Community Healthcare Workers at Whitney M. Young Health Center Will Hold Informational PicketDecember 5, 2016
“How can the Center’s management say they care about the community, when Whitney Young’s workers---who provide the actual care and services and live in the community---can’t afford the health benefits offered, and still the Center won’t budge in negotiations? ... It certainly isn’t what Whitney Young had in mind.”
WHAT: Informational Picket
WHEN: Monday, December 5
5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Interviews/Photo Ops on site
WHERE: 920 Lark Drive, Albany.
WHO: 1199SEIU healthcare workers, Albany city and county elected officials, clergy, community and labor allies
Background: The 1199SEIU members at Whitney Young Health Center have been trying to negotiate a fair contract with Center's management for months. While the Center is continuing to expand throughout the Capital Region and has a budget of millions of dollars---and much of that is funded by state and federal taxes, the Center's management refuses to offer decent wages and affordable health benefits to the workers who provide care and deliver services. Workers note the irony that they can barely afford the health benefits that Whitney Young offers and yet, they are healthcare workers helping people who often have weak immune systems, and sometimes communicable diseases.
1199SEIU member Richard Byas who has worked at the Center for more than a decade said, “This center has a rich history in our community. How can the Center’s management say they care about the community, when Whitney Young’s workers---who provide the actual care and services and live in the community--- can’t afford the health benefits offered, and still the Center won’t budge in negotiations? That flies in the face of the Center’s legacy. It certainly isn’t what Whitney Young had in mind.”
Byas continued, “Our contract proposals are more than reasonable. We are proposing decent wages so that we can take care of ourselves and our families, at the same time we take care of you. And it so important that we have comprehensive, affordable health benefits so that we are not sick when caring for our patients.”
http://www.wmyhealth.org: The health center was named in honor of Whitney Moore Young, Jr., executive director of the National Urban League from 1961 until his untimely death in 1971. Using the Urban League as a platform, Mr. Young worked to put an end to segregation and discrimination. He persistently worked within the system to change attitudes, practices and to promote greater cultural sensitivity. His goal was for African Americans to gain access to good jobs, education, housing, health care, and social services. He said, “You are the one that suffers if this community becomes poorer.”
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.