Governor Cuomo Outlines 2021 Agenda: Focus Is On Defeating COVID, Reopening State & Jumpstarting Economy
Jan. 18, 2021
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced his 2021 agenda – Reimagine | Rebuild | Renew – features nation-leading proposals to not only defeat COVID-19, but also tackle critical issues facing New York and the country, including jumpstarting New York’s economic recovery; creating a fairer, more just state; reopening the state; becoming a leader in the growing green energy economy; and rebuilding and strengthening New York’s infrastructure. Proposals include legalizing adult-use cannabis and online sports betting; first-in-the-nation affordable internet for all; safely bringing back the arts with pop-up performances and events; the largest off-shore wind program in the nation; five dedicated port facilities to make New York a global wind energy manufacturing powerhouse; building a green energy transmission superhighway and; The largest infrastructure plan in the nation to update the state’s airports and transportation infrastructure, including a new Port Authority bus terminal, and redevelop Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood. READ MORE
Local 1180 News
CWA Local 1180 Reaches Agreement with City to Prevent Layoffs
Nov. 12, 2020
Communications Workers of America Local 1180 negotiated an agreement with the City of New York that will prevent the layoffs of members through at least June 2021.
Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton said the agreement will save the City $15.9 million by deferring payments to both the union’s active and retiree welfare funds in exchange for no layoffs of Local 1180 members in Mayoral agencies, the Department of Education, or New York City H+H through June 2021.
Once the target amount of $15.9 million in savings has been achieved, the City will resume making regular contributions to the Welfare Funds, and will make lump sum contributions to the Funds representing one-third of the amount withheld, on or about Oct. 31, 2021, Nov. 30, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021.
“As President of Local 1180, I have a responsibility to protect the jobs of my members and to make sure that their benefits remain intact,” Middleton said. “However, I also understand that a pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime event that has brought with it economic destruction the likes of which no one could have predicted. I’m glad we were able to work in partnership with the City to come to terms on an agreement that helps them financially and keeps our members employed.”
The agreement also stipulates that should the City of New York receive $5 billion in budget relief from federal and state sources, the no-layoff agreement would be extended through June 30, 2022. New York City has been anxiously waiting on federal funding from the HEROES Act or other means, and for New York State to pass Early Retirement Incentive legislation and grant New York City borrowing power that would ease the financial noose around its neck. Middleton stressed the need for both the federal and state governments to do their jobs and stop the political battles that up until this point have left municipal workers wondering if they would receive pink slips for the holidays.
“We are all hopeful that the President-elect will get federal dollars flowing to states that have been the hardest impacted by the pandemic,” Middleton said. “But for now, our members’ jobs have been saved and calmer heads have prevailed. As a union and as a citywide labor movement, we are stronger together and are continuing to push our state legislators to do what we need to make sure essential workers are able to stay on the frontlines and continue providing New Yorkers with the essential services they rely on.”
Newly Elected Executive Board & Delegates to CWA Convention
President Gloria Middleton and 10 other Executive Board members were re-elected by acclamation on Oct. 1 after the union’s Election Committee met and determined that no further proceedings were required. They are being joined by three new Board members. “I want to thank the members of CWA Local 1180 not just for the confidence you have shown in my leadership as your president, but for the entire Board throughout the years. The Executive Board, with our members’ support, has set record-making precedencies in New York for workers and our communities,” Middleton wrote in a recent letter to the membership. “You, our 1180 members, continue to support us, as we now have 99% dues-paying, signed membership cards on record, enabling us to do the necessary work that keeps CWA LOCAL 1180 on the map. AND we continue to grow.”
The Executive Board-elect is comprised of: Gloria Middleton, President: Georgina Strickland, First Vice President; Gerald Brown, Second Vice President; Robin Blair-Batte. Secretary-Treasurer; and Lourdes Acevedo, Recording Secretary. Members-at-Large are: Teesha Foreman, Ranston Foster, Denise Gilliam, Helen S. Jarrett, Debra Paylor, Rosario Roman, Gregory Smith, Venus Colon Williams, and Hazel O. Worley.
Regina Kelly, Election Committe Chair, read off the election results at the Oct. 14 General Membership Meeting, where she declared the unopposed candidates to be the elected Officers, Executive Board, and Delegates to the Convention of CWA 2021-2023. Other Election Committee members are Co-Chair Earlene Powell, Debra Busacco, Carmen Carter, Shakima Ivory, George Johnson, and Rita Richards. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new Officers and Executive Board will be sworn in during the January virtual General Membership Meeting.
Unions: Court Striking Down ACA Would Be Blow to Vital Workers
The Chief Leader, Oct. 23, 2020
The unions for workers who have been exposed to the coronavirus are warning that they could lose their health care if the Affordable Health Care Act and its coverage for pre-existing conditions is thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court is scheduled to take up the constitutionality of the ACA six days after the Nov. 3 elections.
Gloria Middleton, president of Communications Workers of America Local 1180, represents thousands of Administrative Managers, some of whom work at city hospitals. She believes the ACA gives her members some peace of mind.
