April 30, 2012
Hearing May 2nd at 500 Pearl Street – 10:30AM
WHAT: District Council 1707 AFSCME, representing 25,000 subsidized day care, Head Start and other non-profit employees, will challenge New York City’s right to drastically re-structure the city’s long-standing child care network administered by the Administration for Children’s Services. The union will seek an injunction to stay the City’s implementation of its EarlyLearn program. Named in the suit are NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Ronald Richter, Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services.
WHERE: United States District Court, Southern District, 500 Pearl Street, Manhattan.
WHEN: May 2nd at 10:30 a.m. in front of Judge Paul G. Gardephe.
WHO: Attorney Thomas M. Murray will be arguing the case for DC 1707—with parents and day care and Head Start employees attending.
BACKGROUND: New York City’s new “EarlyLearn” program commits $487 million in annual contracts with private providers, both for profit and non-profit, that will run from September of this year through August of 2016. Yet is it being implemented in violation of the union’s lawful right to bargain under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Because the NLRA pre-empts local law, the City’s request-for-proposals for EarlyLearn must be disallowed.
Specifically illegal is that the City has prevented The Day Care Council of New York (DCC) and the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council of New York (HSSBC) from bargaining for health insurance with the Union, while at the same time it has assisted employers applying for EarlyLearn contracts to find health insurance. Instead, the Mayor and HHC Commissioner are trying to ram through the RFP to reduce health care and pension costs for staff in subsidized day care and Head Start centers. The Union contends the main purpose of the RFP is to destroy the ability of the union to collectively bargain for its members in order to slash employee wages, pension and health care costs. If EarlyLearn is allowed to go forward, there would be irreparable harm to the collective bargaining and representation rights of DC 1707 and its members. It may also result in the loss of safe, affordable, and quality child care for 10,000 city children. DC 1707 will ask the court to intervene and restore the normal bargaining process.