red tilted fade Tight  Local 1180 News

Bird Union Brings Fight for Fair Pay to Women in Conservation Fundraiser
May 8, 2024

On May 8, 2024, the National Audubon Society hosted a luncheon in New York City to celebrate the achievements of women in the conservation movement. But members of the Bird Union (CWA Local 1180) gathered outside to highlight the organization’s systemic unequal pay for women and BIPOC employees, which makes it difficult for the next generation of women in conservation to build a successful and impactful career.

Union members have been negotiating with Audubon for more than two years without reaching an agreement for a fair first contract. In December, Audubon announced merit-based, discretionary annual raises for staff but withheld raises for union members.

Members of the Bird Union-CWA delivered a new report to Audubon leadership exposing systemic pay disparities. In one job category, white men on average make 13 percent more than white women and 16 percent more than BIPOC women.

“My merit-based salary increase and cost-of-living raise are being withheld for being a Union member,” said Emily Ohman, a Bird Union-CWA member from California. “If this was not disgraceful enough, I have to work a part-time job just to make ends meet. I have been food insecure for the totality of my time at this job and have experienced such extreme bouts of acute hunger that I have forgone meals for multiple days so I could afford to pay my bills. We’ve had enough of the discretionary pay raises that perpetuate unequal pay.”

To achieve equitable wages and a more sustainable workforce, union members are calling on Audubon to abandon its arbitrary and opaque system of discretionary pay increases ostensibly based on merit and instead commit to regular and equitable cost-of-living increases.

Take a stand with Bird Union activists, sign the petition for a fair contract!

Bird Union (CWA Local 1180) members rallied for pay equity in New York City.



Members Overwhelmingly Ratify New PAA ET AL Contract
Oct. 30, 2023

Members covered by the PAA et al contract overwhelmingly ratified the new contract by a 99.49% yes vote to a .51% no vote. Online polling started on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 9 a.m. and closed on Monday, Oct. 30, at noon.

Members working in Mayoral Agencies and the DOE will receive their $3,000 Ratification Bonus on Jan. 19, 2024, and Retro Pay on Feb. 2, 2024. We are still waiting on payout dates for members in H+H and NY Housing Authority. A new minimum and maximum incumbent rate chart for the term of the contract, Dec. 13, 2021, to Jan. 12, 2027, will be posted shortly.


H+H Assistant Directors Salary Increases

Sept. 19, 2023: We received confirmation from H+H that Assistant Directors covered by Local 1180 will receive their base salary increases in the Sept. 29, 2023, paycheck. They will receive their Retro payments for those salary increases In the Oct. 13, 2023, paycheck. When the current contract is ratified, Assistant Directors will receive the contractual raises and additions to gross as indicated in the agreement signed Sept. 14, 2023.  

July 27, 2023:  We have contacted H+H to confirm the payout dates of end of July/early August that they initially provided, only to be told they are "shooting for 9/1" due to their need to manually input adjustments to the payroll. We are staying on top of the situation and will keep you updated as we learn more.

As of June 27, 2023: We have been notified by H+H that the tentative payout for Assistant Directors per our MOA is scheduled for the end of July/early August. We will post updates here as they become available.


Local 1180: Give Asylum Seekers Work Authorizations Now
Aug. 31, 2023

Second Vice President Teesha Foreman spoke today at the New York City Mayor's press conference calling on Washington to expedite work authorizations for the thousands of immigrants who have landed in New York City within the past year. "We are facing a humanitarian crisis beyond the scope of what anyone could imagine. Migrants want to work but cannot. They want to become self-sufficient, but they cannot. They want to make a better life for themselves, but they cannot," Foreman said. 



Imimigrant Rally

New Local 1180 Benefit
Help on Filing Your Public Service Loan Forgiveness Application

In order to better help members understand the federal programs and determine if they qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), Local 1180 has partnered with the National Student Debt Forgiveness Center, which will offer members a one-hour, free consultation to review all student loans, determine eligibility in all loan forgiveness programs, and provide a personalized analysis and guidance on how to proceed. This benefit is for all active, dues-paying members, their spouses and children, as well as retirees.

