New York Legislative Agenda 2023
2023 Legislative Priorities: Our Worker Power Platform
1. Defending Worker Free Speech Rights (S.4982 Ramos/A.6604 Reyes)
Workers are frequently required to attend Captive Audience meetings, during which the employer expresses personal political ideologies, including opinions on labor unions. This legislation protects workers from retaliation for exercising their right not to attend such meetings.
- What we’re fighting for: protections for workers who refuse to attend employer-mandated meetings
2. Protecting Healthcare Technical Workers from Mandatory Overtime (NOT FILED YET)
Medical technicians like respiratory therapists and MRI technicians are critical to patient care. Yet, unlike RNs, these workers do not have any protections against mandatory overtime. Too many workers are forced to work beyond scheduled hours, leading to fatigue and burnout—and increasing the likelihood of medical errors.
- What we’re fighting for: preventing healthcare employers from mandating that medical technicians work beyond their regularly scheduled hours.
3. Worker Retention in State Contracted Call Centers (S.6328 Ramos/A.2052 Joyner)
State and local governments often contract with private sector companies for call center services. But when a contract changes hands, an entire workforce can be laid, despite years of training and expertise. The State should act as an exemplary employer by ensuring the retention of existing workforces in these situations
- What we’re fighting for: protecting workers for state-contracted call centers from losing their jobs if the contract changes hands.
4. New York Public Banking Act (S.1754 Sanders/A.3352 Hunter)
Public Banks are created by governments, owned by and accountable to the people, and exist to serve the public—not Wall Street.
- What we’re fighting for: a regulatory framework to allow for public banking.
5. One Week Unemployment Insurance Striking Workers (S.4402 Kennedy/ A.1443 Wallace)
In NYS, most workers eligible for unemployment insurance only have to wait one week before being eligible for benefits. Striking workers must wait two weeks. This creates an unfair financial burden on striking workers for exercising their legal rights to organize, bargain collectively, and strike.
- What we’re fighting for: reducing the waiting period for striking workers to receive unemployment to one week.
Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Proposals
1. Hospital Funding
Hospitals desperately need increased funding in order to protect our healthcare workers, keep hospitals open, and ensure the best quality of care for all New Yorkers. We must protect workers and prioritize patient care by improving job conditions for frontline healthcare workers and focusing on worker recruitment and retention.
What We’re Fighting For
➔ $1.3 Billion for financially distressed and safety net hospitals
➔ 10% Medicaid rate increase
2. Eliminating Fees for SUNY Graduate Student Workers- Senator Stavisky (S3500)
Graduate Student Workers are the backbone of the State University of New York System but are compensated with poverty wages. Despite the vital role they play in teaching and research, they are required to pay their employer fees in order to work, resulting in significant financial hardship for this workforce and threatening the viability and competitiveness of the program.
➔ What we’re fighting for: Waive fees for SUNY grad student workers.
3. Raise Up New York Minimum Wage Bill - Senator Ramos (S1978)/ Assemblymember Joyner (A2204)
Despite increasing productivity, workers’ wages have not kept up.
➔ What we’re fighting for: Raise the minimum wage for almost 2.9 million workers to $20 and index annual statewide increases to inflation and labor productivity.
4. Supporting Local Journalism - Senator Hoylman (S625A) / Assemblymember Woerner (A2958A)
New York State residents are at risk of being deprived of access to news about their communities as disruption to the business model of news publication threatens to accelerate journalism job losses. There are news desserts in New York State - since 2004, nearly half of our weekly newspapers have closed and the number of daily papers has declined from 62 to 54.
➔ What we’re fighting for: Payroll tax credits that will enable publishers and station owners to rebuild their newsrooms. We know that vibrant local news is essential in making local government more responsible to the taxpayer and growing our local economies.
Legislative Advocacy Tools & Materials
Download the 2023 New York Legislative Agenda