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News from BALCONY

Cuomo’s 421a wage subsidy would be novelty in US

August 23rd, 2016

By Konrad Putzier

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to revive the 421a program took the New York real estate industry by surprise last week, but its key provision is just as eye-opening: the addition of a direct wage subsidy would add a new and untested wrinkle to affordable housing policy in the U.S.

Economic experts trash Cuomo proposal to revive affordable housing tax credit with wage subsidy

August 22nd, 2016

by Kenneth Lovett

ALBANY — A proposal to revive a lucrative affordable housing tax credit for developers by providing government wage subsidies for the workers they hire is being blasted by business groups, non-profit providers and economic experts.

In order to jump-start talks involving the expired 421-a tax credit, the Cuomo administration has suggested the possibility of creating a two-tiered minimum wage for housing projects, with the state reimbursing part of the costs.

James issues recommendations for improving city Zika response

August 17th, 2016

By Addy Baird

Public advocate Letitia James called the spread of the Zika virus a "human rights issue" Wednesday and announced recommendations to combat its spread in New York City, including increased access to health care options, particularly for low-income women, and expanding education campaigns to city airports.

James was joined in Manhattan by representatives from the New York State Nurses Association, a union representing 37,000 nurses in the state, and by Planned Parenthood New York City.

UFT leader puts inceasing distance between union and de Blasio

August 10th, 2016

By Eliza Shapiro

The political harmony between Mayor Bill de Blasio and United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew has faded in recent months, with Mulgrew issuing a series of denunciations of City Hall's key education agenda items.

Since May, Mulgrew has frequently and openly bucked the mayor and schools chancellor Carmen Fariña, sometimes sounding more like a member of the chorus of de Blasio education detractors than the stalwart City Hall ally he had been early on in de Blasio's term.

PSC Ratifies CUNY Contract

August 5th, 2016
This week, the Professional Staff Congress announced that its membership has overwhelmingly ratified its contract with the City University of New York.

Zara Workers Join RWDSU

August 5th, 2016
This week, after a majority of the workers at Zara's eight stores in Manhattan signed cards stating they wanted to be represented by RWDSU Local 1102, the company agreed to recognize the union. This is the first contract for Zara workers in the United States.

Meet 2016 NYC Labor Day Parade Chair Henry A. Garrido

August 5th, 2016
  Parade Chair Garrido is the Executive Director of District Council 37AFSCME, the largest municipal employees union in New York City. A native of the Dominican Republic, Mr. Garrido assumed the position on Dec. 31, 2014.

Cuomo launches plan to battle Zika in New York

August 3rd, 2016

By Vinita Singla, Jazmin Rosa, Yijun Wang and Chris Perez

Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday announced his battle plan to combat the Zika virus in the Big Apple and elsewhere across the state — including orders to put mosquito-killing larvicide into the stagnant puddles of water found strewn throughout the city’s subway system.

The governor’s decision to batten down the hatches comes just two days after The Post revealed how straphangers were being eaten alive by underground bloodsuckers, which have invaded train stations throughout the city.
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News From and About Our Members

Teachers union says new federal regulations are not a 'real partnership'

July 20th, 2016

By Keshia Clukey

ALBANY - Federal regulations tied to the new Every Student Succeeds Act are a "top-down, federally driven" approach, not a "real partnership," as was intended, the state's largest teachers union says.

On Tuesday, New York State United Teachers submitted comments to the U.S. Education Department on the draft regulations in the hope that the department will make changes. The submission deadline is Aug. 1.

ESSA, passed in December, replaced the broad federal No Child Left Behind Act and was initially seen as providing states more flexibility regarding assessments and accountability.

New York Public Hospitals Use Emojis to Reach Young People About Sex

July 18th, 2016


The birds and the bees are no longer confined to uncomfortable living-room conversations. They will start popping up as emojis in teenagers’ Facebook feeds on Monday.

Greater New York Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Women's History Month

March 22nd, 2016

On Friday March 18th the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce (GNYCC) hosted a celebration of Women's History Month at the Hard Rock Cafe.