With the new federal plan, the U.S. Department of Education will forgive up to $20,000 in outstanding student debt for borrowers who received Pell Grants and up to $10,000 in student debt for those who with loans. He also extended the CARES Act student loan forbearance through Jan. 1, 2023. Those who earned less than $125,000, and couples who earned up to $250,000, in years 2020 and 2021 only, qualify for student debt relief. The Department of Education has income information on file for about 8 million borrowers who may qualify to have their college debt canceled automatically. Other borrowers will have to apply using a new, simplified application that is in development. Loan forgiveness will not be treated as taxable income.

Students currently enrolled in college who have student loans, and parents with Parent PLUS loans, are eligible to apply for student debt forgiveness. Borrowers with outstanding undergraduate loans can apply to cap their student loan payments at 5% of their monthly income. The pause on direct student loan payments, interest accrual, and collection activity on direct student loans in default will remain in place through Jan. 1, 2023, when payments will resume. The administration has indicated this would be the final payment pause extension.

PSLF forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after having made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working at least 30 hours per week for certain employers, including cities, counties, states, governments, and 501 (c)(3) non-profits. This includes all Local 1180 members working for the city of New York and private sector members working for not-for-profits. The goal of PSLF is to lower monthly payments, shorten loan terms, and provide tax-free forgiveness after 10 years of payments.

CLICK HERE to fill out an application
CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE consultation


Local 1180 Fighting to Include ALL Health Care Workers in State's Bonus Program

When New York State announced it would be setting aside $1.3 billion in the budget to fund bonuses of up to $3,000 for health care and mental hygiene workers at hospitals, Local 1180 wanted to make sure all members working at H+H are included.

President Gloria Middleton said that’s why Local 1180 is now working with other unions that also represent H+H workers and H+H management to ensure agency titles equations are made where the title mentioned in the budget wording does not necessarily match directly with the state title, but the job duties are the same.

Mitchell Katz, CEO of Health+Hospitals, sent an email on Aug. 22 that in part read, “Thank you for all you and your colleagues did during the pandemic and after. We are trying our best to qualify as many people as possible under the program. The state and feds agreed on a set of job titles, undoubtedly because it wasn’t feasible to do individual analyses of different people’s jobs.“ 

The “essential pay” is for members who worked on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic at public and private hospitals, health care facilities, and related employers providing health care-related functions. The program provides bonuses to frontline health and mental hygiene workers who provide hands-on assistance with health care services. The program currently includes full-time and part-time employees, temporary, and contracted workers in more than 100 H+H titles, with additional titles in Mayoral agencies to be determined.


Local 1180 Interviewed on WBAI About NDWA Contract Talk Roadblocks

Despite a year-long attempt to negotiate a fair contract, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), part of Communications Workers of America Local 1180, has run into repeated roadblocks by management that have stalled negotiations. Gloria Middleton, President of Local 1180, said that NDWA management was notified of workers’ desire to form a union at the end of June 2020. It wasn’t until Sept. 30, 2020, that management voluntarily recognized the unit. Six months later, workers began bargaining but management has pushed back with no transparency.

Read More >    Listen to Radio Interview >   See Negotiations Timeline >

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 In Other News

Protect Yourself From Tax Scams
Feb. 12, 2024

Tax season is here again and with it, new and creative ways for scammers to take advantage of honest taxpayers. The following are some of the most popular scams this year and tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.


Workers Want Unions: How States Have Strengthened Worker Power in 2023
Nov 1, 2023 |

States are taking action to strengthen workers’ ability to unionize and collectively bargain as well as raise job standards.

Unions and collective bargaining increase workers’ democratic voice; raise wages and build wealth; and improve conditions for all workers. It should be no surprise that nearly 70 percent of Americans support unions, and support is especially high among younger generations. Despite the fact that workers want and need unions, decades of weakened labor law has eroded workers’ ability to form unions and engage in collective bargaining. Yet, states have significant authority to build power for working people.


National Audubon Society Found in Violation of Labor Law After 18 Months of Negotiations with Union
Oct. 18, 2023 |

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has determined that the National Audubon Society has violated national labor laws during negotiations with its union employees, represented by the Bird Union-CWA. The union workers of the Bird Union-CWA have been working to negotiate a first contract with Audubon for 18 months. The negotiations have been overseen by a federal mediator since March.

