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Public Employee Press

Union fight back heats up

Senior Council Rep Yolanda Johnson has Local 1549 member Ernesto Baez fill out union survey.

Union members in Brooklyn got an opportunity to meet with their representatives at the first Union Day of the year. DC 37’s Organizing Dept. kicked off 2017 with an all-day session at FDNY headquarters at 9 Metro Tech, where the Organizing Dept., the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, SSEU Local 371, and the Political Action and Legislative Dept. reached out to the members in Brooklyn.

“Union Day gives us an opportunity to sit down individually with our members and remind them of all the resources and benefits available to them,” explained DC 37 Organizer Julian de Jesus at the Jan. 5 session. “We always look forward to connecting with the members and listening to their concerns.”

Cirissa Spencer took advantage of the session and came by during her lunch break hoping to resolve a problem. A former member of Clerical-Administrative Employees Local 1549 for eight years, Spencer is now a member of SSEU Local 371.

“They still have me down as being a member of Local 1549,” she explained. Spencer, who is a Community Coordinator with the FDNY Shelter Task Force, sat down with a representative from her new local and resolved the issue.

“I’m glad I came and straightened everything out,” said Spencer.

DC 37 Senior Council Rep Yolanda Johnson also met individually with several members at the Brooklyn session and shared information about navigating the civil service system.

“New members have questions about the system and career opportunities, so I’m glad to be able to provide them with some orientation about that,” said Johnson.

The Organizing Dept. has also been busy planning their first conference for their Member Action Team activists on Saturday, Feb. 11 at DC 37 headquarters. “This is the first time we’re having this kind of event with our activists,” said Organizing Director Barbara Terrelonge. In 2016 union organizers began recruiting activists to help spread the union message at lunchtime meetings at agencies throughout the city. “These activists are the foundation of our movement,” explained Terrelonge.

The Saturday Feb. 11 conference runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 125 Barclay St. in Lower Manhattan and is open only to MAT activists. To register please contact the DC 37 Organizing Department at 212-815-1095, or email them at