The event was emceed by Greater New York Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Jaffe and GNYCC Chairman Cynthia DiBartolo. The event was attended by 75+ leaders from the New York business and labor community and honored Kathy Hochul, NYS Lieutenant Governor; Beth Goldberg, District Director of the Us Small Business Administration; Major Kimbia Rey, US ARMY; Vicki Saunders, Founder of SheEO; and Waffa Abboud, Founder and CEO of Human First.



March 10th, 2016
The Broadway Education Alliance, the fiscal sponsor for the Gershwin Awards, announced today that the program has been renamed The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance—to celebrate the exceptional life and career-long artistic excellence of Broadway’s beloved actor, Roger Rees. Formerly known as The Gershwin Awards, the 2015-2016 Roger Rees Award for Excellence in Student Performance will be held on Sunday, May 22 at the Beacon School in Manhattan. Read the details here: Roger Rees Awards

Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll Discusses Major Projects and Infrastructure Improvements Underway

March 10th, 2016

New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll was the featured speaker on March 3 at a New York Building Congress Construction Industry Breakfast Forum, which also featured remarks from Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York.

Highlighting major infrastructure projects to the crowd of nearly 350 professionals from the design, construction, and real estate industry, Commissioner Driscoll called it an exciting time for New York City as well as the State as a whole. He provided updates on several key initiatives, including Governor Andrew Cuomo's $100 million infrastructure investment program, stating, "This plan will modernize the State's public transportation systems - freight, rail and ports, airports and roads and bridges - to meet the needs of the new global economy and enhance New York's position as the Empire State." These projects include a comprehensive redesign of LaGuardia Airport, expansion of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and transformation of Penn Station and the historic Farley Post Office.
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BALCONY Issues in the News (Related Articles)

DC37 membership ratifies CUNY contract

July 18th, 2016

By Conor Skelding

The City University of New York employees represented by District Council 37 have voted to approve a contract deal with the university, the union announced Monday.

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association et al.

July 1st, 2016

Supreme Court Denies Friedrichs Petition for Rehearing

On June 28th, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition from nine California public school teachers to rehear their First Amendment challenge to mandatory union fees. The plaintiffs petitioned the Court to rehear their case after a 4-4 decision was issued in the wake of Justice Scalia’s death. When the split decision was issued, it was not accompanied by an opinion on the merits of the argument. All that was issued was a one-line statement that the decision was split 4-4. Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, the non-profit public interest law firm representing the teachers issued the following statement about today’s decision:

“We are greatly disappointed in today’s decision denying our petition for rehearing in Friedrichs v. California Teacher’s Association. Today’s decision was not a decision on the merits of our case nor was it accompanied by an opinion. We continue to believe that forcing individuals to subsidize political speech with which they disagree violates the First Amendment. We will look for opportunities to challenge compulsory union dues laws in other cases and continue our efforts to stand up for the rights of of teachers and public sector workers across the country.”

Housing activists ramp up campaign against affordable housing developers

June 24th, 2016

By Sally Goldenberg

An activist group that has long criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio's housing plan is targeting an affordable housing association with a barrage of attacks and a call for all elected officials not to accept campaign contributions from the association.

NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento's Statement on Assembly Passage of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act

June 17th, 2016
Albany, NY - "Tuesday was a historic day. For years, the New York State AFL-CIO has been fighting for safe nurse-to-patient ratios in our hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Nurses have told their stories over and over about the challenges they face trying to provide the highest quality care possible under stressful working conditions that include inadequate staffing levels. Improving patient safety took a giant step forward with the Assembly passage of the “Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act.” We applaud Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblymember Aileen Gunther, Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried and the Assembly Majority for taking the lead toward ensuring our hospitals are properly staffed to allow nurses to provide the best care possible while improving patient outcomes.

A Few More Vegetables and a Little Less Meat May Reduce Diabetes Risk

June 16th, 2016


You don’t have to be a vegetarian to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet.

New research shows that eating a few extra servings of healthy plant-based foods each day and slightly reducing animal-based foods like meat and dairy products can significantly lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

BALCONY Issues in the News Archives