Cuomo Gives SUNY Downstate Medical Center Workers A Raise


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled the first signature proposal of his 2016 agenda – his push to restore economic justice by making New York the first state in the nation to enact a $15 minimum wage for all workers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

While highlighting this proposal, the Governor announced that the State University of New York will raise the minimum wage for more than 28,000 employees. This increase for SUNY employees will mirror the phased-in schedule for fast food workers secured last year, as well as State Workers announced in October.

There are two SUNY schools in Brooklyn. They are SUNY Downstate Medical Center including the College of Nursing, 450 Clarkson Avenue in East Flatbush, and SUNY Empire State, 177 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. At post time information wasn’t available on how many Brooklyn employees the raises would affect.

Cuomo made the announcement at a rally in New York City, where he was joined by US Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, Actor Steve Buscemi, 1199 President George Gresham, 32BJ President Hector Figueroa, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, more than 40 state and local elected officials, union leaders, clergy members and other advocates to kick off the campaign for his $15 all-industry minimum wage proposal.

“This state thrives when every New Yorker has the opportunity and the ability to succeed. Yet the truth is that today’s minimum wage still leaves far too many people behind – unacceptably condemning them to a life of poverty even while they work full-time,” said Cuomo. “This year, we are going to change that. We are going to raise the minimum wage to bring economic opportunity back to millions of hardworking New Yorkers and lead the nation in the fight for fair pay.”

“No one who works full time should have to live in poverty and no company should be allowed to abuse its workers. But when we allow poverty wages, we are sending the opposite message. Raising the minimum wage is an achievable, effective, direct way to improve the lives of millions of New Yorkers,” said Schneiderman.

Upon approving the SUNY increase, more than 28,000 hourly paid staff, student workers, and work study participants will see their wages increase to $9.75 an hour beginning in February of this year, and ultimately reach $15 an hour on December 31, 2018 in New York City, and July 1, 2021 statewide, mirroring the increased schedule of fast food workers and state employees.