February 2, 2012

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Union leaders call for more funds for SUNY faculty, hospitals


UUP President Phil Smith, right, and NYSUT Executive VP Andy Pallotta ask state lawmakers to boost aid for SUNY in the 2012-13 state budget.

The union leaders delivered their request during a Feb. 1 public hearing conducted by the joint legislative budget committee in Albany. Smith asked legislators to add $25 million to the budget so SUNY can hire more full-time faculty.

Smith also asked for an additional $68 million in the state subsidy for SUNY’s three teaching hospitals in Brooklyn, Syracuse and Stony Brook. The increase would restore the subsidy to its 2010 level of $128 million.

“When it comes to our teaching hospitals, no one in need of health care gets turned away. That is why these are public institutions. That is why the state needs to properly support them,” Smith said.

Pallotta supported Smith’s appeal for additional funds for SUNY’s hospitals, saying the hospitals provide unique life-saving services not typically provided in private hospitals.

Smith also explained UUP’s opposition to the proposed closing of the hospital at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. He also spoke out against the expansion of NYSUNY 2020 and its proposed use of operating funds to construct new buildings.

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