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February 4, 2014

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UUP advocates press agenda in Albany


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Downstate Chapter President Rowena Blackman-Stroud, right, warns Assemblyman William Colton that SUNY Downstate Medical Center could be privatized if the Executive Budget is not amended.

Colton (D-Brooklyn) was among six dozen lawmakers visited by about 100 UUP advocates who took part in advocacy at the Capitol Feb. 4, held a day after UUP's 2014 Winter Delegate Assembly.

Colton told Blackman-Stroud, statewide Membership Development Officer Edison Bond and Downstate Chapter member Nandika Ekanayake that he’s in support of keeping Downstate open and public, recognizing it as Brooklyn’s only teaching hospital.

Blackman-Stroud pointed to Article VII language in the 2014-15 Executive Budget, which would allow up to five private corporations to take control of public hospitals and other health care facilities. One of these businesses must affiliate with an academic medical institution or teaching hospital; SUNY Downstate houses Brooklyn’s only public teaching hospital. Executive Budget cuts to the state subsidy for public hospitals would also harm SUNY Downstate, she said.

UUPers urged lawmakers to take action on a number of different issues, including a budget increase for SUNY campuses and its teaching hospitals, passage of a law to expand the FOIL bill to cover the SUNY Research Foundation and campus foundations, and a delay in the implementation of the edTPA, the state’s new high-stakes teacher certification requirement.

UUP advocates came from chapters across the state, including Geneseo, Buffalo State, Oswego, Canton and Alfred. Six members from Long Island met with Assemblyman Stephen Englebright (D-Setauket). Pictured from left: Charles Hines of Stony Brook HSC, Barbara Maertz of Farmingdale, Doreen Day of Stony Brook HSC, and Judy Wishnia, Ken Lindblom and Jason Torre from Stony Brook.


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