April 20, 2022

NYSUT wins bonus pay for broad range of health care workers in education

Source:  NYSUT Communications
health care

For months, NYSUT staff and activists lobbied and negotiated to get bonuses for all members who work in health care and school environments. In the end, the state budget includes long overdue bonuses for health and mental health care workers in health care settings AND educational institutions. It applies to workers who earn $125,000 or less.

“These NYSUT members put their own health and safety, as well as that of their families, on the line to respond to this historic challenge,” said President Andy Pallotta, “and now they will be compensated for their superhuman efforts.”

Thanks to the union’s advocacy, the enacted budget widely expands the eligible titles to include therapists — occupational, speech, respiratory, physical — and other licensed health care professionals such as psychologists and social workers. See the complete list of titles below.

Also, thanks to NYSUT, the list of eligible employers for the health care bonuses was expanded to include institutions of higher education, public or nonpublic schools, charter schools or an approved preschool program for students with disabilities and BOCES.

Basically, the bonuses will correlate to a series of six-month “vesting periods” — from October 2021 through March 2024. Employers will pay up to two bonuses per employee, not to exceed $3,000 in total, based on the number of hours worked during the period.

Employers are responsible for tracking eligibility and submitting claims to the state agency that oversees them after an employee qualifies, and then paying the employee within 30 days after the employer receives the bonus from the state agency.

Local union presidents should reach out to your employer to confirm eligibility and to begin the claims process.

Title List

The following list of expanded job titles is excerpted from S.8006 / A.9006.

(i) Physician assistants, dental hygienists, dental assistants, psychiatric aides, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, physical therapy aides, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, occupational therapy aides, speech-language pathologists, respiratory therapists, exercise physiologists, recreational therapists, all other therapists, orthotists, prosthetists, clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, diagnostic medical sonographers, nuclear medicine technologists, radiologic technologists, magnetic resonance imaging technologists, ophthalmic medical technicians, radiation therapists, dietetic technicians, cardio-vascular technologists and technicians, certified first responders, emergency medical technicians, advanced emergency medical technicians, paramedics, surgical technologists, all other health technologists and technicians, orderlies, medical assistants, phlebotomists, all other health care support workers, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, nursing assistants, and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses;

ii) to the extent not already included in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, staff who perform functions as described in the consolidated fiscal report (CFR) manual with respect to the following title codes:

  • Mental Hygiene Worker;
  • Residence/Site Worker;
  • Counselor (OMH);
  • Manager (OMH);
  • Senior Counselor (OMH);
  • Supervisor (OMH);
  • Developmental Disabilities Specialist QIDP - Direct Care (OPWDD);
  • Certified Recovery Peer Advocate;
  • Peer Professional - Non-CRPA (OASAS Only);
  • Job Coach/Employment Specialist (OMH and OPWDD);
  • Peer Specialist (OMH);
  • Counselor - Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (CASAC);
  • Counseling Aide/Assistant - Alcoholism and Substance Abuse;
  • Other Direct Care Staff;
  • Case Manager;
  • Counselor - Rehabilitation;
  • Developmental Disabilities Specialist/Habilitation Specialist QIDP -
  • Clinical (OPWDD);
  • Emergency Medical Technician;
  • Intensive Case Manager (OMH);
  • Intensive Case Manager/Coordinator (OMH);
  • Nurse - Licensed Practical;
  • Nurse - Registered;
  • Psychologist (Licensed);
  • Psychologist (Master's Level)/Behavioral Specialist;
  • Psychology Worker/Other Behavioral Worker;
  • Social Worker - Licensed (LMSW, LCSW);
  • Social Worker - Master's Level (MSW);
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor (OASAS, OMH, OCFS);
  • Licensed Psychoanalyst (OMH);
  • Therapist - Recreation;
  • Therapist - Activity/Creative Arts;
  • Therapist - Occupational;
  • Dietician/Nutritionist;
  • Therapy Assistant/Activity Assistant;
  • Nurse's Aide/Medical Aide;
  • Behavior Intervention Specialist 1 (OPWDD);
  • Behavior Intervention Specialist 2 (OPWDD);
  • Clinical Coordinator;
  • Intake/Screening;
  • Pharmacist;
  • Marriage and Family Counselor/Therapist;
  • Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) Transition Coordinator (OMH);
  • Crisis Prevention Specialist (OMH);
  • Early Recognition Specialist (OMH);
  • Other Clinical Staff/Assistants;
  • Nurse Practitioner/Nursing Supervisor;
  • Therapist - Physical;
  • Therapist - Speech;
  • Program or Site Director; and
  • Assistant Program or Assistant Site Director; and

(iii) such titles as determined by the commissioner, or relevant agency commissioner as applicable, and approved by the director of the budget.