600 LICH workers to be laid off in April

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Nearly half of Long Island College Hospital’s staff will be out of a job by April, the State University of New York confirmed today.

The state, freed from a court order that prohibited it from making any moves to reduce service levels at the hospital now that lawsuits against it have been settled, is axing about 600 of its 1,400 employees including nurses, doctors, technicians, patient care associates, and support services staff, according to a state spokesman. The number is double what a union rep predicted the day prior. An anti-closure activist said the staffers fought a good fight.

“The unions’ negotiators did their best to defend their members’ jobs,” said Jeff Strabone, board member of the Cobble Hill Association, which sued the state along with other community groups to halt the shuttering of the medical center. “The community salutes the courageous [New York State Nurses Association] and [Service Employees International Union 1199] workers who stayed at their posts. They deserve better.”

But one hospital staffer said that Mayor DeBlasio, the unions, and the community groups double-crossed the workers when they agreed to settle with the state.

“The staff at LICH feel the ‘Save LICH’ fight was over as soon as NYSNA and the community signed the agreement with SUNY.” said the worker, who asked to remain anonymous. “There was no victory and we feel like the unions the mayor and the community sold us out.”

The massive personnel cuts are an effort to bring staffing levels in line with the amount of patients being seen, said State University of New York rep David Doyle, claiming that the hospital’s service will not be affected by the loss.

A lawyer who represented six community groups in a lawsuit against the state, as well as reps for the Service Employees International Union 1199 and the New York State Nurses Association, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The pink slips were expected, but the number of cuts is too much to bear, an 1199 rep said last week.

Anti-closure advocates have long argued that the medical center is not overstaffed and that patient levels were proportionate to the number of staff before the state stopped admitting patients and diverted ambulances in July 2013.

The hospital has 506 beds but currently houses only 39 in-patients, according to Doyle.

The layoffs come as part of the settlement reached between anti-closure activists and the state that reopened the bidding process for the beleaguered hospital and allows the state to walk away from the hospital in May whether or not a buyer steps up to take the place over.

A pack of five bidders were vying to redevelop the hospital as a luxury housing complex with a medical component — only one planned to keep it a hospital — before bidding was reopened. Developers and medical executives now have until March 19 to submit new proposals.

Under the new bidding process created by the settlement, plans will be evaluated based on a point system that weighs medical services as two-thirds of the score and assesses the rest in terms of financial commitments. State reps will determine a majority of the score, but are not supposed to consult each other in the process, according to the terms of the settlement. A committee made up of Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D—Red Hook) and representatives of the nurses unions and community groups that sued the state will have less than half the say in scoring the medical category and none in scoring the financials.

Strabone said that he hopes someone will step up to the plate who is willing to keep the hospital a hospital.

“The best we can do for them now is to impress upon the bidders that LICH remains viable and necessary as a full-service hospital,” he said.

The development firm MedDev, which says it represents healthcare clients such as the State University of New York and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, is planning to make a pitch for the hospital.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

DontTrustSUNY from CG says:
March 11, 2014, 2:35 pm
LICH4years from Cobble Hill says:
—— you Jeff Strabone you self-serving —— now we are all out of jobs thanks to you. I've worked at LICH for years and I NEVER saw anyone from your "community" come. This was all to protect your precious real estate values of your brownstones. Thanks for nothing.
March 11, 2014, 3:09 pm
VotingRepublican from SmithSt says:
SUNY is sticking to its story till the bitter end. "There's only a few patients in LICH" so it has to lay off everyone. BS. Fact is there's only "a few" patients in LICH right now because SUNY won't let them have a bed when they come. Ask SUNY how many hundreds of patients it has transferred out of LICH's ER to fill up beds in other hospitals so it could make this claim that the hospital is "empty". Too bad the truth will never be heard now that the snakes slithered out of court.
March 11, 2014, 3:40 pm
LICHer from LICH says:
LICH4yrs, please point the finger in the right direction. We're out of jobs for now until the hospital reopens as something, not because of anyone in the neighborhood, but because of the sneaky, vindictive, big-money governor & his high rolling campaign donor cronies, including the ones he put in charge of SUNY. There is 1 person to blame here. NY's Chief Thug. He wanted that hospital closed & the property sold to fill his coffers. You watch how fast he takes the credit for a state "surplus" after he puts the money from the sale of LICH into the states bank account. How convenient just before his re-election campaign he'll be claiming how well the state is doing & how much money he saved. This was all Cuomo's evil doing. Also to take credit is Brooklyn Hosptial - which has been trying to get LICH closed for decades to kill the competition. AS long as LICH was thriving, Brooklyn Hospital was losing. Cuomo's friend is connected to Brooklyn Hospital. Cuomo also did his buddy a solid by forcing the destruction of LICH. LICH was not about patients. care, or who utilized it or where they came from. It was all about real estate & the Governor & politics. Disgusting all the way around.
March 11, 2014, 3:51 pm
LICH4years from Cobble hill says:
Every single proposal will close the hospital for at least a year. Most close it for two years. If they promise to keep the cljnic open on Henry st that is barely 200 jobs. You make it seem like at the end of May SUNY leaves and the new operator takes their place like nothing ever happened. Thankfully I got 2 backup jobs in anticipation of this nonsense
March 11, 2014, 3:58 pm
Neighbor says:
LICH4yrs - How would you know this when proposals have not been released to the public yet & have another week to be submitted? Plans from the 1st RFP will be revised if the bidder wants the property. Priority is being given to any plan that does not close the place. Incentive.
March 11, 2014, 5:02 pm
LaidOff from LICH says:
LICH4YRS says "You make it seem like at the end of May SUNY leaves and the new operator takes their place like nothing ever happened."

