May 2012 Issue
April 16, 2012

Advocates win funding for SUNY hospitals

Author: Darryl McGrath
Source: NYSUT United

The State University of New York's three teaching hospitals will share an additional $27.8 million in state funding next year.

The funding is a clear victory for NYSUT advocates who lobbied aggressively against Gov. Cuomo's budget proposal that included zero funding for the hospitals.

Phil Smith, president of United University Professions, which represents 35,000 SUNY faculty and staff, said the union is pleased the Legislature acted on behalf of the hospitals. "It's a step in the right direction toward a full restoration of this critical source of funding, Smith said.

The hospitals shared $60 million in state funding last year, down from $128 million the year before. Smith says UUP will press lawmakers to restore the hospitals' subsidy to its 2010 level in next year's budget.

While most other state agencies suffered a 2.5 percent decrease in budget funding, SUNY was spared, thanks to efforts by NYSUT, which ensured that "maintenance of effort language was included in last year's NY SUNY 2020 bill, essentially protecting the system. Funding for the City University of New York was also spared. Both systems have been drastically cut annually since 2008.

No change to charge-backs

In another victory for NYSUT: The budget did not include a provision that would eliminate upper-division charge-backs at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Under state education law, when a student attends a community college outside of his or her county of residence, that county of residence pays a fee known as a "charge back to the community college the student attends. For community colleges, such as the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, that draw large numbers of students from all over the state and even from out of state, the charge-backs are an important source of revenue.