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2021 News Releases

April 24, 2021

Freddi Goldstein
Cell (973) 985-1458

District Council 37 calls on Mayor De Blasio and City Council to fund 100,000 good, green jobs over the next three years

DC 37 members held 15-mile bike ride through Manhattan and Brooklyn to highlight sustainability work union members are already undertaking

NEW YORK—District Council 37 (DC 37), New York City’s largest municipal labor union, today called on Mayor de Blasio and the City Council to fund 100,000 good, green jobs over the next three years. With a special focus on creating union jobs in low-income, communities of color, these jobs would address both the growing climate crisis and the economic crisis by bringing people back to work and creating stronger workplaces and healthier neighborhoods.

In partnership with the Climate Works for All (CW4A) coalition, the union specifically called on the City to create good, green union jobs through putting solar panels on schools, retrofitting school buildings, electrifying school buses, expanding composting and launching the commercial waste zone program

“Our city has seen firsthand what happens when we’re not prepared for the growing climate crisis,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director of District Council 37, AFSCME. “It’s critical the mayor funds projects that make our city more resilient and sustainable, while simultaneously ending the practice of contracting out these jobs to private consultants. DC 37 has the skilled labor and training programs within our union to fill these jobs. The City must create a pathway for good, green union jobs.”

As part of its request, DC 37 demanded the City fill these jobs with organized labor instead of outside contractors. Hundreds of millions of dollars are currently spent by the City on hiring outside consultants to do work that City employees could do far less expensively.

DC 37 recently announced a new training initiative to prepare workers for energy efficiency jobs related to addressing the impact of climate change. The DC 37 Green Jobs Training Initiative, which will launch next month, will provide technical training, environmental literacy, and hands-on experience to train a portion of its 150,000 members and the general public.

Building on DC 37’s existing education and workforce training programs that provide City workers with basic job skills, technical training, and leadership development, this new expanded partnership will provide city employees with the experience and confidence to be the next generation of green job workers. DC 37’s goal is to develop essential, sustainable training components and grow an energy efficiency economy, equipped to spearhead future demands of green jobs for a cleaner, more resilient New York City.

The DC 37 Education Fund (EdFund) manages training and workforce development on behalf of the union and has helped make it possible for thousands of DC 37 members to improve their foundational skills, technical competencies, and leadership capacity.

“DC 37 members are already undertaking critical sustainability work, as illustrated in this Bicycle Tour, but as the climate crisis intensifies, so too must we intensify our workforce development efforts to train and prepare particularly public sector workers to meet the growing climate challenges, as they are the backbone of New York City,” said Jon Forster, Co-Chair, DC 37 Climate Justice Committee.

“Our city is in the midst of crisis, and we must move through it towards an Equitable Recovery and a Just Transition. Our climate solutions must be bold and visionary, and must also prioritize good, union job creation for communities most impacted by jobs loss. The Equitable Recovery plan, which will create 100,000 climate jobs for New Yorkers, is a result of collaboration between labor, community, and environmental justice organizations, and we’re happy to be here with DC 37 demanding investment in these climate infrastructure and job creation strategies today,” said Phoebe Flaherty, Organizer, ALIGN.

“UHAB supports the Climate and Community Stimulus Platform and the projects laid out in the Equitable Recovery report, which would invest $16.2 billion in climate infrastructure in communities most impacted by climate change and COVID-19, creating over 100,000 jobs in the next three years,” said David Avina, Member Service Coordinator at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board. “We believe that the City must act now to invest in climate policy that will stimulate the economy, provide jobs in our communities, and ensure an equitable recovery for all.”

District Council 37 is New York City's largest public employee union, with 150,000 members and 50,000 retirees.