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About Us

Meet your DC 37 Vice Presidents

The DC 37 Executive Board is the governing body of the union when the Delegates Council is not in session. The board includes the union’s top officers (the executive director, president, secretary and treasurer); 25 vice presidents from DC 37 locals; and the head of DC 37 Retirees Association, an ex-officio member who cannot vote.

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Robert D. Ajaye
President
Local 2627
Dilcy Benn
President
Local 1505
Carmen Charles
President
Local 420
Valentin Colon
President
Local 1930
Michael L. DeMarco
President
Local 1455
Gene DeMartino
President
Local 376
Cuthbert Dickenson
President
Local 374

Juan Fernandez
President
Local 154
Shaun D. Francois I
President
Local 372
Jonathan Gray
President
Local 1655
Dennis Ifill
President
Local 1539
Eric Latson
President
Local 1597
Dishunta Meredith
President
Local 2054
Israel Miranda Jr.
President
Local 2507
Eileen M. Muller
President
Local 1482
Deborah A. Pitts
President
Local 1113
Joseph Puleo
President
Local 983
Alma G. Roper
Executive V.P.
Local 1549
Fausto Sabatino
President
Local 1070
Ahmed Shakir
Local 375
Kyle Simmons
President
Local 924
Peter Stein
President
Local 508
James J. Tucciarelli
President
Local 1320
Esther (Sandy) Tucker
President
Local 384
 
 
  Anthony Wells
President
Local 371
Rochelle Mangual
President
Retirees Association
 





Robert D. Ajaye
President, Local 2627

Robert D. Ajaye
President, Local 2627

Robert D. Ajaye, president of Electronic Data Processing Local 2627, is passionate about blocking the city’s contracting out of information technology work. During the Bloomberg years, he fi ercely criticized the city’s use of excessively paid, contracted computer workers.

Ajaye’s tireless efforts to keep work in-house paid off last year when the city and union reached an agreement that calls for in-sourcing information technology work. DC 37 believes the agreement could increase the city’s IT staff by a few thousand. Ajaye joined the city workforce in 1983 as a Program Analyst at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

He is now an Information Technology Sr. Associate. Ajaye was elected 1st vice president of Local 2627 in 2005 and president in 2008. He is now serving his third term as president. During his tenure, the local’s membership has increased by 2,000. Ajaye is chair of the DC 37 Housing Committee and a past chair of the DC 37 Black History Committee.

 




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Dilcy Benn
President, Local 1505

Dilcy Benn
President, Local 1505

Local 1505 President Dilcy Benn was re-elected in January to the Executive Board for a third term. She has stood up for workers at every turn.

“I protect my members from abuses by management,” Benn said. When layoffs threatened Local 1505 members’ jobs and reduced others to seasonal employment, Benn worked with DC 37 leaders to protect their full-time status. She has fought for and won hardship transfers for Local 1505 members, and she recently negotiated their right to transfer within the Dept. of Parks and Recreation.

“You have to love this work to do it. You have to care about people,” said Benn, a former shop steward and vice president, who represents Attendants, Debris Removers, City Parks Workers and Parks Service Workers. Benn serves on the DC 37 Parks Policy Committee, and she is a trustee of the DC 37 Education Fund and a member of the Site Inspection Committee.








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Carmen Charles
President, Local 420

Carmen Charles
President, Local 420

Carmen Charles is a longtime activist who spent years getting the pulse of her hospital coworkers, something that has served her well as president of Local 420.

She was elected president of 10,000-member Municipal Hospital Employees Local 420 in 2002. Her career at NYC Health + Hospitals began when she was hired as a Nurse’s Aide at Coler-Goldwater Hospital. In 1987, she was elected shop steward and in 1999 members elected her local vice president.

As president of Local 420, Charles has negotiated upgrades for her members, made the local more fi nancially accountable and fought against contracting out while encouraging members to get more active in union affairs. A strong advocate of using education as a tool for empowerment, Charles graduated from Cornell University’s Union Leadership Program.










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Valentin Colon
President, Local 1930

Valentin Colon
President, Local 1930

First-time executive board member Valentin (Val) Colon is serving his third term as president of New York Public Library Guild Local 1930.

“My big fight has always been for the staff,” said Colon, pointing to the local’s string of 10 arbitration wins during his tenure. One arbitration led to a restoration of overtime pay for Sunday work and won the affected members $250,000 in back pay. Colon joined the library’s workforce as a clerk in 1980 through the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act. He was soon hired on the library’s regular staff, and is now an Offi ce Associate 3.

