UUP President Fred Kowal urges activists at a rally in Brooklyn to continue their steadfast support for SUNY Downstate Medical Center. For more on this event, visit www.nysut.org. Photo by Don Feldstein.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and NYSUT leaders joined dozens of religious leaders and Brooklyn residents in March as they began 48 hours of fasting and prayers to support SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
"This is a fight about reclaiming the promise America made to provide quality health care to low- and middle-income families, not just the well-to-do," Weingarten said during a rally in front of the hospital.
Several hundred hospital employees have lost their jobs because of cuts. Many of the displaced workers are members of United University Professions, which represents 3,000 Downstate employees.
Weingarten was joined by UUP President Fred Kowal; NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta, vice presidents Maria Neira and Kathleen Donahue, and Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler; UUP Downstate Chapter President and statewide Treasurer Rowena Blackman-Stroud; New York State Public Employees Federation President Susan Kent and Lester Crocket, the Metropolitan Region president of the Civil Service Employees Association.