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American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), District Council 37 Records

Call Number



1944-2014, inclusive
; 1957-2000, bulk


AFSCME. District Council 37 (New York, N.Y.)
AFSCME. District Council 37 (New York, N.Y.) (Role: Donor)
Roberts, Lillian (Role: Donor)
Nash, Ken (Role: Donor)


80 Linear Feet in 90 boxes
4 websites in 4 archived websites.

Language of Materials

English .


American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, District Council 37 is an umbrella group of 56 local unions representing public employees in New York City. Chartered in 1944, DC 37 has grown from an organization of less than a thousand employees in the city's parks, hospital, finance, and health departments to the country's largest federation of public employees, with more than 125,000 members working in the city's agencies and cultural institutions. The collection contains constitutions, minutes, correspondence, reports, newsletters, leaflets, websites, and printed material documenting the history of DC 37 from 1957 to 2004, with significant coverage of the 1950s to early 1980s. The materials chronicle the tenure of executive directors Jerry Wurf, Calogero Taibi, Victor Gotbaum, and Stanley Hill, as well as the leadership of associate director Lillian Roberts (who returned to DC 37 in 2002 as executive director). Also represented are records of DC 37's Legal Department, including files on its advocacy for women's pay equity, and records of the Communications Department, documenting the union's newspaper, Public Employee Press. In addition, this collection contains eight boxes of audio reels and cassettes, the bulk of which are recordings of DC 37's radio show "It's Your City, It's Our Job."

Historical/Biographical Note

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, District Council 37 is an umbrella group of 56 local unions representing public employees in New York City. Chartered in 1944, DC 37 has grown from an organization of less than a thousand employees in the city's parks, hospital, finance, and health departments to the country's largest federation of public employees, with more than 125,000 members working in the city's agencies and cultural institutions.

District Council 37 was chartered by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in November 1944, bringing together a group of small locals representing employees of New York City's public hospital, parks, finance, and health departments. The new council represented only a fraction of the city's overall workforce and vied for new members with competing unions, including the United Public Workers, the Building Service Employees International Union, the Transport Workers Union (TWU), and International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). Under the early leadership of Henry Feinstein, the union relied primarily on its political connections to Tammany Hall to maintain job security for existing members. Hoping to expand AFSCME's foothold in New York, AFSCME president Arnold Zander appointed a new set of international representatives to organize additional public employees into DC 37. Walter Pasnick and John Boer made inroads with hospital workers, but DC 37 began achieving significant growth only after the arrival in 1947 of Jerry Wurf (1919-1981). A New York City native, Wurf had been serving as an AFSCME representative in Illinois. In 1952, when Feinstein transferred half of DC 37's 800 members to a new group, IBT Local 237, Wurf was left with approximately 400 members and no staff. Undaunted, he began aggressively organizing, and over the next five years, DC 37 formed 55 new locals or organizing committees. By 1957, Wurf claimed a membership of 25,000 members in 33 agencies and departments.

In the 1940s and early 1950s, municipal workers had few of the benefits and protections enjoyed by union members in the private sector. With wages often well below market rate, they also lacked Social Security coverage, paid higher costs for their health insurance and pension contributions, and--especially among hospital aides and blue collar workers--worked more than 40 hours a week. In addition, public employees lacked the rights to organize and collectively bargain. DC 37's efforts to overcome these obstacles received a significant boost in 1954, when Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. issued an interim order recognizing the right of city workers to organize and requiring city agencies to establish grievance procedures. One of the Council's earliest challenges, however, arose when Robert Moses, New York's powerful Commissioner of Parks, refused to comply with Wagner's order. Under Wurf, DC 37 became known for boisterous and publicity-grabbing demonstrations, and after a series of large demonstrations of parks workers at City Hall demanding the eight-hour day, Wagner finally ordered Moses to address their grievances. Believing that DC 37 did not represent as many "parkies" as it claimed, Moses called for an election. The election, which took place in January 1956, was the first to be conducted by the city's newly created Department of Labor, and DC 37 won by a vote of 4,097 to 173. This victory helped DC 37 begin to consolidate its power in the city.

