Union challenges NY healthcare facility closures

New York's largest labor union is taking on the state commission responsible for downsizing the state's hospital and nursing home industries. The Civil Service Employees Union (CSEU), which boasts 265,000 members, has filed a suit challenging the authority of the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century. The state law creating the Commission stated that its recommendations--which include closing or restructuring of 57 hospitals and 21 nursing homes--would have the force of law unless the legislature rejected them. The legislature let them stand. 

Now the union is fighting some of the recommendations, including the proposed closing of Niskayuna's Bellevue Women's Hospital, merging Ellis and St. Clare's hospitals in Schenectady, and cutting back beds at Schenectady County's Glendale Nursing Home. These closures would result in the loss of jobs at these facilities, which employ about 3,000 union members. The CSEU's suit contends that the law empowering the Commission violates the state's constitution.

To get more background on the suit:
- read this article from The Business Review of Albany