New York City Local 246

Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC

Families of Workers Who Die From Diesel Exposure Aided by State

By BOB HENNELLY, thechiefleader.com, Nov 9, 2021

Seven years ago, in a breakthrough state Workers’ Compensation case, the widow of a city Bus Maintainer was awarded death benefits because a judge found his death was caused by chronic exposure to diesel fumes.

Thanks to a law signed Oct. 29 by Governor Hochul, families who lost a spouse, parent or even grandparent to cancer under similar circumstances will have one year to file a claim.

Joseph Colangelo, president of the Local 246 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents city mechanics, said in a Nov. 8 phone interview that while he welcomed the legislation, he was concerned that there was just a one-year filing window.

“I am 40 years with Sanitation, and when I started out in 1981, when they were transitioning to diesel trucks, the garages would fill up with that blue smoke. I mean, imagine you get 18 trucks starting up,” Mr. Colangelo said. “This was way before clean diesel, and we had people come in and check the ventilation, and one of our guys who came in to check it out and when he was asked how bad it was, said ‘I wouldn’t work here.’ “

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New York State Swears In First Female Governor

Former Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was sworn in as New York’s first female governor at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. She takes over mid-term for Andrew Cuomo who resigned amidst a sexual harassment scandal that surfaced last year and came to a head with a report released by State Attorney General Letitia James. Read more here or here.

NYC Mandate on COVID Vaccinations or Testing FAQ

Local 246 has received calls and emails from members ever since the mayor announced his mandate on COVID vaccinations for New York City employees. While employees do have the choice of getting vaccinated or submitting to weekly PCR testing, that’s where the choice ends. As of now, citywide unions, including Local 246, are working together under the auspices of the Municipal Labor Committee, to determine what penalties can be imposed on employees unwilling to comply as that falls under the terms of union contracts and must be negotiated. The city does have a right at this time, however, to mandate vaccinations or testing because COVID is a pandemic. This Frequently Asked Questions was distributed by the City. It is suggested that members read the FAQ in its entirety in order to fully understand but please keep in mind that the scope of this mandate is subject to change.

Departments of Sanitation and Correction Now Hiring


Department of Sanitation is hiring one Electrician (Automobile), Job ID #464205. Title Classification is competitive. Work location is 52-35 58th Street, Woodside. The title code is 91719 with a proposed salary range of $37.28-$43.40 per hour.

To apply, submit resume and cover letter at www.nyc.gov/careers. City employees can apply via Employee Self Services. Click Here for full details

The Department of Correction is now hiring two Sheet Metal Workers, Job ID #469204. Title Classification is competitive. The title code is 92340 with a proposed salary range of $405.44 daily.

To apply, City employees should go to Employee Self-Service (ESS) – www.nyc.gov/ess and search for Job ID# 469204. 

For all other applicants: Go to https://a127-jobs.nyc.gov and search for Job ID# 469204. Submission of a resume is not a guarantee that you will receive an interview. Only candidates under consider will be contacted.
Click Here for full details

Educate, Engage & Activate for Election Day

The New York City Central Labor Council will host a series of volunteer activities throughout the 2021 Election cycle in NYC to educate, engage and activate members of union households.  

With such a huge turn-over of representation in elected positions throughout the city, it is critical we elect public servants who will put working families first. Help reach union members and their households to ensure they know when, where, and now with the process of ranked-choice voting, HOW TO VOTE in the upcoming elections.

For more information on who the NYC Central Labor Council has endorsed, please visit laborvotes.nyc

Choose one or multiple actions to kick-start your engagement with NYC Labor Votes! To receive on-going communications on the activities of NYC Labor Votes, sign-up to receive our NYC Labor Votes! emails here: NYCLaborVotes-Activate

The NYCCLC LaborVotes! initiative focuses on educating, engaging and activating union members’ and their households’ ability to cast their ballot for labor-endorsed candidates. LaborVotes! is the member-to-member electoral program of the NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.  

Read More & Get Involved

2021 Membership Cards

The Local 246 Membership Cards for 2021 are going out to Active Members with the Jan-Feb IMPACT. If you are an Active Member and do not receive your card with the newsletter, or there is an issue with your card such as a misspelled name, please contact the Union Office immediately at 212.233.0616. Retirees will receive their card once Retiree Dues for 2021 have been paid.

2021 Membership Cards for Active Members are personalized with names

Free Practice Questions for Auto Mechanic Exam

Members who are scheduled to take the upcoming Auto Mechanic exams can take free practice tests to see what type of questions appear on an ASE auto mechanic certification exam.  These questions are not provided by Local 246, but are being shared as a means of providing members with a useful study guide. Click here to see the exams.

Gov Signs Bill Giving Death Benefit to COVID-19 Frontline Worker Families

A new law will provide death benefits to the families of city and state government frontline workers who died from COVID-19 without the families having to prove their loved ones caught the virus while on the job.

“The legislation that became law will guarantee survivors an automatic death benefit without them having to jump through hoops to prove their spouse caught the coronavirus while at work,” said President Joe Colangelo. “They will also have the option of two different payouts that will mitigate their financial concerns, which is the least we can do for them in light of all they have sacrificed.”

Beneficiaries would be automatically entitled to the accidental death benefit, paid through the members’ pension, as long as the other criteria are met. The new law covers workers on the job anytime from March 1, who contracted COVID-19 within 45 days of reporting to work, and then died on or before Dec. 31, 2020, either due to COVID-19, or had COVID-19 as a contributing factor in the member’s death.

In determining whether Accidental Death Benefits should be awarded, a deceased member or retiree must have had a positive lab test for COVID-19 within 45 days of reporting to work, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 from a qualified medical provider, either before or after the member’s or retiree’s death. The beneficiary would also have to show that COVID-19 was the cause or contributing factor in the death as documented by a death certificate or by a qualified health care provider.

Both the Ordinary and Accidental death benefit options are based on a member’s retirement system. In the case of Local 246, that is NYCERS. Other factors in determining payouts include a member’s tier, years on the job, and salary. With the new law, the designated beneficiary can choose whether to take the one-time, lump sum payout under the ordinary death benefit, or receive monthly payouts for life according to the formula of the accidental death benefit. Colangelo said it will be up survivors’ beneficiaries to meet with NYCERS to determine the best option for them.

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