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Social Service Employees Union (SSEU) Local 371 exists to represent our members who seek to secure collective bargaining rights through member engagement and community support. SSEU Local 371 seeks to obtain a fair and decent contract to raise the standard of living and the health and safety for all members and the community. Through political empowerment, we mobilize our members to become socially conscious and politically active.





Anthony Wells

Anthony began his career in 1980 as a Caseworker at Spofford Juvenile Center in the Bronx. In 1983 he moved to BCW where he served as Delegate from the Queens Field Office. In 1988 he joined the union as an Organizer, becoming Associate Director of Organizing in 1990 and Associate Director of Negotiations and Research in 1995. He was elected as Vice President in 1999. As head of the Negotiations and Research Section, Anthony headed the Union's Bargaining Committee and conducted labor-management meetings. He also served on the DC 37 Pension Committee. Anthony received his MSW from Stony Brook University and his law degree from New York Law School. Anthony was elected President in April, 2011.



Yolanda Pumarejo

Executive Vice President since 1995, Yolanda began her career working in child welfare in Staten Island. A longtime activist and delegate, she earned her MSW and CSW while working on location. Yolanda is Co- chair of the Union's Latino Heritage Committee and Chair of the Committee of Concerned Social Workers. She is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), LCLAA (the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement) and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU).



Juan Ortiz

Juan Ortiz became secretary treasurer in April 2013. He was a Community Coordinator at the New York City Housing Authority before becoming a Union officer, and has served as the secretary-treasurer of the Hispanic Labor Committee of the New York City Central Labor Council.





Carl Cook

Carl began his career in 2004 as a Community Assistant with the Human Resources Administration in the Office of Child Support Enforcement. Eventually, he was certified from the civil service list as a Caseworker and went on to become a Fraud Investigator.  Shortly after being hired Carl became active in the Union and was elected as an alternate delegate by his coworkers for being outspoken at his location concerning workers’ rights and issues.

In May of 2011 Carl began working for the union as a Research Assistant.  He became the Associate Director for Negotiations & Research in October of 2012 handling labor relations issues throughout the city. Carl received his Bachelor of Arts degree from The College of New Rochelle in Psychology and his Master of Public Administration from Long Island University.  He is a member of the Political Action Committee and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU).

In November of 2015 Carl was announced the new Vice President for Negotiations & Research.



Darek Robinson

Darek Robinson earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland (Eastern Shore) in 1989. He began his career in City service in 1992 as a Juvenile Counselor at the Department of Juvenile Justice, and was promoted to Associate Juvenile Counselor I in 2006. He became Assosiate Juvenile Councelor II in 2009.

Robinson became a Union Activist for Local 1457 in 1994 and was elected Vice President in 2004. He was instrumental in the successful filing of the Fair Labor Standard Act Law suit on behalf of Local 1457 members.

Local 1457 merged with SSEU Local 371 in 2010. Robinson became a grievance representative in February 2014 and was elected vice president of grievances and legal services in April.



Armenta Weekes

Armenta began her career in ACS right out of college in April of 1989 as a Caseworker. In 1996 she became a Supervisor I in the Queens Field Office and in 1998 a Child Protective Specialist Supervisor II. Not knowing much about unions but always loving a good fight to right a wrong, Armenta participated in her first demonstration against management the first year being hired. Armenta has been a Union Delegate on location for 20 years. She joins the team at SSEU Local 371 as the Vice President of Organization and Education.



Michelle Akyempong

Michelle began her career in 1985 as a Caseworker in Adult Protective Services in Brooklyn. Immediately prior to her election as Vice President in 2007, she was a Supervisor III at Home Care Services (CASA IV) in Staten Island. She has served as Alternate and Delegate on location, Delegate to DC 37 and a member of the Bargaining Committee. Michelle is a member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), CBTU, the Women's Committee, Black History and Caribbean Heritage Committees. Michelle is Chair of the Union's Political Action Committee. She has been Vice President of Legislation & Political Action since 2007.



Patricia Chardavoyne

Patricia began her New York City career in 1999 at the Kings County District Attorney's Office. Her first assignment was in the Payroll Management Unit as a Community Service Aid, she subsequently became a Community Assistant. Later becoming a Community Associate assigned to work closely with victims of domestic violence. Patricia is a delegate and an active member of the Latino Heritage Committee, Political Action Committee, and Women's Committee. Additionally she attends and supports other Local 371 committee meetings. Presently Patricia is Vice President of Publicity and Community Relations for SSEU Local 371. She is also a member of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

Social Service Employees Union Local 371
817 Broadway, New York, NY 10003