The union grew through organizing, mergers, and consolidation. In 1954, all hospital locals at different institutions were united into Local 420, the Municipal Hosptial Workers Union. The AFL-CIO merger in 1955 brought the Council new members, when the Government and Civic Employees New York Joint Board (CIO) was dissolved and DC 37 absorbed what would become several of its largest locals: Welfare Local 371, School Lunch Local 372, Quasi-Public Local 374, and Civil Service Technical Guild (CSTG) Local 375. Voluntary dues check-off, which began in 1957, provided another way to expand membership more quickly.

One of the Council's major goals in its early years was to achieve access to collective bargaining. In 1958, Mayor Wagner, relenting after years of pressure from DC 37, signed an executive order granting exclusive collective bargaining rights to an organization that could prove--through dues check-off cards or an election--to represent a majority of workers in a unit. DC 37 already had a majority among some groups of workers whose titles were concentrated in a single agency, and by 1959 employees in the Parks Department and cultural institutions began to see significant gains in their wages and benefits through collective bargaining.

The 1950s also witnessed increasing militancy on the part of DC 37 members under Wurf's leadership, in spite of the Condon-Wadlin Law prohibiting public employee strikes. When the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Bronx Zoo, and Coney Island Aquarium refused to recognize or bargain with DC 37 locals, workers initiated several strikes in 1958 and 1959 (sometimes bringing baby elephants and trained monkeys to the picket lines to attract publicity). They won recognition of the union and raises for workers in 33 titles. In 1962, 2,000 motor vehicle operators, who had recently achieved majority representation with Local 983, went on strike for two weeks, resulting in establishment of the first welfare fund for non-uniformed employees. These and other successes swelled the ranks of city workers who wanted to join DC 37, and soon a host of new titles--from psychologists to water plant operators-were organized into new locals.

When Wurf left DC 37 in 1964 to become president of AFSCME, his deputy, Calogero Taibi, became executive director. Taibi soon resigned due to ill health, however, and Victor Gotbaum (b. 1921), a Chicago-based AFSCME representative, stepped in to lead DC 37. Gotbaum's first challenge, even before he had been officially elected as executive director, was the welfare strike of 1965. The bargaining demands of DC 37's Local 371 and the Social Service Employees Union, an independent union of social workers, included repeal of the career and salary plan, formation of an impartial labor-management committee to negotiate contracts, and the right to bargain on a range of issues such as caseloads. When the city declared most of their demands "unbargainable," the two unions began a 28-day strike, resulting in mass dismissal of 5,400 welfare workers and the jailing of 19 strike leaders. Eventually, Mayor Wagner appointed a fact-finding panel to resolve the dispute, and the resulting agreement included most of the unions' original demands. This victory set the pattern for future collective bargaining, paving the way for the 1967 formation of the Office of Collective Bargaining as an impartial arbiter for negotiations.

Gotbaum brought with him from Chicago a talented organizer, Lillian Roberts (b. 1928), who had been a nurse's aide and vocal shop steward prior to joining Gotbaum's AFSCME staff in Illinois. Roberts' organizing skills and rapport with members were immediately put to the test upon her arrival in New York, when IBT Local 237 challenged DC 37's Local 420 for representation of aides in the city's hospitals. In the midst of a confrontational election campaign, Roberts promised that Local 420 and DC 37 would aggressively seek educational opportunities for the aides, whose low-paid jobs rarely offered any chance for career advancement. This incentive drew a majority of votes for Local 420, and in 1968 a first class of nurse's aides began studying to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Their success led to similar efforts for other employee groups. Roberts was appointed associate director of the union in 1968, making her one of the highest-ranking African-American women in the labor movement. In addition to building Local 420, she served as field director and was instrumental in bringing federally-funded city workers into DC 37's ranks. The Local 420 election, along with a successful election among hospital clericals, put DC 37 over the threshold needed for a citywide majority of career and salary plan employees. In September 1967 DC 37 membership surpassed 50,000, giving it the clout to negotiate citywide issues for the first time.

Like other AFSCME leaders, Gotbaum encouraged members to embrace social movement unionism by linking their struggles for higher wages and benefits to other economic, social, and political issues. In 1968 DC 37 sent a delegation to Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers. Martin Luther King, Jr., who pledged support of his Southern Christian Leadership Conference to the predominantly African-American strikers, was assassinated just days before a joint march between labor unions and civil rights activists. The planned march became a memorial event for King, with 500 DC 37 members in attendance.

