REPORT JUNE 2012
CONTINUES TO REPORT ON OUR
AND PRESENTS THE
UPDATE ON OUR
ISSUES AND POLICY ACTIVITIES
current BALCONY priorities:
A partnership with the Greater New York Chamber of
Commerce and the New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with whom we
are staging 22 workshops on the implications of the Affordable Care
Act for businesses and labor in New York.
A Diabetes Prevention Program for our members
to help deal with the current diabetes epidemic which impacts more than
4.5 million in New York State.
Advocacy in support of
an increase in the New York State minimum wage, in opposition of
the requirement of fingerprinting for food stamps and the
reaffirmation of New York State's commitment to collective bargaining.
LOOK FOR KEY
UPCOMING BALCONY EVENTS.
NYS COMPTROLLER TOM DINAPOLI
COMPTROLLER BILL THOMPSON
Anita Kartalopoulos, Milberg
Sciandra and Sherry Tomasky, American Cancer Society
GREATER NEW YORK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND NEW YORK CITY HISPANIC CHAMBER
OF COMMERCE TO CONDUCT 22 HEALTH CARE WORKSHOPS FOR BUSINESS AND
LABOR (click HERE)
SUPPORTS NYS MINIMUM WAGE HIKE (click HERE)
BARGAINING: A New York State Commitment (Click HERE)
PAYMENT PROTECTION (Click HERE)
NOW COVERED BY 9/11 FEDERAL FUND (Click HERE)
EPIDEMIC IN NEW YORK STATE (Click HERE)
INTERNET TRACKING OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS (Click HERE)
BEDS NOT GOOD FOR NYS TEENS (Click HERE)
FINGERPRINTS FOR FOOD STAMPS (Click HERE)
REPORT: STATE WASTES MORE THAN $300 MILLION
OUT (Click HERE)
written by Lou Gordon, Liza Kramer, and Stuart Marques.
BALCONY Health Care Workshops
The Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and the
Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY,) along with the New
York Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have been awarded a grant to help small
businesses with health care and health insurance issues.
Under the Affordable Care Act
(ACA), states can establish Health Insurance Exchanges where individuals
and small businesses can shop for, and enroll in, health coverage. Last
Thursday Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order creating a Health
Insurance Exchange in New York.
The Community Service
Society, which awarded the grant to the GNYCC and BALCONY, and a dozen
other groups, has established a Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP)
to educate small companies about the new law and inform them of their
options in choosing the best insurance plan for their employees.
For more information, click here >>
It's time to raise the minimum wage!
BALCONY is proud to be the forefront of
advocacy efforts in support for a phased-in $10 an hour minimum wage for
New York State workers as proposed by the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI)
in its report: The Case for Raising the Minimum Wage. (FULL REPORT)
In an effort to ensure a minimum wage of at
least $8.50 BALCONY Director Lou Gordon presented testimony at the NYS
Senate, the NYS Assembly and the NYC Council hearings. His testimony can
be found HERE.
Collective Bargaining in New York State
Governor Andrew Cuomo and the
New York State Legislature need to stand fast to protect the right to
collective bargaining for public employees.
bargaining is a dagger aimed at the heart of both business and labor.
BALCONY, the Business and
Labor Coalition of New York, was formed to find common ground between
business and labor. The right to join a union and engage in collective
bargaining is essential in a democratic political system.
Read the complete article >>
Freelancer Payment Protection
BALCONY and its member organization, the
Freelancers Union, are rallying support for the bipartisan Freelancer
Payment Protection Act (FPPA) (S4129/A6698).
The bill would provide the same wage
protection to independent contractors that New York has provided to
employees for decades by allowing them to file a claim through the New
York State Department of Labor.
Click here to read the details >>
Cancer Now Covered by 9/11
BALCONY supports the Federal
ruling that would clear the way for 50 different types of cancer to be
added to the list of sicknesses covered by the $4.3 billion fund to
compensate first responders and others exposed to the dust and toxic
fumes from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade
"This an affirmation
that the federal government finally acknowledges that those who may have
cancer as a result of exposure to the 9//11 toxic fumes can now be
compensated," stated BALCONY Co-Chair Alan Lubin.
Read the NY Times article >>
The Diabetes Epidemic:
A NYS Health Care Challenge
by Catherine M. Abate
BALCONY Co-Chair and
Community HealthCare Network
Diabetes is primarily known as a disease of
the elderly. However, it is a problem that can affect everyone from
infants through seniors - and the rates of those diagnosed with diabetes
are getting worse. Diabetes kills more people than AIDS and breast cancer
combined. It can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart failure and
Since 1980, the prevalence of diabetes in
New York State has doubled in the last 16 years and affects Blacks and
Latinos disproportionately. Diabetes-related costs in New York are
estimated at $12.9 billion annually.
Nationwide, some 25.8 million children and
adults have diabetes, of which one-third are undiagnosed and an
astounding 79 million are pre-diabetic.