"Not everybody in your family may be a public servant," she said. "They may be working for private industry, and they may be getting their health care through the Affordable Health Care Act, and if, God forbid, you are working in a hospital and you do bring [COVID] home to them, what then?" (Read More)
Provisionals Are First on Layoff Line, Regardless of Their Seniority
The Chief Leader, Sept. 30, 2020
Before laying off as many as 22,000 city workers with civil-service status to deal with a $9-billion budget gap, the de Blasio administration would have to start by eyeing the nearly-15,000 provisional employees it has on the payroll, according to the chair of the City Council Civil Service and Labor Committee...
Gloria Middleton, who is president of CWA Local 1180 which represents Administrative Managers across multiple city agencies, believes there is a legitimate place for using provisionals, but doing so should not undermine the integrity of the civil service.
"Under the Long Beach decision, the City should only use provisionals in the case of a non-existing competitive list,” Ms. Middleton said in an email. “However, the status of provisionals needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis, especially because of the current situation we are in. With the huge increase in the number of unemployed, for example, there are so many more people applying for food stamps and the City probably needs provisionals to handle the vast increase in applications.” (Read More)
Op-Ed: Mayor Must Address Racial Disparities in New York City
amny.com, Sept. 22, 2020
By Corey Johnson, NYC Council Speaker & Gloria Middleton, CWA Local 1180 President
New York City is both a city of extreme wealth and extreme poverty. And unfortunately, the extreme poverty that we see in New York City is overwhelmingly centered in communities of color. Of course, this is not news to anyone paying attention, but COVID-19 has put a new and tragic spin on this decades’ old problem. Black and Latinx New Yorkers died of COVID-19 at around twice the rate of their white counterparts…(Read More)
Local 1180 Wins OCB Decision to Accrete H+H Assistant Directors in 11-Year Battle
It took 11 years, but CWA Local 1180 never gave up its fight with NYC Health + Hospitals to unionize Assistant Directors. That battle finally paid off with an OCB decision that granted the Union the right to accrete hundreds of hospital workers in the title. Just how many ADs there are throughout H+H remains the question, however, as the citywide corporation that operates the public hospitals and clinics is pushing back. Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton said the Union has asked H+H for a complete list of all Assistant Directors with contact information, but has yet to receive a response other than they are working on it. Middleton said that reply is not sufficient. “H+H should easily be able to push a button and produce a list of everyone on their payroll in the title of Assistant Director. If they can’t, then that’s a much larger problem and speaks volumes about the way that H+H is run,” she said. In the meantime, Local 1180 is doing everything it can to find those in the Assistant Director title by making sure 1180 Shop Stewards who work at H+H find any ADs they can and have them contact the Union, sending an email to all H+H 1180 members asking them to get involved in the organizing committee, and of course, continuing to pressure H+H for the list. Any Local 1180 member who knows Assistant Directors should have them contact the Union at 212.966.5353 immediately. Any Local 1180 member who wants to get involved, please reach out to Leslie Fine.
Local 1180 Mourns the Loss of Shop Steward Priscilla Carrow
It is with tremendous sorrow and the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Priscilla Carrow, Coordinating Manager at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, on Monday, March 30, 2020, due to COVID-19. She was also a dedicated, active CWA Local 1180 Shop Steward.
Priscilla first became a member of Local 1180 in August 2006. She was also a passionate leader of the Queens Borough Community Coordinating Committee, but she was so much more than that. She diligently served as a member of Community Board #4, was a member of the Queens Democratic Party, was extremely active in her community, and was one of Local 1180’s most involved Shop Stewards.
“We lost one of God’s most precious children due to the coronavirus, a blessed soul who gave her all every day at work at Elmhurst – a hospital overloaded with the coronavirus – to make sure others were taken care of,” said President Gloria Middleton. “I am beyond devastated and heartbroken as is the entire Local 1180 Executive Board. Priscilla always had a huge smile on her face and kind words to offer. Please keep her family in your prayers.”
Retro Checks by March Overwhelming Approval for Local 1180 Pact
The contract calls for raises of 2 percent retroactive to May 6, 2018, 2.25 percent as of May 6, 2019 and 3 percent Oct. 6, 2020. The agreement tracks the wage pattern set by District Council 37 in July 2018 and the United Federation of Teachers in October 2018.
At the time that the deal was announced last December, union officials said that based on the bargaining unit’s average $60,000 annual salary, members could anticipate retroactive checks for a few thousand dollars.