The number of strikes by public workers in the 1960s led state lawmakers to revise the ineffective Condon-Wadlin Law. Governor Nelson Rockefeller's administration and the state legislature passed the Taylor Law in 1967, increasing fines and penalties against public employee strikers. DC 37, the Transport Workers Union, and the United Federation of Teachers teamed up on May 23, 1967, to stage a massive protest rally at Madison Square Garden. They vowed to help re-elect lawmakers who had opposed passage of the Taylor Law and to defeat those who had voted for it. This vow presaged DC 37's growing political strength in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1969, DC 37 helped re-elect Mayor John V. Lindsay, who had supported the collective bargaining process. Election operations were accompanied by intensified lobbying efforts in Albany, achieving major legislative gains such as the agency shop and political action check-offs.

The council faced major challenges in the 1970s as New York City descended into a deep fiscal crisis, threatening municipal workers with layoffs, wage freezes, and benefit reductions. When state officials resisted pension improvements negotiated with Mayor Lindsay in the union's 1970 citywide bargaining sessions, a showdown between DC 37 and the state legislature ensued. Members of ten DC 37 locals in the blue-collar division, along with bridge tenders in IBT Local 237, went out on strike on June 7, 1971, effectively shutting down portions of the city until a temporary agreement was reached. By 1974, Abraham Beame's first year as mayor, a national recession, coupled with inadequate federal and state aid to the city, took a toll; Beame announced layoffs for 4,000 workers, including 2,000 permanent civil service employees. Labor leaders responded by taking their fight to the national level, organizing a massive "March for Jobs" in Washington, DC, in 1975. President Gerald Ford failed to send additional aid to New York, however, and that year the city announced 9,000 additional layoffs, affecting 5,000 DC 37 members.

With public criticism of the union mounting, Gotbaum and advisor Jack Bigel set out to negotiate a settlement that would prevent layoffs and protect the collective bargaining process while also helping the city avoid default. A compromise agreement, reached on July 31, 1975, in which the union agreed to defer a six-percent wage increase while the city abandoned most of its layoff plans. To stave off the city's default, DC 37 agreed to invest 2.5 billion dollars from its pension funds in city bonds. That pledge, along with last-minute state and federal aid, prevented the devastating consequences that would have resulted from default. The 1976 fiscal year brought another round of bad financial news, however, precipitating a strike of 18,000 hospital workers from Local 420 that stopped some of the threatened layoffs. By 1977, the city's budget began to stabilize, and after coalition bargaining with other municipal unions, DC 37 was safe from additional layoffs. In spite of these difficult years, DC 37 nevertheless managed to surpass the 100,000-member mark in 1975.

Some of DC 37's most significant activities in the early 1980s were in the arena of women's rights. In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled that the New York City Employee Retirement System could no longer set gender-specific levels for pension contributions and payments. This case, Women in City Government United v. City of New York, had taken ten years to resolve. Female municipal workers who had been required to overpay because of their expected longevity were refunded some of their past pension contributions. Another victory for women's rights came in 1984 with a suit filed by DC 37 challenging the lower wages of largely female 911 operators in the Police Department as compared to the higher wages of male Fire Department operators performing similar work. This successful case exemplified the "comparable worth" movement that sought equal pay for women performing similar work to men even when their job titles differed. AFSCME played a leading role in this movement. AFSCME locals in San Jose, California, led the country's first strike over pay equity issues, followed by a successful lawsuit against the state of Washington that won retroactive upgrading of historically-low salaries in female-dominated titles (the decision was later overturned on appeal, but it influenced state and local governments around the country to include pay equity measures in new contracts).

The 1980s also witnessed significant leadership changes at DC 37. Gotbaum unsuccessfully challenged Wurf for the AFSCME presidency, creating tension between DC 37 and its parent union. This conflict played a role in internal DC 37 politics as well; when Lillian Roberts accused Local 420 president James Butler of failing to account for large sums of the local's money, Wurf sided with Butler against Gotbaum and Roberts, nearly causing the disaffiliation of Local 420 from DC 37. In 1981, Roberts left DC 37 when Governor Hugh Carey appointed her to become New York's Commission of Labor, a position she held until 1987. Her longtime fellow associate director, Edward Maher, also left DC 37 for a position in the department of labor. Stanley Hill (b. 1936), a veteran union leader from Local 371, SSEU and a DC 37 field representative, was appointed as associate director. In 1986, Gotbaum retired after 21 years as executive director, during which time DC 37 had become the country's largest union of municipal workers. Hill succeeded Gotbaum as executive director, a position he maintained until 1998.

