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

A Grim First: New York City Reports Baby Born With a Zika-Related Defect

July 24th, 2016


Health officials on Friday reported the first baby born in New York City with the Zika-related birth defect known as microcephaly, a condition marked by an abnormally small head and impaired brain development.

Bus terminal controversy erupts as Port Authority official rebukes West Side leaders and de Blasio deputy

July 21st, 2016

John Degnan, chairman of the bistate agency, rejected calls to delay a design competition until more sites are evaluated

By Daniel Geiger

The chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey rebuked a group of New York officials who had called on the agency to halt its plan to build a $10 billion bus terminal on the West Side and reboot the process with more input from local officials and the public.

Rep Nadler says Port Authority is Arrogant! Slams Bus Terminal Plans

July 21st, 2016

By Dana Rubinstein

Following comments from Rep. Jerry Nadler, who yesterday told POLITICO New York that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's bus terminal plans are "arrogant," the de Blasio administration is voicing complaints, too.

Twist in Zika Outbreak: New York Case Shows Women Can Spread It to Men

July 16th, 2016


The first case of female-to-male sexual transmission of the Zika virus has been documented in New York City, raising the prospect that the disease could spread more widely beyond the countries where it is already endemic and largely transmitted by mosquitoes.

City pension fund votes to divest from gun retailers

July 16th, 2016

By Laura Nahmias

The board of the New York City Employees Retirement System, the city's largest pension fund, voted on Thursday to divest the $54.5 billion fund's holdings in companies that sell firearms, a spokesman for City Comptroller Scott Stringer said.

The vote to divest the fund's holdings came in an executive session of the NYCERS board members, which meant that information about which companies the fund had voted to divest from, and how much money the divestment represents, was not immediately clear.

Federal funding for Gateway project gains steam

July 13th, 2016

By Dana Rubinstein and Ryan Hutchins

In November, the federal government and the states of New York and New Jersey agreed to split the formidable cost of replacing the sole, rapidly deteriorating train tunnel connecting Midtown Manhattan to New Jersey. The states' funding plan, which was to be developed by an entity housed in the Port Authority, has long been shrouded in mystery - including how the two states plan to split their half of the burden.

A Fight to Make Two Classic Songs Copyright Free to You and Me

July 13th, 2016


The song has rung out at marches and vigils throughout the country over the last week: “We Shall Overcome.”

With its message of solidarity and hope, and its legacy as a civil rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome” has become a symbol of peaceful protest. Along with Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” it is so deeply woven into the country’s fabric that it is considered an American treasure, akin to a national park or a presidential monument.

The death and life of a legendary journalist

July 11th, 2016

by Tom Allon

It's one of the worst cliches but here goes: they don't make 'em like that anymore.

Sydney Schanberg, one of the all-time great journalists, passed away this weekend and the perilous craft of investigative journalism has lost yet another of its finest.

He's probably best known for his courageous war zone reporting from Cambodia during the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975 and his chronicling of the savage genocide by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. He won a prestigious Pulitzer for that but more importantly he showed the world another side of himself through his close relationship with his interpreter, Dith Pran.
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