SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Box 99

450 Clarkson Ave.

Brooklyn, New York 11203


Division 198 of the Public Employees Federation (PEF) represents over 650 Registered Nurses, as well as, a number of Research Scientists, Computer Operators, Chaplains, and other Professionals at the State University of New York - Downstate Medical Center.


Don Morgenstern        Council Leader and Executive Board Representative

Gale Baptiste           Assistant Council Leader and Executive Board Representative

Sherron Hunte               Treasurer

Joy Fletcher                    Secretary

Jemma Marie Hanson    Region 11 Coordinator and Steward

Stewards:                    Cynthia Clark            Corina Florece-Ruiz         

                                    Pearl Jones               Gloria Kaufman          Dolly Romeo

                                 Sheila Hyppolite-Frances     Patrick Byrnes   Josephine Headley

PEF Field Rep            Barry Markman


Phone   (718) 270-1362                               Fax (718) 270-2782                                 Office BSB 5-82B  

email   Dmorgenstern@PEF.org       










The state of New York rescinded its mandate requiring tens of thousands of health care workers to receive the seasonal flu vaccine as well as the H1N1 vaccination before November 30, or face possible disciplinary action, including termination.

“This was the proper and appropriate action for the state to take,” said PEF President Kenneth Brynien. “This was an extremely passionate issue for many of our members.”

PEF had been granted a temporary restraining order October 16 suspending the regulation and was aggressively moving forward with its lawsuit seeking to nullify and void the emergency regulation.

“While we are pleased the state has decided to rescind this regulation, we will continue to encourage our members to get vaccinated against the seasonal and H1N1 flu as we always have. Our opposition was with the regulation mandating the vaccine as a condition of employment,” Brynien said.


There will be an open enrollment period from September 1 – November 20, 2009 for Short-term Disability Insurance and for the Term Life Insurance offered through PEF.  No medical questions will be asked and there is guaranteed acceptance.  Applications and information on the plans will be sent to your home address in a few weeks.  There has not been an open enrollment for the short-term insurance in over 10 years.



The Governor's Office of Employee Relations and the Public Employees Federation are pleased to make available continuing education online courses free of charge to PEF employees.  Courses offered and registration information can be found at:  https://ceo.binghamton.edu/goer/pst/.

 The tuition reimbursement program has switched back to a voucher system.  This will mean that you often will not have to lay out the money for courses in advance.  For undergraduate level you can get up to 4 vouchers per year at $600 per course.  For Graduate level you can get 4 vouchers per year at $1200 per course.  For more information and for applications go to WWW.PEF.ORG and click on the Tuition and Professional Development button in the center of the page.

 Downstate’s grant to fund the Brooklyn College Program has ended.  Fortunately, PEF, in conjunction with Downstate’s Nursing Department, was able to get money to continue the program.  Two courses will again be offered free of charge in September to PEF Nurses who need prerequisite courses for their BSN. 

 We have also submitted a grant to provide free onsite certification preparation courses.  These 2 day workshops would be held for critical care, medical-surgery, emergency, inpatient obstetrics, progressive care, psychiatry, operating room, and neonatal intensive care.  I am hopeful that the grant will be approved in the near future and the courses can be held.  There is already a program whereby the State pays for the cost of the actual exams.



The new law banning most instances of Mandatory Overtime took effect July 1.  I have not gotten any reports of nurses being mandated to stay.  However, there have been some instances of Nurses staying, “voluntarily” because there was no one to give report to.  If your shift is about to end, and there is no nurse to give report to, call a Supervisor and let them know that you want to leave and they need to find someone.  If they refuse and you are forced to stay late, please let me know immediately at ext. 1362.



A new patient call system is being installed throughout the hospital and if used correctly, can be a help to nurses in improving patient care. However, the system does have the capabilities to track nurses’ movements and could be used as a timekeeping device.  To prevent its misuse, I have already negotiated and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Downstate’s Management on how the system can be used. As stated in the agreement, “Date/information collected and/or retained by the Hill-Rom Communication System will not be used for any individually identified payroll or personnel purpose including but not necessarily limited to: counseling, discipline, performance evaluation, or establishing time on the job for any reason.”  In other words, they cannot come to you and say you took too long to get to a patient, or that the system showed you took too long on your break.  They can, however, use information on the unit as a whole to help improve patient care.  Please inform me immediately at ext. 1362 if you feel that Management is trying to use the system in evaluating your individual job performance or if you have any questions in general about the system.

Memo on Mandatory Overtime      MANDATORY OVERTIME   





Many of you may have heard that there will be a buyout of targeted positions, with State workers who take advantage of the program getting a $20,000 payout.  Most likely SUNY will NOT be part of the program - and even if does take part, Nurses will not be targeted.  Do not delay or change any plans to retire because of this buyout program.



November 2008 quicknote   Quicknote

October 2008 Newsletter   Newsletter













Division 198 News and Information

Holiday Party 12/2008 photos             Holiday Party

Lobby Day 2008 photos                     Lobby Day 2008

Photos 2008 Nurses' Breakfast                   BREAKFAST

Photos Xmas 2007                                    xmas

Lobby Day 5/22/07 Report                         REPORT

Photos 2006 Convention                            Photos

Photos Lobby Day 5/22/07                                   Photos

Scarf Day Photos                                       Scarf Day Photos



PEF NOTES (Division Newsletter)

April 2008 Quicknote     Newsletter

Feb 2008 Quicknote       quicknote

December 2007      December 2007

JUNE 2007        june 2007

March 2007 Quicknote     March quicknote

March 2007      March2007

February 2007      February


 Other Links

PEF Contract    contract

College Scholarships        scholarships

Health Benefits        health

PEF Albany     PEF Albany

PEF Membership Benefits       MembershipBenefits

PEF Nurses           pefnurses

PEF Region 11      Region11

SUNY Downstate Medical Center     SUNY Downstate




 The Public Employees Federation (PEF) is a union representing 59,000 professional, scientific, and technical state employees. Our dedicated and talented members - NY's professional work force - keep our state government operating efficiently and provide quality services for all New Yorkers.


Statewide PEF Officers:

President:        Ken Brynien

Secretary-Treasurer:       Arlea Igoe

Vice Presidents:          Pat Baker     Joe Fox     Lou Matrazzo


PEF Albany telephone  (800) 342-4306

Region 11 (Brooklyn) Office   (718) 637-2019



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