JANUARY 29 — In an email sent out to hundreds of his members, Local 768 DC 37 President Fitz Reid attacked the Bloomberg administration’s priorities which include 141 layoffs at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).
In the email blast, he said, ” I am personally surprised by the Mayor’s priorities. Just days after he took credit for a continued increase in New Yorker’s longevity – to 79.4 years on average – he is about to take an axe to the primary guarantor of just that longevity – the agency that is in charge of preventive health for 8.4 million New Yorkers.”
Reid wrote of the sacrifices made by DC 37 members, which he said are greater than those borne by members of the Uniformed Services. In particular, he noted the DC 37 pattern of allowing new hires to remain at reduced pay levels for their first two years of employment, the health-care givebacks agreed to last summer in an unsuccessful effort to prevent layoffs, and the lack of step-pay plans for a majority of the Council’s 125,000 members.
Along with his email, Reid sent layoff contract provisions to all of his members well as a memo about layoffs prepared by DC 37’s Department of Research and Negotiations.
“Our most important avenue in forestalling or preventing layoffs lies in obtaining additional funding for DOH,” he wrote. “As anyone who watched President Obama’s speech last night knows, the Federal Government is putting additional resources into creating jobs. It therefore does not make much sense for a public agency like the Department of Health to be destroying them. And these are jobs which have a powerful impact on the welfare and safety of all New Yorkers. We must be prepared to make this case to elected officials, and right away.”
He added that the City of New York “is not sincerely working with the Unions, has not seriously discussed savings with us. Labor Management Committees, called for within our Health Services Contract, may be designed by management to increase productivity, but they should also be focused on maintaining services and preventing layoffs. They must be held to account.”