Social Service Employees Union (SSEU) Local 371 is part of District Council 37 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFL-CIO). The Union represents workers employed by New York City in a large number of titles, mainly in the social service professions

Local 371 has a long-standing relationship with the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies and its predecessor, The Murphy Institute. SSEU President Anthony Wells serves on the Labor and Community Advisory Board of SLU. The Union offers the Charles Ensley Scholarship in memory of the former SSEU leader and his vision for worker justice and social progress.

The Charles Ensley Scholarship and CUNY SLU

About the Scholarship

Charles Ensley, former President of Local 371, embodied the best of the labor movement’s fighting spirit. Upon his passing, the Local established a scholarship in his memory. The Charles Ensley Scholarship, in the amount of $3,500, is awarded to members of the Union who have been accepted to the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. This scholarship is designed to be a source of financial assistance to defray some of the tuition costs.

About Charles Ensley

Charles Ensley was elected President of SSEU Local 371 in 1982 and led the union for the next 26 years. During that time, the Union nearly doubled its membership. A strong voice for union democracy, Ensley was also a courageous, outspoken, and tireless advocate for workers, taking on New York City mayors from Dinkins to Koch to Giuliani—fighting to preserve wage increases for his members and protect services for New York’s diverse communities. As a graduate of Howard University in 1962, Charles Ensley understood the value of education. Throughout his 26 years at the helm of Local 371, he championed higher education as a right for working women and men. The Charles Ensley Scholarship was established in his name.

CUNY SLU Inaugural Graduation

Nearly 30 DC 37 members were among the graduates of SLU’s inaugural graduating class. Read more here.

Student Testimonials

Hear what current and former students have to say about their experience at CUNY SLU.