Under Hill, the council continued to win refinements to members' benefits, including increased protection for provisional workers, pensions for part-time employees, and a law requiring disclosure of on-the-job safety hazards to workers. The council also continued its social activism, taking a leading role in convincing the city's pension system to divest itself of stocks from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa. Recognizing its diverse membership demographics, DC 37 began union-wide celebrations of Black History Month, recognized other ethnic groups, and formed a Disability Advisory Committee in 1982, followed in 1985 by activities for Women's History Month, a public stance in favor of gay rights in 1986, and programs for Puerto Rican Heritage beginning in 1989.

Although DC 37 supported the 1990 election of David Dinkins, the city's first African-American mayor, the council was soon at odds with its longtime ally. As another national recession hit New York City, Dinkins called for a wage freeze and 15,000 layoffs in his first round of negotiations with the city's public employee unions. DC 37 avoided the wage freeze, but in early 1991, the city went forward with the first mass layoffs since the 1970s, terminating close to 900 city workers. More layoffs followed that summer. City budget gaps persisted through the 1990s, and DC 37 repeatedly battled with the next mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, over privatization of public hospitals, reduction of public services, and workfare initiatives that placed welfare recipients into city jobs.

DC 37 faced some difficult challenges in the late 1990s, when investigations by the Manhattan District Attorney revealed multiple instances of corruption inside the council and its locals. Especially damaging were revelations in 1998 that senior union officials had rigged a ratification vote on the controversial 1996 contract, which included wage freezes for the first two years. AFSCME placed DC 37 in a trusteeship and named as administrator Lee Saunders, a longtime aide to AFSCME president Gerald McEntee. Stanley Hill took a leave of absence in December 1998 after two of his top deputies admitted involvement in the vote fraud, and retired in early 1999.

The trusteeship lasted for three years under Saunder's leadership. Among the reforms he initiated were new financial reporting and auditing systems, as well as the use of a neutral party to count ballots in council-wide elections and contract ratification votes. In 2002, Lillian Roberts was elected to serve as executive director of DC 37, returning after a twenty-year absence. Her election ended the trusteeship of DC 37 and returned control of the council to its executive director, executive board, and delegates.


AFSCME, District Council 37, How We Built a Great Union. New York: DC 37, 1994.Bernard and Jewell Bellush, Union Power and New York: Victor Gotbaum and District Council 37. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1984.Joseph C. Goulden, Jerry Wurf: Labor's Last Angry Man. New York: Atheneum, 1982.Steven Greenhouse, "Union officer is said to admit vote fixing." New York Times. December 3, 1998, A1.Steven Greenhouse, "Vowing to go from scandal to strength, city union looks for a fight." New York Times, July 12, 1999, B1.Norma M. Riccucci, Women, Minorities, and Unions in the Public Sector. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.Evelyn Seinfeld, "Chronology of the New York City Fiscal Crisis, July 18, 1974 to April 4, 1977." DC 37: Department of Research and Negotiations, 1977.


Files arranged alphabetically by topic within each series.

The files are grouped into twelve series:

  1. Series I: Constitution and Minutes, 1955-2004.
  2. Series II: Executive Office Records, 1951-1999.
  3. Series III: Legal Department Records,1956-1986.
  4. Series IV: Communications Department Records, 1963-2004.
  5. Series V: General Files, 1944-2000.
  6. Series VI: Restricted Materials, 1967-1997.
  7. Series VII: Ken Nash Collection - Audio Reels, 1977-1990.
  8. Series VIII: Ken Nash Collection - Audio Cassettes, 1986-1999.
  9. Series IX: Ken Nash Collection - 2015 Donation.
  10. Series X: Audio Reels - Other.
  11. Series XI: Archived Websites.
  12. Series XII: Films and videos.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains constitutions, minutes, correspondence, reports, newsletters, leaflets, websitesand printed material documenting the history of DC 37 from 1957 to 2000s, with significant coverage of the 1950s to early 1980s. The materials chronicle the tenure of executive directors Jerry Wurf, Calogero Taibi, Victor Gotbaum, and Stanley Hill, as well as the leadership of associate director Lillian Roberts (who returned to DC 37 in 2002 as executive director). Also represented are records of DC 37's Legal Department, including files on its advocacy for women's pay equity, and records of the Communications Department, documenting the union's newspaper, Public Employee Press. In addition, the collection contains eight boxes of audio reels and cassettes, the bulk of which are recordings of DC 37's radio show "It's Your City, It's Our Job."

