2009 News Releases
January 7, 2009
Stephen Madarasz - CSEA/AFSCME:
Darcy Wells - PEF: 518 785-1900
Leah Gonzalez - SEIU 1199:
Dawn Curry-Clarry - SEIU 200United: 315 529-7486
- District Council 37: 212 815-1535
Mark Genovese - NYS Nurses Assoc.: 518
for Main Street: Middle class New Yorkers
deserve better than paying more,
- Thousands of working New Yorkers converged on the state Capitol today to March
for Main Street. The march was scheduled to coincide with Gov. David Paterson's
first State of the State address to challenge the governor's misplaced budget
priorities that target middle class New Yorkers.
Organized by CSEA, PEF,
1199 SEIU, SEIU 200United; AFSCME New York, District Council 37, the New York
State Nurses Association and the New York State AFL-CIO, the event stressed that
communities, jobs and services are at risk under the governor's plan.
traveled from every part of the state under difficult weather conditions to be
a part of the march along with Capital region residents.
organize the March for Main Street to send a message loud and clear," said
CSEA President Danny Donohue. "All working New Yorkers live on Main Street
and it's time for all of us to stand up and say no to proposals that will have
us pay more and get less while the wealthiest New Yorkers slide by."
governor's proposed 2009-10 budget includes destructive cuts in state services
and the state work force while ignoring cost-cutting options that can save the
state billions," said state Public Employees Federation (PEF) President Ken
Brynien. "Our members are already doing more with less having endured $1.5
billion in cuts to state agencies. It's time our legislative leaders look elsewhere
to balance the budget and start cutting the waste not the workers and taxing millionaires,
not the middle class."
"As representatives of health care workers
across New York state, we are proud to be part of this broad coalition of New
Yorkers standing up for fairness as we try to get through this budget crisis together,"
said George Gresham, president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. "With
Governor Paterson delivering his State of the State address today, we know that
there are clear solutions to these challenging economic times that truly and equitably
share the sacrifice of this budget deficit without putting the brunt of the burden
on working and middle-class families. With Fair Share Tax Reform, which would
raise taxes on only the wealthiest New Yorkers making more than $250,000 a year,
we can ensure all New Yorkers share in the sacrifice while preventing the need
to make the most severe cuts that would disproportionately hurt working and middle-class
"Our communities, consumers and students cannot afford
these proposed cuts," said SEIU Local 200United President Jerry Dennis. "It
is time for the governor to stand up for the average New York family and ask the
millionaires to pay their fair share."
"The governor's budget
cuts are unfair, unjust and unwise. His proposal to slash funds for health care,
education and other social safety net services endangers the lives of those who
need them and the jobs of workers who provide them," said District Council
37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts. "Instead of balancing his budget on
the backs of poor and working New Yorkers, the governor should explore revenue-generating
proposals like a millionaire's tax, and other more equitable across-the-board
alternatives." DC 37 is New York City's largest public employee union, representing
125,000 members and 50,000 retirees.
"Registered nurses throughout
New York state are already working with a level of staffing that can at best be
described as 'hazardous.'" said Barbara Crane, RN, president of the New York
State Nurses Association Delegate Assembly. "Reductions in health care funding
over the past decade have resulted in nurse-to-patient ratios that are both dangerous
"We've seen staff reductions in primary, preventive,
and outpatient care. Additional cuts of this magnitude would seriously jeopardize
the quality of care delivered at health care facilities throughout the state and
would put further stress on nurses who are already working short-handed,"
Crane said. "Our hospitals, clinics and nursing homes are the most vital
link to the health, safety, and well-being of the people in this state, and must
be supported as such. We're calling on the state to maintain its commitment to
quality health care."
"The governor's budget proposal makes some
very dangerous choices," said New York State AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes.
"Some of the cuts proposed will permanently damage this state, and make a
deepening recession even worse. The future of our state depends on a comprehensive,
balanced approach including a fair and progressive state income tax system. The
New York State AFL-CIO looks forward to working with all parties involved in the
process. I'm confident that together we can make the right choices on behalf of
New York's working men and women."
The March for Main Street participants
will continue to speak out and advocate for better choices because New Yorkers
deserve better than what the governor has proposed.
District Council 37 is New York City's largest public employee union, with
125,000 members and 50,000 retirees.