your name can be listed in the commemorative journal ad. Hundreds of Union members who received their MSWs have been honored at this event over the years. Please return to Yolanda Pumarejo, CCSW, SSEU Local 371, 817 Broadway, NY, NY 10003

I received my MSW in  q June 2012 q June 2013 q August 2012 q January 2013 q January 2014

q August 2013

Ofcial 15-Day Election Notice

Ofcial 15-Day notice is hereby given for the nomination and election of two (2) delegates and four (4) alternates for the Citywide delegation from the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Election will take place on Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in the Union Ofce, 817 Broadway, 12th Floor, Manhattan.
February 2014|The Unionist



NAME______________________________________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS____________________________________________________________________________________ CITY__________________________________________________________ STATE_________________ APT. ________


WORK TEL.__________________________________________ HOME TEL._________________________________________ S.S. #__________________________________________________ CIVIL SERVICE TITLE______________________________ JOB FUNCTION____________________________________________________________________________________________


Preserving the Past,

t wasnt just the fact that 700 people Union members, politicians, retirees and labor leaders were in the audience. It wasnt just that people gave emotional speeches and participated in live and silent auctions. The takeaway from the rst fundraiser for the Charles Ensley Scholarship at Russos on the Bay in Queens Jan. 23 was that our Union is united and dedicated to the mission of honoring its great leader by providing educational opportunities for members and their families. The dinner, attended by nearly 700 people, was meant to honor the heroic legacy of Charles Ensley, who led SSEU Local 371 for two decades and became one of the Citys most militant and charismatic labor leaders, and remains a spiritually guiding presence in the Union today. His memory was honored with speeches by labor activists who worked with him and learned from him.

A Legacy

Ticket sales to the event and the proceeds from the silent and live auctions which featured items from Ensleys vast art and music collections will go into the fund that will create scholarships for members seeking higher degrees in labor studies, policy studies and other related elds. Ensleys vision of the labor movement was unique. He led the Union to ght not just for fair pay and working conditions, but to advocate for civil and human rights outside the worksite. Ensley put his target not just on commissioners and mayors but also on corrupt and complacent labor leaders who werent working on the behalf of members. He put this philosophy to work when he led the charge to reform District Council 37. He believed strongly in

properly honor Charless legacy is to put his name atop of a permanent fund that will allow our members to get educated and become even better warriors for social justice.

A Union United
Wells said, This marks the beginning of a series of events that are going to fuel this scholarship fund but also bring the membership together around our beloved, former leader, Charles Ensley. Ensley became president of SSEU Local 371 in 1982. He died in June 2010 at the age of 69. Wells added, Events like these create a bond between members and the rest of the community, and by honoring Ensley we can appreciate and remember where we came from.

Annette Ensley, wife of Charles Ensley.

education and self-betterment, Union President Anthony Wells said of Ensley, who he considered his mentor, after the event. It is clear that the way to

People took part in both the live and silent auctions.


The Union is committed not only to Ensley's legacy but to the future of the scholarship fund in hi
The Unionist|February 2014

Building the Future

People heard from several inspiring speakers.

is name, President Anthony Wells told the crowd.

February 2014|The Unionist

A good time was had by all.


Photos pages 4 & 5: Pat Arnow

Black Heritage Celebration

SSEU LOCAL 371 members and their families were left in awe Feb. 7 when the Union put on a Black Heritage Celebration that combined inspiration performances with a speech by a rising AfricanAmerican star in the Democratic Party. In this years program, the rst since DC 37s headquarters reopened last year, featured a dance performance by girls from P.S. 54 and a musical and theatrical performance by the Conscious Ones, who recreated the injustices committed against the African Diaspora and celebrated the struggle for justice and equality. right-wing assault on unions, voting rights and the middle and working classes. This Union was founded on the Civil Rights Movement, she said, invoking how Republicans today are waging a war on communities of color and the poor by attacking welfare benets and workers rights. We are having a remix of 1965 right now in 2014. The hollers of support from members and the partying afterwards was an inspiring moment, President Anthony Wells noted. These events are important. We have to embrace all of our cultures and our pasts in order to build a better and more just future, he said. Im looking forward to more events like this one.

Meet Sen. Turner

Punctuating the event was a rousing speech by Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, who looked back on the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement and the parallels between those times and the current

Clockwise from above: Dancers from P.S. 54, the Conscious Ones, and the members of the Union's Black Heritage Committee.

The Unionist|February 2014

All photos Black Heritage: James McCray, Hy-Sync Media

State Senator Nina Turner (D-Ohio), above, spoke about why the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s matters today. Top right: the Homemakers gathered at this year's event. Bottom right: Union members, active and retired, packed the hall.

