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In the photography I do for city labor unions, I cover gatherings of the clerks, social workers, teachers and others who keep New York running. They’re now under fire for supposedly fancy pensions and benefits and due process.

I don’t see their profligacy. I see people with aching feet. Many won’t smile for the camera because their teeth are bad. I see plenty of people who work extra-hard.

Most public employees have very modest livelihoods and benefits. It's the least that all workers—public and private—deserve.

Nadire Ibroci, teacher at PS 30M-5 in Harlem, wants to speak out at a raucous public hearing about the proposal to put a charter school into the public school. This was in Feb. 2010. The charter school, Harlem Success Academy, did locate there in September.

Nadire Ibroci, teacher at PS 30M-5 in Harlem, wants to speak out at a raucous public hearing about the proposal to put a charter school into the public school. This was in Feb. 2010. The charter school, Harlem Success Academy, did locate there in September. For more on this hot issue, here's a link to a story and more pictures from the teachers union.

Thavenis Ellis, above, decorated this room at the Catherine Street homeless shelter on the Lower East Side and shows it off just before Santa and the kids arrive.   She's a member of Social Service workers (Local 371) of DC 37. She and fellow shelter staff work with local charities to give the families here a holiday meal and lots of presents for the children. Photo by Pat Arnow

Homeless girls staying at the Catherine Street Shelter on the Lower East Side visit Santa. Photo by Pat Arnow Thavenis Ellis, above, decorated this room at the Catherine Street homeless shelter on the Lower East Side and shows it off just before Santa and the kids arrive.

She's a member of Social Service workers (Local 371) of DC 37. She and fellow shelter staff work with local charities to give the families here a holiday meal and lots of presents for the children.

 

This is from the great Puerto Rican Day parade. This woman is from New York City Teamsters Local 237. Her fingernails are all painted with Puerto Rican flags, and her t-shirt says, "Si se puede." Yes we can!" Photo by Pat Arnow

Puerto Rican Day Parade. Photo by Pat ArnowThis is from the great Puerto Rican Day parade. The woman above is from New York City Teamsters Local 237. Her fingernails are all painted with Puerto Rican flags, and her T-shirt says, "Si se puede." Yes we can! Here's a link to a slide show from the 2012 Puerto Rican Day parades I took for the United Federation of Teachers.

 

Puerto Rican Day Parade. Even his teeth have flags. Photo by Pat ArnowPuerto Rican Day Parade. Photo by Pat ArnowPuerto Rican Day Parade. Si se Puede! Photo by Pat Arnow