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Public Employee Press

State budget

Budget provides for more counselors


The long bus trips to Albany by Local 372 activists to lobby elected officials to fund additional substance abuse counselors has paid off.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state budget for fiscal year 2019 now includes an additional $2 million for hiring the new Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialists, who will work in the city’s public schools.

“This is a step in the right direction,” said, Shaun D. Francois I, president of Dept. of Education Employees Local 372.

There were only 243 SAPIS counselors in 2015 to serve the city’s entire public school system. The additional funding in the state budget will allow for the hiring of 25 counselors.

The additional $2 million in state funding will be matched by the City Council.

Substance Abuse Prevention Intervention Specialists play a leading role in getting the message out to students about the dangers of substance abuse.

They are responsible for coordinating drug prevention workshops for students and parents.

They also follow up with referrals to treatment services for families and individuals.

Local 372 received support for the additional funding from labor-friendly state Sens. Marisol Alcantara, Tony Avella, Diane Savino and Jesse Hamilton.

H+H annual meetings

NYC Health + Hospitals will hold its annual public meetings on the dates below at 6 p.m. The union invites members and activists to attend and voice their concerns.

To register to speak, call Colicia Hercules at 212-788-3360, or register on site starting at 5:30 p.m.

Three annual meetings are scheduled:

  • Seaview Hospital in Staten Island, Caravone Building, Wed., May 2
  • Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, Building T, 2nd floor, Wed. May 16
  • Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, main auditorium, Wed., May 23