ALBANY, NY – The President of 32BJ SEIU, the state’s largest private-sector union, said today that Governor Cuomo deserves credit for announcing his support for many important initiatives in his State-of-the-State speech, particularly the need for an increase in the minimum wage, and for campaign finance reform and greater regulation of public utilities. But 32BJ President Héctor Figueroa also urged the Governor to add the New York State DREAM Act to his list of priorities.
“32BJ applauds Governor Cuomo for announcing today his support for a minimum wage increase, campaign finance reform and greater regulation of public utilities,” Figueroa said. “More and more New Yorkers are working at low-wage jobs, and as the governor said, increasing the minimum wage is critical to helping these families cover basic living expenses. We need campaign finance reform to ensure that our elections reflect the will of New York voters, not deep-pocketed corporations and individuals. Similarly, greater utility regulation can help to make sure that utility companies that benefit from public dollars serve the public’s needs, including by paying their building service workers standard wages.
“We urge the Governor to also continue his progressive leadership on immigration issues by expanding the state’s tuition-assistance program to all qualified young people regardless of their immigration status. Tuition assistance to qualified, undocumented immigrant college students is necessary to give our state the diverse, highly skilled workforce it needs.”
With 125,000 members in eight states, including 70,000 in New York, 32BJ is the largest union of property service workers in the country, and the largest private-sector union in the state.