Colon has sought to improve the local’s sometimes strained working relationship with DC 37. That paid off last year, when DC 37 and the union’s library locals worked together to convince the City Council to add $43 million to the budgets of the city’s three library systems, which have suffered years of downsizing and service cuts.








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Michael L. DeMarco
President, Local 1455

Michael L. DeMarco
President, Local 1455

Michael L. DeMarco was re-elected to the Executive Board for a fi th term. As president of Traffic Employees Local 1455, he represents 450 employees in the Dept. of Transportation.

“I am honored to serve our great union,” DeMarco said. “Our board is united in its efforts protect members’ jobs and hard-won benefits. DC 37 leaders work tirelessly to contract in work and fight attempts at privatizing our jobs and the public services our members provide.”

During his 16 years as a DC 37 Executive Board member, DeMarco has chaired the union’s Education Fund Trust, the Credentials Committee and the Italian Heritage Committee. He co-chairs DC 37’s DOT Equipment Committee, and he is on the union’s Pension Committee. DeMarco is DC 37’s representative on the AFSCME Transportation Committee. He also serves on AFSCME’s Appeals Committee and Election Committee. DeMarco and Local 1455 generously support DC 37’s Help Our Own Fund and Holiday Giving programs.

 






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Gene DeMartino
President, Local 376

Gene DeMartino
President, Local 376

Gene DeMartino was re-elected to the Executive Board in January. DeMartino previously served on the board in 2004. DeMartino had served as vice president of Local 376 for seven years when members elected him president in 2002.

Local 376 represents Construction Laborers, Highway Repairers and Watershed Maintainers, and Apprentice Construction Laborers at the Dept. of Environmental Protection, the Dept. of Sanitation, the Dept. of Transportation and the Dept. of Education. They maintain and repair upstate watersheds that bring clean water into the city, and maintain thousands of miles of DEP water mains, as well as roadways, streets and highways citywide.

“Our biggest achievement as a local has been to fi nally settle two prevailing wage contracts that give our members wages they deserve and pay compatible with what people in the private sector doing the same jobs earn,” DeMartino said.

 







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Cuthbert Dickenson
President, Local 374

Cuthbert Dickenson
President, Local 374

Cuthbert Dickenson is serving in his fourth term as a vice president of the Executive Board.

Dickenson began his career in public service in 1984 as an Electrical Maintainer for the New York Public Library. In 2002, members overwhelmingly elected him president of Quasi- Public Employees Local 374. Before that, he was a chapter chair and a union delegate for over 10 years.

Dickenson worked with library management and the DC 37 Education Fund to develop a free trades apprenticeship program for members at Manhattan, Staten Island and Bronx libraries. The program preps members for a career in facilities management and maintenance. Dickenson chairs the DC 37 Citizenship/Immigration Committee, and he is a trustee of the New York Public Library Health and Security Trust. He is a member of the union’s Caribbean Heritage Committee and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. Dickenson is a Cornell University Labor Leadership program graduate.








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Juan Fernandez
President, Local 154

Juan Fernandez
President, Local 154

Local 154 President Juan Fernandez believes the unionist’s job in the 21st century is to make the union stronger and protect it from the forces of greed that are pushing to concentrate wealth in the hands of the 1 precent.

“It would be impossible to fi ght for living wages, civil service protections, health care and retirement benefi ts without unions,” he said. Fernandez joined the city workforce in 1987. He works as an Associate Human Rights Specialist at the NYC Commission on Human Rights. His work includes training advocates for people with disabilities, researching immigration and hate crimes, and training community activists about discrimination.

During his tenure as president, Local 154 added members from the private-sector, including New York Law School workers, Automated Finger Imaging System Operators and contracted linen workers at the NYC Health+Hospitals. His priorities include pushing for civil service exams, membership outreach and grieving workplace violations and management abuses.








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Shaun D. Francois I
President, Local 372

Shaun D. Francois I
President, Local 372

Board of Education Employees Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I is beginning his second term on the Executive Board.

In the past 25 years he worked in several capacities at the Dept. of Education. He’s worked as a substitute School Lunch Helper, Senior School Lunch Helper, Assistant Cook, Cook and worked for 15 years as a Loader and Handler. He became a shop steward to advocate on behalf of his coworkers when he saw how poorly management treated them. “I saw people fi red after 15 and 20 years on the job; that’s not right,” he said.

