Sign up For DC 37 News


Public Employee Press

Activists organize in Ulster County

Local 1322 Vice President Tom Hinchey asks a question during meeting in Kingston, NY.

Bringing the DC37/AFSCME Strong campaign to public service workers has taken District Council 37 organizers to not only every corner of New York City but upstate as well.

Union reps were in Ulster County recently to encourage greater participation and activism and to help workers learn about union benefits and services.

DC 37 represents 300 public employees in and around the city of Kingston in Ulster County who are responsible for maintaining the vast system of reservoirs and watersheds in the Hudson Valley region. These reservoirs supply New York City with half of its water supply.

The upstate meetings are part of a major campaign by the union to reach out to agency fee payers who are paying dues but have not filled out a union membership card. Workers can sign up online at the DC 37 website, where they can also get the latest union news and information about benefits.

David Catala, director of DC 37’s Blue Collar Division, led the upstate meetings.

Andre Velez, from the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services, discussed the many free legal services DC 37 offers. While the Kingston members may work far from the union’s Manhattan headquarters, they can easily reach DC 37 lawyers who work at MELS by phone at 212-815-1111.

Beatrice Rivera, a Supervising Social Worker with the union’s Personal Services Unit, offered to return to Kingston and conduct workshops on stress management and mental health issues for the members.

John Michel is a 20-year veteran who works at the Tannersville Wastewater Treatment Plant. Michel, a member of Local 376, said he appreciated the presentation by Health and Pension Counselor Stanley Reed.