Across four cases, the NLRB has determined that Audubon has bargained in bad faith or violated the rights of their union employees. Audubon:

  • Refused to bargain with its union members over minimum salaries and refused to share the market wage data used to develop the new salary structure.
  • Unilaterally imposed changes to the union members’ healthcare plan without negotiating with the union. The new plan raised costs for union members. Healthcare benefits are a mandatory subject of bargaining that must be negotiated in good faith.
  • Denied union members new and enhanced benefits that were given to non-union employees.
  • In several other instances, Audubon has failed to provide certain financial documents to the union that were relevant to negotiations.

A Labor Day Like No Other
Sept. 4, 2023 |

Labor Day 2023 isn’t like Labor Day 2022. It isn’t like any Labor Day of the past half-century.

The reason is simple: Labor law has changed.

Two Fridays ago, the National Labor Relations Board restored a good deal of labor law to its original purpose of enabling workers to bargain collectively for better pay and working conditions.




Treasury Department Releases First-Of-Its-Kind Report on Benefits of Unions to the U.S. Economy
Aug. 28, 2023

The Treasury Department just released its most comprehensive-ever look at the role labor unions play in the American economy with a new report by the Department’s Office of Economic Policy. The report represents one of the more than 70 actions implemented by the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, chaired by Vice President Harris. The report finds that unions play an important role in addressing longstanding challenges faced by the middle class – including stagnant wages, high housing costs, and reduced intergenerational mobility. In doing so, unions contribute to a more robust and resilient economy.


Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan
Aug. 11, 2023

Judge Frank issued an order in the case brought by certain retirees challenging the implementation of the Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan. As you will recall, the Judge had previously issued a preliminary injunction preventing the plan from moving forward. There had been some concern about whether the City could appeal directly from the issuance of a preliminary injunction.

As indicated in his decision, the City’s lawyers obtained the agreement of the retiree group to have the Court issue a final order without any further briefing or proceeding to expedite the matter. The Court made no new findings. This decision allows the City to move forward with an appeal more expeditiously. In essence, this decision does not substantively change the status of Medicare Advantage. The City has indicated its intention to move quickly to appeal.



NLRB Ruling Makes it Easier for Unions to Organize
Aug. 26, 2023 |

It's about to get harder for bosses to use illegal union busting to try to stall worker organizing. In a new ruling, the National Labor Relations Board outlined what will happen now if employers try illegal union-busting activity. If workers want a union, and employers use illegal tactics in the run-up to a union election that could compromise the election — like firing union organizers, or retaliating against workers engaging in protected union activities — the new rules say workers no longer have to hold a fresh election. Workers will instead automatically get their union and employers will have to bargain with them. READ MORE >>


NYS Helps Public Employees With Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation to expand and simplify public employee access to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The law establishes uniformity around what qualifies as full-time employment for the purposes of accessing PSLF and allows public service employers to certify employment on behalf of workers.

PSLF is a federal program that incentivizes public service work by canceling a portion of borrowers' federal student loans. The program requires borrowers to be full-time employees of an eligible public service employer and make 120 qualifying payments towards their student loan, after which the remainder of their federal student loan debt is forgiven. Any student loan debt that is forgiven under this program will not be subject to tax under New York State tax law.

The new law (Chapter 562) addresses barriers to accessing PSLF by:

  • Clarifying the legal definitions of key terms such as, "certifying employment," "employee," "full-time," "public service employer," "public service loan forgiveness form," and "Public service loan forgiveness program;"
  • Setting a standard hourly threshold for full-time employment at 30 hours per week for the purposes of accessing PSLF and clarifying standardized prep time to be included in such calculation for faculty and teachers; and
  • Allowing public service employers to certify employment on behalf of individuals or groups of employees directly with the U.S. Department of Education.
U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down NY's Concealed-Carry Law

June 24, 2022  |

The Supreme Court of the United States struck down a New York handgun-licensing law on June 23, 2022, that required New Yorkers who want to carry a handgun in public to show a special need to defend themselves. The 6-3 ruling is the court’s first significant decision on gun rights in more than a decade. In a far-reaching ruling, the court made clear that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right “to keep and bear arms” protects a broad right to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense. READ MORE >> 

SCOTUS Overturns Roe v. Wade: Ends Abortion Rights

June 24, 2022 |

In a historic and far-reaching decision, the U.S. Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, declaring that the constitutional right to abortion that's been upheld for 50 years no longer exists. READ MORE >>