January 15, 2014

Union advocates urge lawmakers to support SUNY health science centers

Author: Darryl McGrath

United University Professions members are keeping faith with the people of Brooklyn that SUNY Downstate Medical Center will remain public, open and accessible, as the state Legislature gets ready for critical budget discussions.

Members of UUP, which represents 35,000 academic and professional faculty at the state’s four health science centers, including Downstate, met this week with key lawmakers to urge their support for saving critical services and jobs at HSCs in Brooklyn, Stony Brook, Syracuse and Buffalo. Hundreds of jobs already have been lost at SUNY Downstate, which in turn has affected desperately needed inpatient and outpatient services at the hospital.

"UUP is urging legislators to get behind the “Brooklyn Hospitals Safety Net Plan,” which would save SUNY Downstate and preserve public health care in Brooklyn," said UUP President Fred Kowal.

Kowal and NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta thanked members for their strong turnout and reminded them to demand unrelenting support for Downstate and the other HSCs. The SUNY health science centers, sources of urgently needed care for New Yorkers and sites for research and medical training, will continue to be in the forefront of advocacy efforts by UUP and NYSUT throughout the legislative session.