Pink slips went out to 500 employees of Long Island College Hospital (LICH), notifying them that their jobs would end as of Tuesday, October 29.
While a spokesperson for LICH’s operator, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, described the move as a way to balance “staffing levels” and “greatly reduced patient volume and limited services,” LICH staff and their supporters see it as just the latest attack on their hospital.
SUNY Downstate had been ordered by a NY State Supreme Court judge to maintain LICH services at the level to which it existed on July 15, 2013.
On October 25, hospital staff—doctors and nurses affiliated with 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East and the NY State Nurses Association (NYSNA)—and their supporters and colleagues from across the city protested against the “layoffs and deep cuts to patient care.”
1199 SEIU will be seeking an injunction against the layoffs, on the grounds that their 200-plus members did not receive the required 30-day written notice regarding the planned dismissal.
Interested community members can get an update on the situation tonight, October 28, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cobble Hill Health Center at 380 Henry Street, hosted by the Cobble Hill Association. Representatives present will include Concerned Physicians of LICH, NYSNA, 1199 SEIU, court-appointed ombudsman Dr. Jon Berall, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.