In 2014, he tossed his hat into the ring and ran for local president. Elected that August, he quickly set out to make changes. The local filed a pay parity lawsuit on behalf of School Crossing Guards against the Dept. of Education. SCGs perform similar duties as Traffic Enforcement Agents but get paid less. A resident of Rosedale, Queens, Francois chairs Local 372’s Next Wave Ad Hoc Committee and is secretary of its Cultural Committee.

 







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Jonathan Gray
President, Local 1655

Jonathan Gray
President, Local 1655

Jonathan Gray, president of Metropolitan Transportation Authority Clerical- Administrative Employees Local 1655, was re-elected to the Executive Board at the union’s delegates meeting in January.

“Union work is a passion for me,” Gray said. As a member of the Executive Board, Gray has served on the union’s Laws and Rules Committee. Gray went to work as an Associate Cashier Level I in August 1982, became a shop steward and was elected local vice president in 2004 and local president in 2008.

He grew up in the Bronx, graduated from Mount Vernon High School and attended Bronx Community and Skidmore colleges. Gray and his wife, Theresa, have three children.

 

 







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Dennis Ifill
President, Local 1359

Dennis Ifill
President, Local 1359

Dennis Ifill is a strong supporter of immigrant rights and housing issues. Ifill is president of Rent Regulation Service Employees Local 1359.

As chair of the DC 37 Political Action Committee, he helps shape the union’s political agenda. Local 1359 represents more than 370 Attorneys, Clerks, Rent Examiners, Rent Inspectors, Stenographers, Accountants and Housing Specialists at the New York State Homes and Community Renewal agency and Investigators in the agency’s Tenant Protection Unit.

“When you grow up in the Third World, you need to get involved in labor early in your life,” said the Guyana native. Ifill has a diploma in accounting from the Guyana Technical Institute, and he studied labor law at Guyana’s Critchlow Labor College. He has a bachelor’s degree in math from the University of Guelph in Canada.

 








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Eric Latson
President, Local 1597

Eric Latson
President, Local 1597

Eric Latson, president of Custodial Assistants Local 1597, is returning to the Executive Board as a vice president. His local represents 2,000 Custodians, Elevator Operators, Security Aides and Watchmen.

Latson, a 30-year veteran at City College, got involved with his union after reading the contract. “That led me to become a shop steward,” he said. He served on the local’s board for 12 years, eventually being elected vice president. He has served as president since 2006.

“Our main concern is to retain jobs and benefi ts for our members,” Latson said. “Unions are under attack from the conservative right. But we are fi ghting back to protect our members’ jobs, wages, benefits, and pensions. That is the bottom line and what members expect of us.” Eric Latson is married and lives in Queens with his three children.

 








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Dishunta Meredith
President, Local 2054

Dishunta Meredith
President, Local 2054

Dishunta Meredith is in her third term on the Executive Board. She began her activism with NYC College Assistants Local 2054 in 2008, as a shop steward. She was elected president of the local in 2010.

Local 2054 represents employees in numerous titles throughout the City University of New York system, which includes the CUNY Graduate Center, senior colleges, two-year technical and community colleges and Hunter College High School.

Born in Alabama, Meredith moved to New York City with her family as a child and attended public schools in Queens, where she now lives. Meredith has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in computer science.









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Israel Miranda Jr.
President, Local 2507

Israel Miranda Jr.
President, Local 2507

As president of Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics of the NYC Fire Dept. Local 2507 since 2011, Israel Miranda Jr. has made extensive training and safety top priorities for his members.

Miranda and his members recently celebrated a victory when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law making the assault of a first responder a class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. With his many trips to Albany to lobby legislators in support of the new law, Miranda made a difference in galvanizing support for the law and securing its passage.

A strong advocate for the medical monitoring of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Miranda worked on the issue with former Sen. Hillary Clinton. He has been an active member of the WTC Medical Monitoring Committee since its inception and serves with the Public Employees Safety Committee and the NY Detox Workers Advisory Board.

 







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Eileen M. Muller
President, Local 1482

Eileen M. Muller
President, Local 1482

Eileen M. Muller is the president of Brooklyn Public Library Guild Local 1482.

She expressed her appreciation to DC 37’s top leaders and Executive Board for supporting the union’s library locals in their campaign for a local law to guarantee a stable funding base for the city’s three public library systems, and for last year’s effort to increase funding in the city budget.

