Sign up For DC 37 News


2023 News Releases

December 13, 2023

Thea Setterbo
Director of Communications
Tel. (212) 815-1536

DC 37 sues City of New York over proposed budget cuts

City’s largest public employee union files lawsuit for violations of Local Law 63

NEW YORK— Today, District Council 37 took the difficult steps of suing the Adams administration over the budget modifications, or Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG), announced on Nov. 16. The union filed suit to fight the elimination of the Job Training Participant (JTP) Program under Local Law 63 and to preserve jobs for other city workers. The lawsuit was filed at the New York State Supreme Court–New York County this morning.

“We understand this administration is facing unprecedented obstacles with the influx of migrants arriving to New York, but city workers should not be the scapegoat for this crisis, nor the target of these reactionary budget reductions,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director of DC 37. “New Yorkers are already suffering from the gaps in service caused by the 20,000+ vacancies that existed before the latest round of PEG cuts. Replacing these JTP workers with contracts is not only costly and short-sighted, it’s an illegal disservice to the working class people who occupy those jobs.”

The Job Training Participant Program, which covers nearly 3,000 sanitation employees and Parks Opportunity Program workers, was created to employ welfare-to-work recipients who were previously exploited for their labor. JTPs provide vital services New Yorkers rely on and interact with daily, from cleaning parks and streets, to debris and snow removal, building maintenance and removing garbage to help combat the occurrence of rodents. JTP working conditions and salaries are negotiated by DC 37.

“This is not a 5- or 15-percent decrease as announced by the mayor– it is a 100% cut of mostly women and people of color who serve our city,” Garrido said. “Now they are being deprived of their healthcare benefits and a pathway to a good-paying union job while the City replaces them with temporary contract staff.”

On Monday, the Independent Budget Office published a fiscal outlook report for the FY 2024 budget, detailing a $3.6 billion surplus above the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) estimates. At the same time the OMB is moving to eliminate full-time jobs, it is also maintaining a $38 billion Other Than Personal Services (OTPS) budget that retains hundreds of temporary contractors and consultants to carry out the duties of these workers.

“Besides being bad public policy, these budget modifications protect an OTPS contract budget that has not been so inflated since the Bloomberg administration,” Garrido said. “We look forward to making our case before the court on behalf of our members and all city workers over what we consider to be a blatant violation of Local Law 63.”

District Council 37 is New York City's largest public employee union, with 150,000 members and 89,000 retirees.