BALCONY - Business and Labor Coalition of New York
Top Issues
BALCONY 2016 Golf Outing Health Care Forum Bruce, Alan, Lou Lou Gordon Alan Lubin Sid Caesar Sid Caesar
News from BALCONY

NYS Public Employees Federation and the State Reach Agreement on Three Year Contract

October 21st, 2016

The New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) announced today that a tentative agreement has been reached with the state of New York on a three year contract from April 2016 to April 2019.

The contract provides for three compounded wage increases of 2 percent per year, retroactive to April 2, 2016.

State and local labor leaders urge Cuomo to sign Airbnb bill

October 21st, 2016

By Addy Baird

Two of New York State's major labor leaders are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would impose steep fines on short term rentals without a host being present, in a letter provided to POLITICO New York. The letter, sent by New York State AFL-CIO president Mario Cilento and Central Labor Council president Vinny Alvarez, argues that platforms like Airbnb threaten union jobs.

Cuomo announces three-year contract agreement with Public Employees Federation

October 19th, 2016

By Bill Mahoney

ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Public Employees Federation have reached an agreement on a three-year contract, the governor announced Wednesday..

Albany insurer, physician group team up to change the way doctors provide care

October 19th, 2016

by Robin K. Cooper

The Albany, New York, region's largest health insurer is partnering with the CapitalCare Medical Group physician practice to start a new business that will work with doctors to improve care and change the way they are paid.

BALCONY attends Teamster Center Services Expo

October 17th, 2016
Alvin Perez and Angelo Rivera join BALCONY Director Lou Gordon at the Teamster Center Services Expo at the Grand Hyatt recently in New York.


Lou Gordon (left) and Alvin Perez

Angelo Rivera (left) and Lou Gordon

Labor big Thomas Mackell dead at age 74

October 17th, 2016


Thomas Mackell (Photo provided by family)

Thomas Mackell, a longtime labor leader and former chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, has died. He was 74.

NIH to Recognize 12 Champions of Environmental Health Research

October 10th, 2016

Twelve individuals will receive the first-ever Champion of Environmental Health Research Award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), for their significant contributions to the field.

Philip Landrigan received an award.

Philip Landrigan, M.D.

Landrigan is a pediatrician and epidemiologist known for his many decades of work protecting children against environmental threats to health, in particular, reducing the level of children’s exposure to lead, pesticides, and other environmental contaminants. His landmark lead poisoning studies in the 1970s played a key role in phasing out lead from gasoline and the ban on lead paint. Landrigan is dean for global health, professor of environmental medicine and public health, and professor of pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, as well as president of the Collegium Ramazzini. For the full article and information about the individuals, click here: NIH

31st Annual Labor Lunch: October 13, 2016

October 5th, 2016

Click the photo for enlargement



News from BALCONY Archives
News From and About Our Members

Teachers union says new federal regulations are not a 'real partnership'

July 20th, 2016

By Keshia Clukey

ALBANY - Federal regulations tied to the new Every Student Succeeds Act are a "top-down, federally driven" approach, not a "real partnership," as was intended, the state's largest teachers union says.

On Tuesday, New York State United Teachers submitted comments to the U.S. Education Department on the draft regulations in the hope that the department will make changes. The submission deadline is Aug. 1.

ESSA, passed in December, replaced the broad federal No Child Left Behind Act and was initially seen as providing states more flexibility regarding assessments and accountability.

New York Public Hospitals Use Emojis to Reach Young People About Sex

July 18th, 2016


The birds and the bees are no longer confined to uncomfortable living-room conversations. They will start popping up as emojis in teenagers’ Facebook feeds on Monday.

Greater New York Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Women's History Month

March 22nd, 2016

On Friday March 18th the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce (GNYCC) hosted a celebration of Women's History Month at the Hard Rock Cafe.

