September 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

I would like to see every member of our Union at the Labor Day Parade on Saturday, September 6th. A strong show of solidarity is vital for the Labor Movement and important for our own local. Local 891 will assemble on West 45th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. We are scheduled to begin marching at 11:30 a.m. A complimentary breakfast buffet will be served at Jackie Onassis Campus H.S. 120 West 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, from 9:00 am to 11:15 am. Bring your family and friends. There will be a free Local 891 hat and polo shirt for everyone that attends.

If DCAS is to be believed, the test scores and list numbers for the Custodian Engineer Exam should have already been mailed. If they were not, they should be mailed shortly. The Department of Education has promised to hire as soon as the list is available. Local 891 did all that it could, including a successful law suit, to force the exam to take place when very few civil service tests were being administered. Local 891, the Department and several elected officials put pressure on the agency to have the exam scored and appeals processed. Although it has taken a long time, most of the people originally disqualified based on experience requirements were eventually accepted as qualified. This includes several provisional members of our local and many of the custodial workers we have hired, trained and mentored over the years. The influx of new members will help keep Local 891 strong and prevent outsourcing. In the not too distant future, we will begin advocating for a new CE exam, because the list will likely be exhausted and the entire process of planning, advertising, testing and scoring takes so long.

Many of you are aware that we have had numerous issues with the Department of Buildings causing delays in the issu- ance of licenses to those Custodian Engineers waiting for the completion of their investigations for a Stationary Engineers License. I provided the Department of Buildings with a list of all the CEs who have taken the exam and are still awaiting their license. They have been investigating and have resolved many of the issues. Engineers Protective Committee Chairman, Frank Felix, along with Vice President, Jeff Bilek (a former Chairman of the same Committee), have been in continuous contact with officials from the Department of Buildings to discuss the various issues Custodian Engineers are having in the investigation stage of their Stationary Engineers license applications. DSF has also been interacting with the DOB and have offered assistance in verifying high pressure eligibility. Thankfully, some members have begun receiving their Licenses and the agency will keep Vice President Bilek apprised of the progress of all Local 891 members’ investigations.

The Department of Buildings has taken a hard line approach in issuing all types of professional licenses and Custodian Engineers applying for a Stationary Engineers license appear to be under particular scrutiny. Local 891 will continue to do whatever it takes, including taking appropriate legal action, to insure all eligible Local 891 applicants receive fair treat- ment. I will continue to do everything I can to ensure current and future members of our Union have every possible opportunity for advancement.

I have had ongoing contract discussions with the new First Deputy Commissioner of Labor for the NYC Office of Labor Relations. OLR has been preparing for the start of formal negotiations and plans to begin meeting with us sometime in September. I will do what I can to deliver our contract quickly, but much more importantly, I assure you I will bring you a new contract that is fair and good for our members and preserves the future of our Union.