It expects members to get those checks sometime in March. (Read More)
Some '1180' Members Grumbling: City Corrects a Botched Admin. Manager Payout
By BOB HENNELLY Dec 24, 2019
WORKING OUT THE KINKS: Communications Workers of America Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton, seen here at a union rally prior to reaching a settlement with the de Blasio administration involving the union’s pay-discrimination suit on behalf of 1,800 past and present Administrative Managers, has had to deal with city glitches in making the proper payments to employees and complaints by some of her members about how much of their awards were diverted to pay lawyers’ fees in the case. (Read More) (Download & Share)
Office of Payroll Administration Apologizes for Mishandling Back Pay Payments (Read More)
NYC Gets Extra Month For 2020 Census After Judge Blocks Trump Administration's September 30th Deadline
gothamist.com, Sept. 26, 2020
New Yorkers have been given another month to fill out their census forms—and ensure enough resources for New York City—after a federal judge ruled issued a preliminary injunction to the September 30th deadline.
In a decision that applies to all 50 states, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in California wrote in a 78-page opinion that the shortened 2020 Census deadline—originally October 31st—would have led to "inaccuracies in the tabulation" which would "harm constitutional and statutory interests. The Census process, overseen by the U.S. Department of Commerce, serves as a primer for the federal government in deciding where $1.5 trillion of federal aid goes based on population estimates. (Read More)
At 65%, Approval of Labor Unions in U.S. Remains High
news.gallup.com, Sept. 3, 2020
As Labor Day approaches and economic conditions in the U.S. remain tenuous, Americans' 65% approval of labor unions is once again the highest it has been since 2003. Public support for labor unions has been generally rising since hitting its lowest point of 48% in 2009, during the Great Recession.
Gallup's initial reading of the public's support for labor unions was 72% in 1936, at the advent of the modern U.S. organized labor movement, and approval peaked at 75% in 1953 and 1957. The lowest ratings to date have been recorded during particularly weak economic times. This includes the late 1970s and early to mid-1980s -- when support fell below 60% for the first time -- and 2009 through 2012, when it hovered around 50%. (Read More)
By BOB HENNELLY (The Chief)
May 7, 2020
Under two bills moving through the City Council, the surviving family members of hundreds of municipal civil servants who died from COVID-19 would be entitled to benefits that previously were granted to the families of 9/11 World Trade Center responders who died. The civil-service package, sponsored by Council Civil Service and Labor Committee Chairman Daneek Miller, would entitle the surviving spouse and children of the deceased city employee to health coverage and classify as line of duty the death of that civil servant. (Read More)
Eyewitness News: August 7, 2019
QUEENS, New York City (WABC) -- Public defender Tiffany Caban has conceded the Queens District Attorney race, more than a week after Queens Borough President Melinda Katz was declared the winner. The race had been the subject of a court challenge involving some of the dozens of contested ballots cast in the primary race between Katz and Caban.
Cabán told supporters on Tuesday night that her campaign was conceding after a judicial review of disputed ballots didn't significantly alter Katz's slim lead in the tightly contested race. 99 of the 114 unopened and invalidated affidavit ballots were reviewed Tuesday by a judge at the Board of Elections in Queens. That includes 42 ballots that Caban challenged during the manual recount and 28 that Katz challenged. Caban had said if the more than 100 invalidated paper ballots are counted she could come out ahead in the end.
The Senate voted to pass the bipartisan Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act 97-2. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, were the only two senators to vote against the bill. The legislation was signed into law by the President the following week, and extended and fully funded the VCF through 2090. The signing of the bill renewing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund means there will be continued financial support for those stricken with World Trade Center-related illnesses, and there are more of these patients every day.
As the Fund was running out of money prior to this bill being signed into law, many 9/11 First Responders received reduced awards for their illnesses.
The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act requires that beginning on October 1, 2019, the Special Master make whole victims who received reduced awards as the Fund was running out of money.
Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya recently announced that she plans to pay all victims who received reduced awards in full before September 11, 2019, which is the 18th anniversary of the attacks.
IN THESE TIMES: January 10, 2019
Months after the Supreme Court’s June 2018 Janus v. AFSCME decision, public-sector unions are not teetering on the brink of collapse, as their detractors may have hoped. The consensus is that good preparation softened the initial blow.
“Anyone writing our obituary is going to be sorely disappointed,” Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), tells In These Times. “We don’t believe we are going to get hurt nearly as badly as people thought by Janus.” (Read More)
Metro US, December 21, 2018
The color of our skin, our gender or our sexual orientation should not determine how we get paid," said Gloria Middleton, president of the Communication Workers of America union's Local 1180 branch. "Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. New York City's talent pool is not comprised of just White men. (Read More)
Politico, June 27, 2018
The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that public-sector unions may not charge non-members mandatory fees, dealing a financial blow to organized labor on the eve of a competitive midterm election campaign. In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that forced collection of so-called agency fees violates public employees’ First Amendment right not to back union activity. All five of the court’s Republican appointees joined in the ruling, with the four Democratic-appointed justices dissenting. The decision overturns a 41-year-old precedent in which the court unanimously found that such charges did not run afoul of the Constitution’s free-speech and free-association rights. (Read More)
October 23, 2018
Mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed to grant unlimited sick leave to New York City civilian workers who were exposed to 9/11 dust at Ground Zero when became ill after participating in rescue, recovery and cleanup operations after the terror attack. (Read More)