Series I: Constitution and Minutes, 1955-2004, includes a copy of DC 37's constitution as well as minutes of the Executive Board and Delegates from 1955 to 2004. Minutes on paper are available for the years 1955-1960, 1970-1979 and 2001-2004, while 1961-1969 are available only on microfilm (R-7424). Holdings for the 1980s and 1990s are incomplete. A limited number of minutes of the Finance Committee and Trustees are also represented in the series.

Series II: Executive Office Records, 1951-1999.

Subseries II:A: Stanley Hill Executive Director Records, 1987-1999, contains correspondence, reports, and printed material from Hill's tenure as executive director from 1986 to 1998. Although most material in this subseries is from his last two years in office, some earlier items are also present, including extensive coverage of New York City's 1991 fiscal crisis that led to layoffs and wage deferrals for DC 37 members. Two other layoff crises--the 1996 threat by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to close some of New York City's municipal hospitals and the 1998 budget cuts affecting Health and Hospitals Corporation employees--are also well documented in this subseries. In addition to Hill's correspondence with numerous DC 37 locals, this subseries also demonstrates growing attention paid to the HIV/AIDS crisis by city agencies and nonprofits and Hill's involvement with a number of outside organizations, including the American Committee on Africa, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and One Hundred Black Men. Although Hill left DC 37 in December 1998, the files contain a few records from late 1998 and early 1999, which reflect ongoing projects carried out by Hill's executive assistant, Brenda White.

Subseries II:B: Lillian Roberts Associate Director Records, 1951-1983, provides nearly complete documentation of Lillian Roberts' influential tenure as Associate Director from 1965 to 1982, including correspondence, reports, speeches, and printed material. While the subseries chronicles Roberts' oversight of division directors and personnel at DC 37 headquarters, it most thoroughly documents her close connection to Local 420 and her role in its ongoing negotiations with the Health and Hospitals Corporation. Highlights include material on the 1965 representation election of hospital aides; the successful implementation of a training program to upgrade nurse's aides to LPNs; layoffs of hospital workers during the 1975 fiscal crisis; the hospital workers' strike of 1976; the affiliation of municipal and voluntary hospitals; and Roberts' disputes with Local 420 president James Butler in 1978 and 1979. Also of interest is material on the use of welfare recipients as workers in city agencies through the Work Incentive Program and the Work Relief Employment Program; establishment of DC 37's Education Fund; application of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) in New York City; and several trips by DC 37 members to Africa that Roberts led in the mid-1970s.

Series III: Legal Department Records, 1956-1986, contains legal documents, correspondence, notes, reports, printed material, and newspaper clippings. It provides a snapshot of the Legal Department's multi-faceted work under the leadership of lead counsels Julius Topol and Beverly Gross in the 1970s and early 1980s, from arbitration of grievances to litigation on major social issues of the period. Significant cases represented are James Butler v. DC 37, resulting from Gotbaum and Roberts' dispute with Local 420 President Butler; Daniel Mando, et al.v. Abraham Beame, et al., concerning representation rights for employees hired under the Emergency Employment Act of 1971; and Women in City Government United, et al. v. City of New York, et al., a successful gender discrimination suit challenging the city's use of sex-specific actuarial tables to determine pension contributions and payments. The files also contain material on CSTG's attempt under president Richard Izzo to disaffiliate from DC 37 and on the Deferral Payment Agreement of 1982, under which the city addressed its overdue promise to repay city workers wages deferred during the 1975 fiscal crisis. A significant group of files on pay equity issues from the late 1970s and early 1980s were compiled by Audrey Browne, a Legal Department attorney. They include numerous reports on pay equity issues in New York City and around the country, as well as legal documents relating to AFSCME, et al.v. State of Washington.

Series IV: Communications Department Records, 1963-2004.