An Educational Venture for Social Workers

Its a MustLiterally
SSEU LOCAL 371 members at HRA should pay close attention to the Social Work Graduate Field Placement Training Program, as it is going to be mandatory for some titles. Dont worry: The Union and the agency are making it easy for members to get their education. The program, which offers nancial assistance to those getting their Masters of Social Work, offers preparatory courses for those seeking their license, which this year is now a requirement to practice social work in the state. The program offers a seminar in eld instruction (SIFI), a requirement for those seeking eld instruction titles. HRA consultant Peter Avitabile, who started the program in 2009, says the big advantage of the program is that members can take courses during their normal work hours, so they dont have to sacrice nights or weekends. This impacts supervisors and eld
February 2014|The Unionist

instructors because they must be licensed and have the certication, he said. This is a new twist. Monique Bryce, a Union member and JOS worker based in the Bronx, is studying at Hunter College through the program, with an additional $500 in support from the Unions Education Fund. The scholarship program is absolutely important, she said. The program will help you excel and get an understanding of the work that has to be done. She added, You never stop learning. The people we work with, we learn from the most. Melissa Roman, an HRA Social Worker who received her MSW from Hunter College in 2012, said that she embarked on the program when she was a Caseworker, knowing that she needed to return to school to advance her career. I would recommend going. Its a great learning experience, she said. The eld

Monique Bryce: 'You never stop learning.'

placement was a great learning experience. You were able to incorporate what youre learning with what youre doing in the eld. Avitabile said that the program has already seen 50 people come out with their MSWs, but he emphasized that it will be of great importance to the future of HRA for younger workers to take advantage of this educational avenue. To nd out more about the program, call Peter Avitabile at (929) 221-5582 or email him at

Pat Arnow

Condolences are extended to Anthony Sweeney, Delegate, Executive Committee member, Chapter Chairperson and Caseworker at Queens CASA, on the death of his brother, Daniel V. Sweeney, who died Feb. 4. Condolences may be sent to Anthony Sweeney, 319 East 24th Street, #23-B, New York, NY 10010. Condolences are extended to Cassandra Young, Delegate and Sup I from HRA/HASA, on the death of her mother, Dorothy J. DeVouse, who died in January. Condolences are extended to Carlos Pages, Delegate and Caseworker from HRA/HASA Waverly Center, on the death of his mother, Serana Pages, who died in January. Condolences may be sent to Carlos Pages, 2705 Schley Avenue, #3H Bronx, NY 10465.

Periodicals Postage Paid at New York, NY Social Service Employees Union Local 371 817 Broadway New York, N.Y. 10003

Decision in the Lloyd Permaul Case

he AFSCME Judicial Panel issued a decision last month in regards to the case of Lloyd Permaul, vice president of grievances and legal services, holding that he had violated the AFSCME constitution when he falsied City timesheets. With regard to charges 1-6, Brother Lloyd Permaul is found guilty of violating Article X, Section 2(G) (willful violation of a collective bargaining agreement), Judicial Panel Chairperson Richard Abelson said in his decision. The penalty assessed is a written reprimand and an express order not to repeat such violation in the future.

He continued, With regard to charge 7 (the rst allegation only), Brother Permaul is found guilty of violating Article X, Section 2 (F). The penalty assessed is a written reprimand and an express order to comply with the policy and not to repeat such violation in the future.

Congratulations to SSEU Local 371 member Virginia Carter on her retirement after 54 years of service with HRA.

Finding Closure
Mr. Permaul was reinstated to his position. The AFSCME decision brings a close to this unfortunate episode in our Unions history, said President Anthony Wells. The integrity of the Union is vital and will always be protected.

SWAP- Hospital Care Investigator at 234 East 149th Street in the Bronx would like to swap with a Hospital Care Investigator at Jacobi Hospital. If interested, call (718) 790-0157. SWAP- Community Associate at 25 Chapel Street in Brooklyn would like swap with a Community Associate in Long Island City Queens. If interested, call (718) 777-2195 or (718) 473-8303.


CCSW Celebration, March 28

he Committee for Concerned Social Workers is looking forward to honoring MSW graduates from 2012 and 2013 at this years celebration. And the committee chairperson and SSEU Local 371 Executive Vice President Yolanda Pumarejo is proud to announce that the NYCHA Youth Chorus will perform as this years entertainment. The Youth Chorus describes itself as dedicated to excellence in its performances and has a long and distinguished list to its credit. Some of these include: the legendary Apollo Theater, Avery Fisher Hall and Disneys Epcot Center, the Ofcial Chorus at the New York City 2000 Millennium Celebration, Radio City Music Hall (with Sir Elton John) and the International World Harmony Run at the United Nations, Mayoral Interfaith and Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfasts, and celebrations for the World Champion New York Yankees at City Hall. In addition, the NYCHA Youth Chorus has come to be known as the Good Will

Ambassadors for the New York City Housing Authority, instilling a healthy sense of pride and accomplishment in each and every one of its members. The event will be held Friday, March 28 at DC 37. All SSEU Local 371 members, family and friends are invited to attend this celebration, which will begin with a free buffet dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Please come out and enjoy a fun-lled ceremony.

Delegate Training
The Union is hosting a Delegate Training Saturday, March 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at DC 37, 125 Barclay Street, Manhattan. The training will be focused for Delegates and Alternates with less than ve years experience but all Delegates and Alternates 8 are welcome to attend.

The NYCHA Youth Chorus.

The Unionist|February 2014