The event was emceed by Greater New York Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Jaffe and GNYCC Chairman Cynthia DiBartolo. The event was attended by 75+ leaders from the New York business and labor community and honored Kathy Hochul, NYS Lieutenant Governor; Beth Goldberg, District Director of the Us Small Business Administration; Major Kimbia Rey, US ARMY; Vicki Saunders, Founder of SheEO; and Waffa Abboud, Founder and CEO of Human First.



March 10th, 2016
The Broadway Education Alliance, the fiscal sponsor for the Gershwin Awards, announced today that the program has been renamed The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance—to celebrate the exceptional life and career-long artistic excellence of Broadway’s beloved actor, Roger Rees. Formerly known as The Gershwin Awards, the 2015-2016 Roger Rees Award for Excellence in Student Performance will be held on Sunday, May 22 at the Beacon School in Manhattan. Read the details here: Roger Rees Awards

Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll Discusses Major Projects and Infrastructure Improvements Underway

March 10th, 2016

New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll was the featured speaker on March 3 at a New York Building Congress Construction Industry Breakfast Forum, which also featured remarks from Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York.

Highlighting major infrastructure projects to the crowd of nearly 350 professionals from the design, construction, and real estate industry, Commissioner Driscoll called it an exciting time for New York City as well as the State as a whole. He provided updates on several key initiatives, including Governor Andrew Cuomo's $100 million infrastructure investment program, stating, "This plan will modernize the State's public transportation systems - freight, rail and ports, airports and roads and bridges - to meet the needs of the new global economy and enhance New York's position as the Empire State." These projects include a comprehensive redesign of LaGuardia Airport, expansion of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and transformation of Penn Station and the historic Farley Post Office.
News from our Members Archives
BALCONY Issues in the News (Related Articles)

DC37 membership ratifies CUNY contract

July 18th, 2016

By Conor Skelding

The City University of New York employees represented by District Council 37 have voted to approve a contract deal with the university, the union announced Monday.

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association et al.

July 1st, 2016

Supreme Court Denies Friedrichs Petition for Rehearing

On June 28th, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition from nine California public school teachers to rehear their First Amendment challenge to mandatory union fees. The plaintiffs petitioned the Court to rehear their case after a 4-4 decision was issued in the wake of Justice Scalia’s death. When the split decision was issued, it was not accompanied by an opinion on the merits of the argument. All that was issued was a one-line statement that the decision was split 4-4. Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, the non-profit public interest law firm representing the teachers issued the following statement about today’s decision:

“We are greatly disappointed in today’s decision denying our petition for rehearing in Friedrichs v. California Teacher’s Association. Today’s decision was not a decision on the merits of our case nor was it accompanied by an opinion. We continue to believe that forcing individuals to subsidize political speech with which they disagree violates the First Amendment. We will look for opportunities to challenge compulsory union dues laws in other cases and continue our efforts to stand up for the rights of of teachers and public sector workers across the country.”

Housing activists ramp up campaign against affordable housing developers

June 24th, 2016

By Sally Goldenberg

An activist group that has long criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio's housing plan is targeting an affordable housing association with a barrage of attacks and a call for all elected officials not to accept campaign contributions from the association.

NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento's Statement on Assembly Passage of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act

June 17th, 2016
Albany, NY - "Tuesday was a historic day. For years, the New York State AFL-CIO has been fighting for safe nurse-to-patient ratios in our hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Nurses have told their stories over and over about the challenges they face trying to provide the highest quality care possible under stressful working conditions that include inadequate staffing levels. Improving patient safety took a giant step forward with the Assembly passage of the “Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act.” We applaud Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblymember Aileen Gunther, Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried and the Assembly Majority for taking the lead toward ensuring our hospitals are properly staffed to allow nurses to provide the best care possible while improving patient outcomes.

A Few More Vegetables and a Little Less Meat May Reduce Diabetes Risk

June 16th, 2016


You don’t have to be a vegetarian to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet.

New research shows that eating a few extra servings of healthy plant-based foods each day and slightly reducing animal-based foods like meat and dairy products can significantly lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

BALCONY Issues in the News Archives