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For Immediate Release
March 22, 2022


Local Elected Officials, Labor Leaders, Join Advocates in Syracuse to Request Proper Support for SUNY Health Care Centers

SYRACUSE, NY – United University Professions (UUP), the nation’s largest higher education union, gathered with allies on the steps of City Hall today urging Gov. Kathy Hochul and state leaders to provide crucial funding for SUNY public teaching hospitals across the state after more than a decade of stagnant funding.

With less than two weeks before the New York state budget deadline, UUP is requesting $68 million for capital debt service relief and $143 million in critical mission funding for hospital operations, as well as hazard/retention bonuses. The hazard/retention bonuses for hospital workers should include all titles and should not include a salary cap.

“State support for SUNY’s public teaching hospitals is more crucial than ever. Whether it is cutting-edge research, healing the sick, or teaching the next generation of global citizens, SUNY is an integral piece of New York’s health care, education, and economic development ecosystem,” said Frederick E. Kowal, UUP President. “SUNY campuses and public teaching hospitals serve and care for historically underserved and underrepresented communities across the state, and it is vital that our leaders step up to support them in this year’s budget.”

“SUNY Upstate Medical University is a pioneer in medicine, care, and life-saving COVID research. As Mayor and a member of this community I am extremely proud of the efforts of our healthcare heroes at SUNY Upstate for their hard work to keep our community healthy, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “It is critical that we ensure our educational and health institutions have the funding they need to prepare healthcare professionals in Syracuse and all of New York, and so that students, faculty and staff of our hospitals may continue to keep our communities safe while receiving the care and compensation they deserve in return.”

“The faculty, staff and students of Upstate Medical University have dedicated their lives to serve the people of New York, and at no time in recent memory has their compassion and self-sacrifice been more visible than it has these past two years,” said SUNY Upstate Medical University President Mantosh Dewan, MD. “We urge our elected leaders at all levels to do everything they can to ensure the three SUNY Academic Medical Centers have the resources we need to fulfill our missions of lifesaving clinical care, medical education, and scientific research.”

“With the important role that SUNY Upstate plays in the Syracuse Community being the premier trauma center in the region it is truly critical to ensure that funding continues to support our biggest community stakeholder," said Syracuse Common Council President Helen Hudson.

“PEF represents thousands of healthcare heroes who work at SUNY Hospitals. They all sacrificed to deliver services to their fellow New Yorkers throughout the pandemic and we owe them every dollar of funding in this budget. PEF stands with its sisters and brothers at UUP as we work to deliver that mission-critical money for the State University hospital system and to ensure all New Yorkers have access to an affordable public higher education. We urge the Governor, the Senate and the Assembly to craft a budget that meets the needs of our public hospitals and our students and which delivers on the promise of re-building the state workforce to deliver the quality health care, educational and other critical services all New Yorkers need and deserve,” said President Wayne Spence, NYS Public Employees Federation.

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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