Muller started out as a clerical worker at Brooklyn Public Library in 1985. She then studied at the College of New Rochelle, where she earned a liberal arts degree. She later earned her master’s degree in library science and technology at the Pratt Institute. Muller’s busy schedule includes serving as chair of the DC 37 Disability Advisory Committee.










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Deborah A. Pitts
President, Local 1113

Deborah A. Pitts
President, Local 1113

Deborah Pitts was re-elected in January to a third term to the Executive Board.

She has served as president of NYC Finance Administrative Employees and City Investigators Local 1113 since 2007 and chairs the DC 37 Black History Committee.

Pitts is a Brooklyn native whose parents were proud DC 37 members.“My seven brothers, one sister and I were known as the union babies,” she said. “We were at meetings serving food and handing out flyers, and even on the picket lines with signs.”

Local 1113 represents Clerical Associates, Clerical Aides, Secretaries, Cashiers, Investigators, Associate Investigators and Fraud Investigators in more than 25 city agencies. Pitts has a long history of union activism, having participated in union committees for 30 years. She was a DC 37 delegate and local secretary for 12 years.









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Joseph Puleo
President, Local 983

Joseph Puleo
President, Local 983

Local 983 President Joseph Puleo was re-elected to a second term as vice president on the Executive Board.

“We have to move the union forward,” said Puleo, “and work with the new executive director to strengthen our union by organizing and mobilizing members.”

Puleo joined the city 27 years ago as a Sanitation Enforcement Agent and in 1992 became a Local 983 Urban Parks Ranger. In 2005 the Dept. of Parks and Recreation promoted him to Associate Urban Parks Ranger. In 1989, members elected Puleo Local 983 vice president, and he served fi ve terms before winning the presidency in 2013.

Local 983 has 3,100 members in the New York Police Dept., the Dept. of Transportation and the Parks department. Puleo chairs the DC 37 Parks Policy Committee. Puleo served for several years as a DC 37 sergeant-at-arms and as a member of the DC 37 Elections Committee.

 







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Alma G. Roper
Executive V.P. Local 1549

Alma G. Roper
Executive V.P. Local 1549

Local 1549 Executive Vice President Alma G. Roper says she wants to be a strong voice of the members on the Executive Board.

“My priority is to help all members, while maintaining the council’s highest level of integrity and accountability,” she said. Roper began her civil service career in 1989 as a Police Communications Technician. In 1998, she was promoted to Supervising PCT. As chair of the local’s PCT/SPCT Chapter, she played a major role in Local 1549’s successful lobbying for a state law that eliminated the age requirement for 911 workers to qualify for a full pension.

Roper is passionately fighting to stop outsourcing at 311; keep Medicaid workers in their jobs in the face of a takeover; promote civilianization at uniformed agencies and upgrades at Dept. of Buildings, and help at 911, where the Police Dept. recently agreed to hire more staff in order to abusive overtime.










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Fausto Sabatino
President, Local 1070

Fausto Sabatino
President, Local 1070

DC 37 delegates elected Fausto Sabatino to his first term on the Executive Board in January.

“I share the vision our executive director has for this union to move DC 37 forward and become so strong that we will not be distracted by all the noise made by political adversaries who are attacking unions,” Sabatino said. “We can never be distracted from our main goal: to serve the members.” Local 1070 members elected Sabatino president in October 2014.

The local represents 2,000 non-judicial employees in New York State Unified Court System who keep the wheels of justice in motion. Sabatino started his union activism as a shop steward in 1981. He was later elected vice chapter chair for Court Interpreters and became a chapter chair in 1986. He was elected local vice president in 2002. He is chief sergeant-of-arms for DC 37 and AFSCME.








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Ahmed Shakir
Local 375

Ahmed Shakir
Local 375

Ahmed Shakir arrived in the United States in 1969 and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in structural engineering from the University of Texas.

Shakir has been extensively involved in the union and other labor activities, serving as president of Local 375’s Dept. of Transportation (Bridges) Chapter 37 and the local’s secretary. Shakir has been a DC 37 delegate for six consecutive terms and also was on the board of directors of the Eastern Queens Democratic Party and is a founding vice president of the American Engineering Alliance.

Among his peers and colleagues, Shakir is seen as a man who promotes the idea and practice of tolerance in every facet of life and that people should work together regardless of nationality, religion, or race because peace and prosperity can be achieved through non-violence, patience and service to the underserved.

 









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Kyle Simmons
President, Local 924

Kyle Simmons
President, Local 924

Kyle Simmons was elected to the Executive Board in January.