I say WHY NOT? That IS how SUNY took over in 2011. Like nothing ever happened except their name was added. They can turn it over to someone else the same way they took over themselves.
March 11, 2014, 5:06 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon the interruption, but please realize that most of all of this is strictly subjective.
March 11, 2014, 5:32 pm
LICH4yeara from Cobble hill says:
Laid off from LICH - I didn't say it "can't" happen. I said it WONT happen. Basically rvery single proposal in the previous rfp bid starkly less than 210 mil and had nothing near a full-service hospital. Where is all of this newfound money going to come from to save all the workers and keep it full service? Even that Chinese whatever group would only have a 100 inpatient beds. You think they keep 1400 workers for 100 beds? No one is getting their job back. This place will never have more than 500 employees ever again. We got royally screwed by the unions. I also hear hundreds more layoff notices are coming in a few weeks
March 11, 2014, 7:02 pm
jay from nyc says:
hmm so the state lays off 600 workers onto state unemployment, food stamps, etc, and who will now no longer be productive for some time, so how exactly is the state saving money here?
March 11, 2014, 9 pm
Dot from Daaaasssshhh says:
Hope and Change!

If you like your hospital you can keep your hospital!
March 11, 2014, 9:27 pm
Dot from Daaaasssshhh says:
Yes We Can!

All Fired up! Ready to go!

Well, fired at least!
March 11, 2014, 9:28 pm
Disgusted from Cobble Hill says:
This is only the first round of layoffs happening in April. EVERYONE else not laid off in April is being laid off in May & the hospital is closing if a new operator isn't there by then. Big gamble & no win. The people who live & work here will be paying with their lives while SUNY got away with murder. Thanks to crooked Cuomo
March 11, 2014, 10:21 pm
Jim from Bay Ridge says:
LICH folks complained about Continuum then SUNY, Now Gov Cuomo, anyone else to blame. Maybe Alex Rodriguez is to blame too? Look in the mirror LICH, you signed the agreement to allow the layoffs not Cuomo. You the community groups and unions agreed to all these layoffs and terms and conditions.
March 12, 2014, 10:47 am
anonymous says:
On Friday February 21 Mayor DeBlasio celebrated the settlement at City Hall. On Monday February 24, there was an amended notice filed with the NYS Dept. of Labor. It stated that all LICH's 1,442 employees would be laid off. "Reason for stated for filing: Plant Closing."
March 12, 2014, 11:14 am
Lorin from Fort green says:
And deblasio knew the only end game was closure but as a political snake he got the workers hopes up for votes. Typical slime ball. Lich problem is a poor reputation . My dad caught a major infection at lich in the mid 90's and when we told neighbors, they said you were mote likely to get sicker not better in that place. Bad management . One. Time money
Does nothing if you can not attract full price . patIents. Obama care and Medicaid does not pay the bills. Hope all workers find jobs elsewhere
March 12, 2014, 7:52 pm
Doc from PS says:
In 20011, 2012, & 2013 LICH was ranked #2 best & safest hospital in Brooklyn. (Maimo was #1). SUNY did not even make the list. LICH was also in top 25 for all of NYC & NYS (right up there with Presby & NYU). 5 specialty services at LICH were ranked among the top for high performance & 69 LICH physicians were ranked best in nation. If it's cannibalized by real estate developers it will be a huge loss for all of Brooklyn.
March 14, 2014, 2:42 pm

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