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Majority' Counsel/Proqram Servic e s
Senator J oseph L . Bruno, Nlajority Leader
GOVERNMENT
EXHIBIT
To: Senator Bruno/
From: .John CordoJ GF - 3
Date: February 21 ~ 2000
Subject: Service Employees International Union Lobbying Conference

The Service Employees International Union CSE1U/ 1199") is holding its
second annual statewide lobbying conference at the Heart Theater In the Egg on
Tuesday February 29th, 2000 . You are scheduled to address the group at
approximately 11:45 AM. In addition, you are scheduled to meet with several SEW
constituents at 3:00 PM the same day.

The following memorandum provides background information on the group, as
well as their legislative and budgetary issues for this session and is applicable to both
. events.

SEIU/l 199
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SEIU is the largest private sector union in New York State. At the same time,
the union includes a formidable public employee contingent. SEID New York is
actually the conglomeration of SEW, PEF, and Local 1199 of the National Health &
Human Services Employees Union. Dennis Rivera now serves as head of both the
ssru SWe Council arid L6cal '1199.
The State Council claims 350,000 members from 35 locals scattered all across
the state. SETIJ members work primarily in three sectors: health care (hospitals,
nursing homes) and home care); building services (janitors, etc.); and the public
'sector (PEF) , Last year you were enthusiastically received by tills group.

2000 Session
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. Publicly, SEW is,seeking the passage of a plethora of health and labor related
bills. On the heels of its success ill the IDeRA fight, however, the leadership is
privately seekjng enactment of a more Limited agenda. Specifically: .
:

L. Increased FlUlding for ChiJdcare for Working Families- SEIU is seeking increased
subsidies for childcare slots and new funds for enhanced training and
compensation for childcare workers;

2. Safe Needles Legislation CS4926)- This legislation prohibits the use of Unsafe
needl es (sharps) so as to prevent needle stick injuries.

3. Safe Staffing Ratios- This legislation sets minimum staffing requirements for all
nursing homes and requires such barnes to disclose their staffing levels to the
Department of Heal th;

4. Tier EillillY- Once again PEF will be seeking enactment of legislation which
reduces the early retirement penalties applicable to Tier 3&4.members to those '
levels applicable to Tier 2 members.

Recommendatio

o Congratulate the Council Leadership on the reinvigoration of such a large arid
important segment of the labor movement here in New York. Members of the
Council provide necessary, quality services to the most deserving of our society.

~ Mention our previous collaborative legislative success, including,
o Securing $110 million for the health worker retraining program
" Restoring mote than $1 billion in Medicaid cuts over the past several years
() Expanding the Child Health plus program in order to serve 350,000 children
by 2002.

o Take full credit for the Majority's support of the RIeRA agreement and in
particular, the use of the.Tobacco Settlement money for health care as well as, the
establishment oftbe Family Health Plu~ Program.-- ' .- - ,
o Last year you strongly stated that the Senate Majority shared SEW's
concern about the alarming growth in the number of New Yorkers who are
without the benefit of health insurance . In addition you pledged to work
closely with SEIU to fashion a bold program which ensures quality,
affordable health care to all citizens. As a result of these efforts, the
IDCRA agreement included the establishment of the Family Health Plus
program which will provide health coverage to low income adults.

o Announce the Senate Majority's intention to increased Childcare funding. The
Senate budget will include;
o $60 million in additional TANF funding (over the Governor's proposal) for
childcare services
o $30 million for the establishment of a childcare worker retention program.

a Anriounce the Senate's intention to once again seek enactment of the Tier Equity
bill.

o Mention that the Senate Majority bas never besitated to support initiatives which
we believe are necessary for the provision of adequate, quality health care in New
York State. Consistent with this philosophy, we will work with SETIJ to ensure
that health care providers provide safe working environments for their workers, as
well as' the best care to their clients.

CC: Ken Riddett
Abe Lackman
John McArdle