June 10, 2013

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UUP leaders speak up for higher ed, Downstate

uupdate 6-10-13

UUP President Fred Kowal tells a crowd of 15,000 it’s time for the state to invest in SUNY and to save SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Taking the stage at NYSUT’s One Voice United Rally for the Future of Public Education in Albany on June 8, Kowal said UUP believes in public higher education and public health care and vowed to continue fighting for them.

“Affordable public higher education and quality public health care for everyone are civil rights. They are human rights,” Kowal said. “Now those rights are under attack and they have to be defended. It is our sacred duty, and one we do gladly.”

UUP Downstate Chapter President Rowena Blackman-Stroud also spoke at the rally, warning that plans to downsize or potentially privatize Downstate threaten the future of not only its hospital but its medical school as well. And she cautioned that if Downstate were privatized, the same would happen to SUNY’s other hospitals and health science centers in Stony Brook, Syracuse and Buffalo.

Blackman-Stroud drew a positive response from the crowd, when she said, “The jobs of thousands of hard-working, union employees are at stake. The health and well being of New Yorkers across this great state is at stake. Will you speak out?”

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