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Health care workers to call for COVID pay at multi-union rally

Health care workers to call
for COVID pay at multi-union rally

For more information: Jane Briggs, gro.f1597196216ep@sg1597196216girbj1597196216

ALBANY, NY — After spending months risking their lives on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic with no hazard pay or relief in sight, health care workers represented by multiple unions will rally at Stony Brook University Hospital at noon July 22 to urge administration to petition the SUNY Board of Trustees for COVID-19 pay.

“The Northwell Health system already gave its health care workers a $2,500 lump sum bonus and a week’s paid vacation as a thank-you for all that they have done during this pandemic,” said New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) President Wayne Spence. “Stony Brook can petition the SUNY Board of Trustees for money and that’s what this rally is about – asking hospital administration to petition for these funds. There is a disparity of pay on Long Island. These heroes should not be getting zeroes.”

President Spence will be on site to address the health care workers and to answer reporters’ questions. Also in attendance will be representatives and members of UUP, CSEA and 1199SEIU, as well as area legislators.

“In the midst of a deadly pandemic the risks that health care workers take daily is an amazing display of professionalism, compassion, and courage,” said Assemblyman Steve Englebright, representing Assembly District 4, which includes Stony Brook. “Less amazing is the lack of market competitive compensation for this dangerous work. I applaud their brave commitment to the care of our families and loved ones whenever they are stricken with the COVID-19 virus and call upon our public institutions to reciprocate with appropriate pay so that these remarkable employees will be predictably retained and enabled to continue their essential work.”

“Our health care workers and essential employees have been and continue to be on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said New York State Sen. Monica R. Martinez, Third Senate District. “They have worked day in and day out, 24 hours a day, seven days a week putting their lives on the line. During this time, we cannot and should not turn our backs on them. They deserve hazard pay and it’s our turn to take care of them just like they took care of us and continue to do so.”

“I am proud to stand with Suffolk’s hardworking essential public workers who have put their lives on the line in order to help us all survive during this pandemic,” said Laura Ahearn, a Democrat for Senate District 1. “I strongly believe that we must provide these heroes with COVID-19 financial and medical benefits to show solidarity and appreciation for their amazing work during such unprecedented and dangerous times.”

The rally will start on the corner of Nicolls Road at the South Entrance of Stony Brook University Hospital, at noon and continue to the hospital. Arrive at 11:45 a.m. to march or meet at the hospital at 12:15.