Message from President Claude Fort, P.E.

Over $500,000 in Salary Adjustments

The Local just won, this week, permanent salary adjustments totaling more than $500,000 for 52 members working at CUNY TV. First V.P. Michelle Keller and I, together with Attorneys Meaghan Murphy, Steve Sykes and Grievance rep. Uma Kutwal worked for months on this difficult issue with the full support and participation of the CUNY TV members. 

This is separate from the contract we are currently negotiating for them. I want to thank the CUNY TV members for their patience and the confidence they placed in us to make it happen. Special thanks to Tyrik Washington, Bruno Giuliani, Marisa Holmes and Brother Mario Rosales. CUNY Management is one of the toughest we had to deal with, but we wouldn’t give up on our members. Congratulations to all of them. (please click here for full update)

In solidarity,
Claude Fort, P.E. - President Local 375

Local 375 PELS Update

NEW YORK’S NEW SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE LAW

New amendments to the New York Domestic Relations Law and Family Court Act have changed the way New York’s courts are required to respond to requests for spousal maintenance as part of a divorce. In 2010, New York State enacted divorce reform including no-fault divorces, and at the same time enacted guidelines and formulas governing temporary (pre-divorce) maintenance awards.

Now, some five years later, following a study by the State Law Revision Commission, similar formulas have been adopted covering post-divorce maintenance awards. The previous law applied equal standards to divorcing parents with children paying child support, even if the maintenance payor was also the custodial parent.

Now the new law will use a different formula requiring less maintenance for a maintenance payor who is also the non-custodial parent paying child support.  The law has also clarified that maintenance is to be calculated prior to calculating child support; and in assessing child support guidelines calculations, maintenance is to be deducted from the payor’s income and added to the payee’s income. Under the 2010 law, temporary maintenance awards (pending litigation) would be in effect for the entire duration of the litigation.

A Note From Local 375 Counsel About the Rerun Election

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Local 375,

As many of you know, I serve as Counsel to Local 375. In that capacity I try hard to stay above the political back and forth so that I can better serve the members. With that in mind I am making this report about the upcoming rerun election in Local 375.

Recently, AFSCME decided to conduct a rerun of the entire Local 375 Officer Elections, as though no voting had occurred during prior rounds. So, sometime in the next two months new ballots will go out in the mail and you will have to vote again. It is important that you participate in the process, and not be turned off by having to vote again. The election is just too important.

The Local 375 Election is run under the same standards that private sector union elections are run. One key element is the prohibition on the use of either “union resources” or “employer resources”. Intent is irrelevant. Even if a line is mistakenly crossed, a violation may occur (as long as someone complains). Two issues arising out of this prohibition caused the re-run, both of which had to do with emails.

While union officers can send out emails and newsletters in the name of the union, using union lists, those emails and newsletters cannot cross the line into “campaign literature”. Sometimes where that line ends can be the source of great argument. Additionally, with respect to the "employer resources" prohibition, AFSCME has held, in recent rulings, that when a campaign email is received at an employer provided e-mail address, that amounts to “use of employer resources.” Some may disagree, but that is now the rule.

Message from President Claude Fort, P.E.

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Local 375,

The Local in conjunction with DC 37 will hold preparatory classes for candidates who will be taking the City Planner Exam on May 21. Arrangements are being made with one school in Manhattan to provide us with the needed space. We are looking for two instructors for the prep. classes. If you have the required qualifications or if you know any member who does, please contact me at 212 815-1375 or e-mail me at cfort@local375.org as soon as possible.

We will also discuss with DC 37 some arrangements for preparatory classes for the upcoming CPM Exam. We will keep you posted.

It has come to my attention that there are some misleading information being given to the membership concerning the 0.52%, more specifically to our DEP members. The 0.52% is an additional compensation fund (ACF) that was negotiated in this current contract. We need to finalize it before we receive the next 3% raise in September. We have already completed the negotiations with the NYC Transit. The City of New York is in the process of costing out some of the items we want to include in the 0.52% for our members in the mayoral agencies. The Research Division of DC 37 has not received those numbers yet from the City. That should not take long. As soon as we have the breakdown for the different items, our own Local 375 negotiating committee will meet, we will have the DC 37 professionals from the Research and Negotiation Division and together we will discuss our proposals for the 0.52%. I want to reassure all of you that we will finish the process very soon and you will all receive your 3% raise on time, as scheduled. There will be absolutely NO DELAY. Everyone will see the 3% raise in their first September paycheck.

JOSEPH E. COLLINS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP 2016

The scholarship is open to high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is an active member of the Civil Service Technical Guild, Local 375. To be eligible, the student must be graduating from high school in June of 2016 and planning to enter college or university in the fall.

The Scholarship is awarded on the basis of;
• Academic achievement
• Extra-curricular activities & Leadership
• SAT, ACT, AP & CUNY Test Scores
• Community Services

To apply you may:  
Download the application or Contact the Guild office at: 212-815-1375.
The deadline to receive applications is May 20, 2016

Claude Fort, P.E.        
Local 375 President
Naze Andreville
Scholarship Committee Chairperson

Message from President Claude Fort, P.E.