Subseries IV:A: Edward Handman Records, 1972-1991, include reports, transcripts, and newspaper clippings compiled by Handman, who served as Director of Public Relations and Publications from 1972 until the early 1990s. Of particular note in this subseries is extensive coverage of two fiscal crises in New York City: the prolonged crisis of the mid-1970s and the shorter but still acute budget crisis of 1991. Handman helped DC 37 craft its response to public perceptions that inflated wages, benefits, and pensions of city workers were responsible for the city's strained budgets.

Subseries IV:B: Bill Schleicher Records, 1992-2004, contains reports, notes, and newspaper clippings compiled by Schleicher in the course of his duties as editor of Public Employee Press(PEP). These materials include annotated minutes of and notes on meetings of delegates, division and department leaders, shop stewards, and the executive board from 2001 to 2004. Of particular note are collected materials--primarily printed materials and reports--on multiple investigations beginning in 1998 by the Manhattan District Attorney of corruption inside DC 37 and its locals. The subseries also contains Schleicher's research material on a variety of local and national issues such as the city budget, contract negotiations, and immigration.

Subseries IV:C: Public Employee Press Research Files, 1963-1993, contains paper records separated from the Public Employee Pressphotograph files in the DC 37 Photograph Collection (NP #247). These include notes, reports, and copies of documents relating to issues affecting the union as reported by PEPstaff, primarily during the 1960s and 1970s. Key issues addressed include safety issues, the union's exposé of poor conditions at the city's public hospitals, the citywide strike of the union's blue collar locals in 1971, the affiliation of municipal and voluntary hospitals, and the contentious representation election of school aides waged by the UFT against DC 37 in 1973.

Series V: General Files, 1944-2000, consists primarily of records kept by DC 37's executive office and printing department from the mid-1950s to the 1970s. This series contains the oldest records in the collection and provides the only documentation of the administrations of executive directors Jerry Wurf, Calogero Taibi, and Victor Gotbaum. Files for nearly every local in the union are present, containing correspondence with executive office staff, salary appeal briefs (predating collective bargaining agreements), minutes, newsletters, printed material such as meeting notices and leaflets, and occasionally constitutions and contracts. Some locals are better represented than others. This series documents key moments in DC 37 history, including the early activism of Locals 149 (Parks) and 299 (Recreation), the 1961 strike of employees at the Bronx Zoo and Coney Island Aquarium, the 1965 welfare workers' strike of Local 371 and SSEU, the 1965 hospital aides representation election, and the 1976 hospital workers' strike. DC 37's Political Action and Legislation Department is also well represented in this series, chronicling the union's growing political strength in the 1970s and 1980s.

Series VI: Restricted Materials, 1967-1997. (Closed for 50 years from date of creation.)

Series VII: Ken Nash Collection - Audio Reels, 1977-1990, contains audio tape reels collected by DC 37's Ken Nash, who was a producer and host of the radio show, "Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report." This series is organized into three subseries; the bulk are reels of DC 37's radio show "It's Your City, It's Our Job."

Series VIII: Ken Nash Collection - Audio Cassettes, 1986-1999, contains audio cassettes collected by DC 37's Ken Nash, who was a producer and host of the radio show, "Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report." This series is organized into six subseries; the bulk are cassettes of DC 37's radio show "It's Your City, It's Our Job."

Series IX: Ken Nash Collection - 2015 Donation, 1993-2014, contains audio recordings of DC 37's radio programs donated by Ken Nash. These recordings cover conferences, interviews with labor leaders, topics related social justice and workers rights, and other events related to District 37 union activity between 1993 and 2003. This series also contains a small amount of ephemera from union related anniversary celebrations and award banquets from 2012-2014.

Series X: Audio Reels - Other, 1965, includes 40 audio reels that appear to be radio spots. Some are in Spanish. These audio reels came to Tamiment with the DC 37 Photographs collection.

Series XI: Archived Websites, includes the main DC 37 website, back issues of their publication Public Employee Press, their blog, and their COVID-19 response website.

Conditions Governing Access

All series except Series VI: Restricted Materials are open for research without restrictions. Materials in Series VI are closed for privacy reasons and will be opened 50 years after their date of creation.