“The greatest challenge to our members – and to all working families – is to unite for wages to sustain our families,” Simmons said. “It’s time to wake up. We must fight for our survival.” The local shares a rich history in DC 37’s early development and growth into a mighty union of 53 locals and 121,000 members.

Members elected Simmons president of City Laborers Local 924 in 2001. He was a shop steward since 1997, a delegate and served on the local’s executive board. Simmons’ advocacy on behalf of his members has set legal precedent for rate calculations and methodologies used by the city for prevailing rate workers in the public and private sectors.











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Peter Stein
President, Local 508

Peter Stein
President, Local 508

Peter Stein was re-elected to a new term as an Executive Board vice president. A unionist for more than 40 years, Stein serves as president of Lifeguard Supervisors Local 508. He chairs the DC 37 Laws and Rules Committee, and he serves on the union’s Pension Committee and Political Action Committee.

Stein fights aggressively for his members, whom he calls the “first responders who patrol New York City’s public beaches and pools.” Under Stein’s leadership, the local has made political action a priority, and on election days, Stein volunteers with hundreds of City Lifeguards and Supervisors to support the labor-friendly candidates DC 37 endorses.

“Political action is labor’s battle ground,” Stein said. “If we are to achieve economic victories and social justice for our members, political activism is essential. The ballot box is where we show our strength as a union.”







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James J. Tucciarelli
President, Local 1320

James J. Tucciarelli
President, Local 1320

James J. Tucciarelli, president of Sewage Treatment Workers and Sr. STWs Local 1320 since 1983, has served six terms on the Executive Board.

In 2015 he won a tremendous victory for his members with a new contract after a protracted battle with the city for what he described as “a living wage commensurate with the work our members do to provide for and sustain their families.”

“Members struggled for eight years with no raises in a city that is one of the most expensive places to live,” Tucciarelli said. “With help from DC 37 and our political allies, we prevailed.”

In the 1970s, Tucciarelli worked closely with DC 37’s Lillian Roberts to win civil service exams for federal jobs program participants.“I have spent the greater part of my life with this union,” Tucciarelli said. “We have been through tough struggles and hardships in the past, and I believe we will survive and succeed because this institution is bigger than all of us.”






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Esther (Sandy) Tucker
President, Local 384

Esther (Sandy) Tucker
President, Local 384

Esther Sandy Tucker was re-elected as a vice president on the Executive Board. Currently, she is the president of CUNY and Educational Opportunity Centers Local 384.

She started her labor career as a shop steward in 1989 and was elected local president in 1999. Tucker chairs the DC 37 PEOPLE Committee, the grassroots political fundraising arm of DC 37’s national union, AFSCME.

Taking full advantage of one of her many union benefits, she has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. Tucker began working for the City University of New York in 1968 as a provisional employee at City College. One test later, she began her career as a civil servant.











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Anthony Wells
President, Local 371

Anthony Wells
President, Local 371

Anthony Wells, president of SSEU Local 371, views the Executive Board as a platform to solidify the union’s role as a leading progressive political force in the city.

“It is vital that we educate, organize and mobilize our members. The members and locals must be empowered to use their collective voice and energy to strengthen the union,” he said.

Wells, a graduate of Baruch College, Stony Brook University and New York Law School, was elected president of Local 371 in 2011. His background includes negotiating, organizing, research and pensions. He chairs the DC 37 Civil Service Committee, and he is a co-chair of the Municipal Labor Committee.

Wells began his civil service career in 1980 as a Caseworker at the Spofford Juvenile Center in the Bronx. In 1983, he transferred to the Bureau of Child Welfare. In 1988, he started working as an organizer for Local 371.









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Rochelle Mangual
President,
Retirees Association

Rochelle Mangual
President, Retirees Association

Rochelle Mangual retired in 1999, joined the DC 37 Retirees Association in 2000 and served as Associate Recording Secretary and Recording Secretary before becoming president of the Retirees Association in May 2013.

DC 37 has 50,000 retirees of which 27,000 are dues-paying members of the association. Mangual began her career at the Bursar’s Office for Hunter College of CUNY as a Local 384 clerical administrative employee and a shop steward and executive board member.

Mangual serves on many committees within DC 37, as well as the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee for MTA/NY. Mangual is a member of COMRO, Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations and is also the community director for statewide senior action for the NYC chapter of NYS Alliance for Retired Americans and has received dual recognitions for her service.

 

 





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