Dear Sisters and Brothers of local 375,

I wish you and your family a happy, healthy and successful new year 2016. I hope you had an enjoyable time with family and friends during the Holiday season. We started the year with a big grievance victory in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Seven of our hardworking members won a group grievance with a $5,500 salary increase each plus retroactive money from April 2015. It was the result of hard work by our grievance representative Uma Kutwal and Chapter president Samantha Rappa-Giovagnolli, under the supervision of our first vice-president Sister Michelle Keller.

Also Mayor De Blasio issued a very interesting executive order, granting 20,000 non-union and managerial employees of the City of New York six weeks of paid-parental leave upon the birth of a new child or adoption beginning this month. These employees will see a deduction of two days in their annual leave and will have to forgo a .47% raise. Unions all over the City are talking about this new benefit.

Local 375 is not new to this initiative. In November 2015, we negotiated a two weeks fully paid maternity and paternity leave for our members at the New York City Transit without giving back any vacation or sick day. We believe that the new benefit being offered by the Mayor should be obtained for our members without any giveback. This issue will be the subject of many debates, discussions within DC 37 and Local 375 and hopefully the subject of negotiations between the City and the Unions. We will keep you informed of any new development. Please click here for Local 375 eNews Update.

In solidarity,
Claude Fort, P.E. president Local 375

Message from Local 375 President Claude Fort, P.E.

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Local 375,

As you know, in this current contract we negotiated a 3% salary increase for you that will start in September 2016. Last night I made a presentation at the Delegate meeting (October 21, 2015) and a request was made. Therefore, I am sending you as an attachment the salary you will be making in September 2016 after you receive the 3% raise according to your title (please click here for attachment).

We are turning the pressure on CUNY Managemet to finalize negotiations for a contract for our hardworking CUNY members. It is so wrong that 10,000 DC 37 members from CUNY, including 200 Local 375 members still don't have a contract. We are continuing the fight through political action, organizing,legal action,  negotiations, demonstration etc.. to bring CUNY to the table and obtain a contract for our members. We thank all of them for their courage and patience.

The Local, through our Grievance Rep., Uma Kutwal recently negotiated a big promotion for brother Harry Donas, Chapter 8 DEP president. The promotion from Assistant Chemical Engineer to Chemical Engineer LEVEL 2 comes with a salary increase of at least 20,000.00 dollars per year, for life, pensionable. Brother Harry Donas declined the promotion because the available vacancy is not in his chapter, therefore he would lose the chapter presidency, but still be in DEP in Local 375. By the way, as a chapter president, brother Donas gets only $100 a month non pensionable. We did our duties, but this is his Choice to accept the promotion or reject it. I hope he stops saying that the Union didn't do anything for him.

Message from President Claude Fort, P.E.

435

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Local 375

Saturday May 9 is the first day of the preparatory classes for those of you who will be taking the Associate Project Manager (APM) Civil Service Exam on June 23.
The training classes will be held at the Norman Thomas High School auditorium, located at 111 East 33rd Street, (corner of Park Ave.) from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. If you registered for the classes, please be there. Test prep. materials may be picked up at the DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay St, Room 202 during the following dates:

Message from President Claude Fort, P.E.

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Local 375,

Members have been calling the Local to inquire about the January 27, 2015, Snow day. I want you to know that we have been assured by our DC 37 Attorneys that they will take all the necessary steps to fight any and all deductions from your annual leave account on a Citywide basis, for that day. Based on all the information that we were given the day before (Jan 26) and all the restrictions on road traveling, subway closing etc.., we feel confident that we will prevail. The DC 37 Research and Negotiations Department is also looking for any communication that members received from their respective agencies, regarding the  Snow Storm. This information will be useful when we put a claim against the City for the Snow day. I am asking all of our Chapter presidents to collect this information and forward it to the Local. Thank you for your continued cooperation.

In December 2013, Local 375 filed a petition with the Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB) to represent the Administrative titles (M1s) who are currently managerial but doing our work.  After a series of meetings between the Union and OCB, a survey was sent out to all employees in these titles. The City is being very cooperative and we have all indications that the Local will be successful in our efforts to bring hundreds of new members into our Union.

The Local is currently in discussion with the DC 37 Education Department to arrange for test preparation classes for members who will take civil service examinations this year. We are looking for instructors who can provide the training, especially for the Associate Project Manager as well as the Associate Housing Development Specialist test. Registration for both exams will be in March 2015. We will keep you informed. Any suggestions, please call 212 815-1375.

Message from President Claude Fort, P.E.

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Local 375,

Local 375 has achieved a lot for our members in 2014, due in large part to your continuous support. With your help, we will achieve more in 2015.  As the year is drawing to an end, we thank you for your contribution to our union and the labor movement and wish you and your family a safe, happy and enjoyable holiday. 

Thank you.

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