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CWA Worker Power Update: What We Won!

16 Jun, 2023

We made big progress in Albany this year on legislation that could have a huge impact on New York’s working families. We didn't win everything we were fighting for, but we had three major victories and made progress on several other pro-worker bills! Click here for a flyer with our 2023 legislative victories. 

 Protecting Worker Free Speech Rights: Major Victory!

  • Employer "captive audience meetings" are often used to force workers to attend meetings on non-work subjects like religion, personal political beliefs - even anti-union rhetoric.
  • This year, we passed a bill to make it illegal to punish any workers who opt out of such meetings, protecting our rights and fighting back against union busting.

Ending Pay-to-Work for SUNY Grad Workers: Major Victory!

  • For years, we’ve fought to end fees that grad workers (members of CWA Local 1104) are forced to pay, keeping many of our members living in poverty. This year, we did it!
  • Grad worker fees will be phased out over the next four years, starting with a 25% reduction this year.

Funding the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies: Major Victory!

  • SLU is specifically dedicated to public service and social justice, providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs that prepare the next generation of labor and community leaders.
  • The NYS Fiscal Year 2024 Budget included $5.75M forSLU, in order to cover expanded enrollment.  

Progress Made

  • Reducing the Waiting Time for Striking Workers to Receive Unemployment to 1 Week: A.1443 Wallace/S.4402 Kennedy would strengthen our bargaining rights by reducing the waiting time for workers on strike to file for Unemployment Insurance from two weeks to just one. This was passed by the NYS Senate, but we were not able to get it through the Assembly this year.
  • Worker Retention in Call Centers: A.2052 Joyner/S.6328 Ramos would ensure that when a State contract for call center services changes hands, the workforce is protected. This was passed by the NYS Senate, but we were not able to get it through the Assembly this year.

Our work made the difference on these victories - we made dozens of trips to Albany to speak with legislators and CWA members across the state sent over 5,000 emails to the Assembly and Senate to tell them: Stand With Workers!

We also fought hard for several other priorities in the budget including $500 million for financially distressed and safety net hospitals, increasing the Medicaid reimbursement rate to 7.5%, and an increase to the minimum wage.

Thank you to everyone who sent an email to our legislators to help secure these big wins! This is what worker power looks like.