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Two Big Rallies + Lobby Day for Healthcare Funding in New York

It's been a busy couple of weeks packed with momentum in our fight for safe staffing!

CWA Healthcare Lobby Training

On Tuesday, March 19th, over 80 CWA members, mostly healthcare workers from across the state, gathered in Albany for a day-long training on legislative lobbying and the legislative front in our fight for safe staffing. Participants quickly became experts in how to speak with elected officials about our legislative priorities and what it takes to get new laws passed (like the 2021 Clinical Staffing Committees law that CWA helped write, advocate for, and pass).

CWA Healthcare Lobby Day

The next day, CWAers put those skills to work with a big Lobby Day, speaking with dozens of lawmakers in the New York State Assembly and Senate about our 2024 Worker Power legislative agenda—in particular, our campaign along with 1199SEIU and the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate in the 2025 NYS budget. This funding is essential for our hospitals so that we can retain workers, improve staffing, and care for our patients.

And we kicked off Lobby Day by flooding the capitol steps with RED to bring more attention to the fight for Medicaid funding.

CWA healthcare lobby day rally

"The Medicaid gap has an enormous impact on patient care, but also on me and my coworkers," said CWA Local 1133 President Brian Magner, a Registered Nurse at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo. "Healthcare workers are leaving the bedside because time and time again we're being asked to do more with less, which puts our ability to provide quality care in jeopardy."​

CWA healthcare lobby day rally video

​Check out video of the rally here!

On Friday, March 22, we teamed up with 1199SEIU, NYSNA, the New York State AFL-CIO, and other community groups in Buffalo (joined by members of CWA Local 1180 from New York City!) to continue our call for an increase to the Medicaid reimbursement rate and funding for our facilities.

CWA rally in Buffalo for healthcare funding

"Let me make one thing abundantly clear: we will not stand idly by as vital healthcare services are stripped away from our community," said CWA Local 1168 President Cori Gambini at the rally. "We will not watch our healthcare system crumble without raising our voices to stop it!"

The 2025 New York State Budget is set to be finalized at the end of April, so we're in All-Hands-On-Deck mode over the next several weeks to make sure our demands are included.​​

You can help! Click here to send an email to your State legislators demanding they close the Medicaid gap and fund our healthcare facilities​.