Pilot Program at SUNY Downstate Health & Sciences, Stony Brook University Hospital, and Upstate University Hospital to Increase Overtime Pay for Nurses, LPNs, Medical Assistants and Other Staff Who are Eligible
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of a pilot program to provide nurses and other critical patient-facing health care professionals and hospital employees at State University of New York hospitals with up to two and a half times overtime, which is normally at one and a half times pay. Staff at SUNY's three hospitals are eligible to participate: SUNY Downstate Health & Sciences, Stony Brook University Hospital, and Upstate University Hospital. The benefit is retroactive to September 16 and may be authorized for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, techs, medical assistants, aides, clerks, cleaners and other patient-facing staff, and will operate through the end of 2021 at which time the impact will be evaluated. Combined, SUNY employs 7,637 medical staff who are eligible for the pilot program.
"New York State's health care heroes have worked tirelessly and put their lives on the line throughout this terrible pandemic, and they should be compensated properly for their efforts," Governor Hochul said. "This vital agreement will increase overtime pay for our overworked health care professionals at SUNY hospitals and help to recognize them for their public service. We owe healthcare professionals and hospital employees that kept have kept the doors open an enormous debt of gratitude for their work during this pandemic and this will move New York a small step in the right direction on compensation."
Funding for the overtime will be provided from the hospitals' operating revenue. New York State will take further actions to support health care workers in the future following this agreement to ensure that we are recognizing the vital work of our health care professionals at all facilities.
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, "Our SUNY medical and hospital staff have been on the frontlines bravely battling the COVID crisis since the beginning and still continue their tireless and heroic fight every day for the patients they serve and we must do all we can to retain our workforce. The healthcare heroes at our hospitals represent the very best of SUNY and with this overtime increase, we will continue to send a strong message of our deep commitment to our healthcare workers. My thanks to Governor Hochul for her steadfast support of our tireless and dedicated healthcare staff, as well as the state employee relations team, our union representatives, and our hospital leadership in making this happen."
CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan said, "This agreement recognizes the ongoing dedication of these essential workers throughout this pandemic, and the immediate overtime that will be required of them due to vaccination requirements. The additional overtime compensation is most welcome for all of the employees who continue to provide needed services in difficult times and continue to fulfill their commitment to the people of New York. We are grateful that Governor Hochul has initiated this change in recognition of these trying times and is taking the lead in getting our state back on track. While there is much to be done we are confident that working together with the Executive much more can be accomplished. This is certainly a step in the right direction."
PEF President Wayne Spence said, "PEF nurses and other healthcare professionals risk their lives every day to treat patients with COVID-19. Bumping up their overtime rate is one small step we can take to reward them for their sacrifice. I'd like to thank Gov. Hochul and SUNY Chancellor Malatras for partnering with PEF to reach this agreement. We must do all we can to fairly compensate and retain these dedicated public servants in the middle of a pandemic when their skills are more valuable than ever."