Conditions Governing Use

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by the AFSCME, District Council 37 were transferred to New York University in 2003 by Lillian Roberts on behalf of the AFSCME, District Council 37. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives. Please contact, (212) 998-2630.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), District Council 37 Records; WAG 265 box number; folder number or item identifier; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

To cite the archived website in this collection: Identification of item, date; American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), District Council 37 Records; WAG 265; Wayback URL; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

AFSCME, District Council 37 sent a gift of taped radio programs, which became Series VII and Series VIII, in 2003. The accession number associated with this gift is 1979.002.

The records of AFSCME, District Council 37 were donated under an agreement with Council Executive Director Lillian Roberts in 2007. The accession number with this gift is 2007.010.

Ken Nash sent an additional two boxes of District Council 37 radio broadcasts and ephemera from union related events in 2015. The accession number associated with this gift is 2015.062.

The accession numbers NPA.1999.005, NPA.2000.257, NPA.2000.329, NPA.2005.175, NPA.2005.191, and NPA.2005.221 are also associated with this collection. was initially selected by curators and captured through the use of The California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service in 2007 as part of the Labor Unions and Organizations (U.S.) Web Archive. In 2015, this website was migrated to Archive-It. Archive-It uses web crawling technology to capture websites at a scheduled time and displays only an archived copy, from the resulting WARC file, of the website. In 2018, and were added. The accession number associated with these websites are 2019.098. was added in 2020. The accession number associated with this website is 2020.026. In November 2021, was added. The accession number associated with this website is 2022.036.

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Access to audiovisual materials in this collection is available through digitized access copies. Researchers may view an item's original container, but the media themselves are not available for playback because of preservation concerns. Materials that have already been digitized are noted in the collection's finding aid and can be requested in our reading room. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Take Down Policy

Archived websites are made accessible for purposes of education and research. NYU Libraries have given attribution to rights holders when possible; however, due to the nature of archival collections, we are not always able to identify this information.

If you hold the rights to materials in our archived websites that are unattributed, please let us know so that we may maintain accurate information about these materials.

If you are a rights holder and are concerned that you have found material on this website for which you have not granted permission (or is not covered by a copyright exception under US copyright laws), you may request the removal of the material from our site by submitting a notice, with the elements described below, to the repository email.

Please include the following in your notice: Identification of the material that you believe to be infringing and information sufficient to permit us to locate the material; your contact information, such as an address, telephone number, and email address; a statement that you are the owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed and that you have a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; a statement that the information in the notification is accurate and made under penalty of perjury; and your physical or electronic signature. Upon receiving a notice that includes the details listed above, we will remove the allegedly infringing material from public view while we assess the issues identified in your notice.

Separated Materials

Photographs, graphic materials (cartoons, drawings, etc.), and films from the Communicatoins Department were separated into three collections:

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), District Council 37 Photographs (PHOTOS 247)

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), District Council 37 Graphics (GRAPHICS 34)

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), District Council 37 Films (FILMS 10)

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

AFSCME, DC 37 Photographs (Photos 247)

AFSCME, DC 37, Local 1306 Records (WAG 290)

AFSCME, DC 37, Local 1930 Records (WAG 40)

AFSCME, DC 37, Local 1930: Ray Markey Files (WAG 286)

AFSCME, DC 37, Local 420 Records (WAG 215)

Bernard and Jewel Bellush Papers (WAG 30)

Civil Service Technical Guild Records (WAG 24)

Social Service Employees Union Records (WAG 3)

Collection processed by

Laura Helton and Mark Berger, 2007-2008.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:38:12 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is in English.

Processing Information

In 2014, the archived websites were added as Series XI. Additional websites were added in 2018 and 2020.

In 2015, Series IX: Ken Nash Collection - 2015 Donation was added to the collection and numbers of subsequent series were updated as follows: Series IX: Audio Reels - Other changed to Series X: Audio Reels - Other; and Series X: Archived Website changed to Series IX: Archived Website.

In 2023, a student worker rehoused tapes and added top containers for three boxes of audiocassettes.

Revisions to this Guide

July 2019: Updated by Kelly Haydon to state some audiovisual materials have been digitized and are accessible to patrons.
September 2020: Edited by Nicole Greenhouse for additional administration information and the incorporation of archived websites
January 2023: Edited by Maddie DeLaere to update titles and top containers for select audiocassettes.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from AFSCME, DC 37 WAG 265.doc


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
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