Legislative Agenda 2022 - What We Won!

Broadband

WIN: LABOR STANDARDS IN BROADBAND FUNDING

New York is getting $1.6 billion for broadband buildout in Federal & State funding. CWA members helped make sure ​​that this funding includes labor standards, fiber preference, and more so that this work will go to those most qualified to do it - our members.

  • Prevailing wage so that good union employers, like ours, don’t get undercut by low-road subcontractors
  • Preference for companies that have strong workplace safety standards
  • Qualifications so the companies our members work for get this funding
  • Prioritizing providers that offer speeds of 1GB up and down

WIN: PROTECTING OUR JOBS AND BLOCKING ANTI-UNION "ONE TOUCH MAKE READY"

For years, when Verizon and other telecom equipment has needed to be moved it's been done by CWA workers, ensuring the safety and quality of the work. "One Touch Make Ready" is a regulation that destroys good jobs by allowing unskilled contractors to do this work that should be done by career employees who know the condition of the equipment and poles and have been professionally trained. New York is one of the few states that doesn’t allow One Touch Make Ready - and thanks to our members’ hard work this year, we will continue to protect good union jobs and prevent One Touch Make Ready!

Following a 60-1 vote by the New York State Senate, the New York State Assembly voted unanimously to pass our bill to protect our jobs and stop dangerous One Touch Make Ready regulations! 

 

 Healthcare

The pandemic has stretched the State’s healthcare system to a true breaking point - we’re facing crisis-level short staffing, unacceptable patient care, and deteriorating hospital conditions. Many hospitals hit hard by COVID-19 desperately need funds that will allow them to retain current workers and attract new ones. In order to protect our healthcare workers, keep hospitals open, and ensure the best quality of care for all New Yorkers, we need a massive infusion of funds. 

WIN: BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR HOSPITAL FUNDING

We helped secure billions of dollars in the FY2023 Budget for financially distressed and safety-net hospitals, plus more in discretionary funding, distributed based on a plan established by the Commissioner of the Department of Health.We will have to keep pushing to make sure the hospitals in which our members work get a fair share of this funding.

The budget also included funding for up to $3,000 in bonuses for frontline healthcare workers. While we fought for a higher amount, we were pleased to win expanded eligibility to make sure more of our members were eligible for the bonuses.

Graduate Student Workers

LOSS: ENDING MANDATORY FEES FOR GRADUATE WORKERS

CWA represents about 4,500 graduate workers who teach, grade, research and mentor at SUNY schools. All SUNY graduate workers must pay mandatory fees. For a Graduate Assistant engaged in full-time coursework, the average fees exceed $2,000 a year; the average stipend is $20,000. This means that on average, a grad worker pays 15% - 25% of their salary back to the employer in order to work.

Every year we inch closer and closer to passing legislation to put an end to these fees - but we still came short this year. We’re not giving up, the fight is not over - and we’ll keep coming back for this next year!