STOP Internet Tracking of
BALCONY commends the New York
State Legislature for unanimously passing the historic drug oversight
bill known as the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing
Act, or I-STOP.
The bill, passed on June 11,
will put New York at the forefront of the battle against the prescription
drug abuse epidemic, which according to Senate sponsor Senator
Andrew Lanza, has destroyed families and lives from one end of
the state to the other. "The agreed upon legislation will allow
doctors and pharmacists to have the information they need to ensure that
we turn the tide on this deadly crisis," Lanza said.
Read the entire article >>
Tanning Beds Not Good for
BALCONY supports the American
Cancer Society's campaign to get the State Legislature to pass a
bill that would prohibit teens under 17 from using indoor tanning beds.
Research shows that using indoor tanning beds before age 30 increases the
risk for developing melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer - by
With melanoma rates on the rise in New
York, we urge lawmakers to follow the examples of California and Vermont
and ban kids under 18 from tanning beds.
Food Stamps & Fingerprints
by Robert M. Hayes
BALCONY Co-Chair and
Sr. VP for Health Quality,
Universal American Corp.
BALCONY supports Governor
Andrew Cuomo's decision to end the practice of fingerprinting food stamp
recipients - much to the chagrin of Mayor Bloomberg.
An editorial in the May 18,
2012 New York Times headlined "Food Stamps Are Not A Crime,"
made the case eloquently, pointing out that 30% of New Yorkers eligible
for food stamps are not collecting them. Many of those don't apply
because they don't want to submit - or subject themselves to -
fingerprinting. The editorial concluded: "Mr.Bloomberg should rend
the fingerprinting requirement immediately, and start making it easier
for his constituents to get food aid.
We agree and below is an
op-ed written by BALCONY Co-Chair Robert M. Hayes that makes the case
just as eloquently.
Read the entire article >>
State Wastes More Than
$300 Million Contracting Out
The New York State Public Employees
Federation (PEF) recently released its annual report on the high cost of
contracting out work that could be done by state employees for far
less. The report reveals the state increased spending on
contracting out by more than $285 million while spending on state
employee salaries decreased by $395 million.
"The state is in no position to waste
millions," said PEF President Ken Brynien. "Yet that's
exactly what is happening year after year as the state continues the costly
practice of relying on outside contractors to do the work state employees
can do for less, even when the cost of state employee benefits are
included in the price."
Reads the entire report >>
THEATER BENEFIT IN ALBANY
On May 23, more than
200 friends and supporters of BALCONY enjoyed the award winning comedy The God of Carnage
at the Capital Repertory Theater in Albany.
At the same time
BALCONY honored its co-chairs, Alan
Lubin, Catherine Abate and Robert Hayes. A silent auction
was held were sports tickets, theater tickets, dinners, and memorabilia
was sold to the attendees. An enjoyable cocktail reception was held prior
to the curtain rising for the play.
committed to theatrical presentations in both Albany and New York
City," stated BALCONY
director Lou Gordon, "This performance showed that
we can successfully stage moderate cost entertainment events for our
BALCONY members and friends."
thanks its key sponsors for helping in this event including, Continential Home Loan, NYSUT,
USI Affinity, the Public Employees Federation, Visit Buffalo Niagara,
CDPHP, NGC Lobby, OMCE, WCBS Radio, Humana, UUP, UFT,M3 Technology,
Souders Promotions , the New York Labor Health Care Alliance, Noah Perlis,
and AMP Abstract.
BALCONY thanks Diane Masters who coordinated this theatrical event, Tony
Bifaro, Bob and Irene Zeig, Jodi Wiener, and Liza Kramer.
Health Services: www.acesohealthservices.com
- New York: www.afscme.org/union/directory/new-york
of Benefit Administrators: www.assocbenadmin.com/
Planning Advocates: www.familyplanningadvocates.org
for Leadership: www.institute4leadership.com/
Chamber of Commerce: www.queenschamber.org
University Professions: www.uupinfo.org
former New York City Comptroller
Kartalopoulos, Milberg Law Firm
Sciandra and Sherry Tomasky, American Cancer Society
BALCONY MEMBER DIRECTORY
(Click the map to view the eBook)
for the PDF version of the Directory)
4 West 43rd Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10036
Lou Gordon, Director
BALCONY, THE BUSINESS AND LABOR
COALITION OF NEW YORK
Robert M. Hayes,
Co-Chair Business, Sr. VP, Universal American Corp.
Abate, Co-Chair Non-Profit, President/CEO, Community HealthCare Network
Executive Director, New York Labor Health Care Alliance
Kartalopoulos, Partner, Milberg LLP
Ventimiglia, Saratoga Capital Management
Kevin R. Weaver,
Web Master and Computer Consultant
BALCONY is a
501c(4) non-profit. Contributions are not tax deductible and BALCONY
makes no political endorsements nor campaign contributions.