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Jun 18, 2018 1:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Legislation Aims To Clear Obstacles Set By State Unions, Ink Deal For New Hospital At College

Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.
Jun 19, 2018 2:32 PM

The South Fork’s two state legislators introduced new bills on Sunday crafted to try to address an impasse with state unions and clear the way for a lease agreement for a new $250 million hospital on the Stony Brook Southampton college campus in Shinnecock Hills.

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle introduced the legislation, which was referred to committees in each chamber.

With the legislative session in Albany slated to end for the year on Wednesday, June 20, the bill faces a steep uphill battle to become law this year: As an “alienation of state land,” it needs the support of two-thirds of both houses before reaching the governor for his signature. Meanwhile, the legislators and hospital officials say a delay of approval could stall fundraising for a year or more.

The new bill adds language designed to address concerns voiced by three state unions—the Civil Service Employees Association, New York State United Teachers and the Public Employees Federation—who have formally opposed the earlier version of the legislation.

As part of its affiliation with Stony Brook University Hospital last year, the nonprofit Southampton Hospital Association preserved local control of the existing hospital building in Southampton Village. A new state-of-the-art hospital on the Stony Brook Southampton college campus also would be built by the nonprofit, then leased to Stony Brook. As part of the arrangement, the university must first lease 23.9 acres of the 82-acre campus to the association where the hospital would be built. Private fundraising for the $250 million project then could begin.

The mingling of public and private has concerned the state unions, especially since most workers at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital are represented by a different union that generally represents workers at private hospitals. The potential loss of Civil Service jobs and protection are at the heart of the state unions’ objections.

This weekend, after talks involving all sides, revised legislation stresses that the agreement will be considered a state contract, so that labor protections for contracts awarded must follow state labor laws, including prevailing wage rules. It also notes that no services currently provided by state employees will be contracted to Southampton Hospital Association or any other private entity. The new bill also specifically prohibits outsourcing work to any private employer that provides staff at the new hospital.

The bills also note that the new hospital “is a key part of the strategy for the growth of Stony Brook Medicine and University as a regional center of health care and a national leader in innovation and discovery.” It also will be an “anchor for the development of the Southampton campus as a site of advanced technology, clinical research, and education for the health sciences and the general health care community.”

Robert Chaloner, chief administrative officer of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, said on Monday, “We are eager for this legislation to move forward, as it provides the means to move forward on our planning for the new hospital project—a project that will lead to more jobs, better health care and the ability to plan for a new 21st century health care facility, all of which will greatly benefit all our East End communities.”

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The unions and attorneys destroying New York for the last 100 years.
By chief1 (2552), southampton on Jun 18, 18 5:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
Unions have outlived their intended purpose.
By bigfresh (3852), north sea on Jun 18, 18 7:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
Unions protect workers, help to ensure safe working conditions and are part of what has made NY great. Make America Great Again -- Protect Unions : )

As of March 2017, the average annual amount paid to NYS employees retirement system recipients was $23,026.
Also as of March 2017, the average annual amount paid to NYS Police & Fire retirement system recipients was $49,123.
As of March 2018, the average annual amount paid to NYS teachers retirement system recipients is $41,703. ...more
By Aeshtron (190), Southampton on Jun 19, 18 9:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
How about watching out for the ones paying more for union labor in the public sector, then non union labor in the private sector , the TAXPAYERS!
By bigfresh (3852), north sea on Jun 19, 18 2:48 PM
Like the police?
By Fred s (1502), Southampton on Jun 19, 18 4:11 PM