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Re: Teaching Hospital Goes After It's Own MD's -- Help!

Posted by will on July 01, 1999 at 09:48:21:

In Reply to: Re: Teaching Hospital Goes After It's Own MD's -- Help! posted by Anna on July 01, 1999 at 07:24:12:

Thanks Anna for your reply.

Unfortunately, I don't know the exact case information -- it wasn't included in the notice that employees received. The notice did say that the NYS Supreme Court (NYC) "issued an Order Approving Plan of Dissolution and Distribution to the Court on May 28, 1999. The anticipated date of such dissolution and closing on the distribution is June 28, 1999. The name and address of the intended transferee is: St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, 555 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019." [June 22, 1999] The name of the company being dissolved is St. Luke's-Roosevelt Staff Housing.

Your comments about the requirement for a rent stablization lease confirm what I thought to be the case, but is not happening in reality. The building has 4 different classes of tenant right now: 1) a small # of people who have no connection to the hospital, but have lived their for years -- I believe these folks were given a rent stabilization lease and a 15%? increase in rent [they hired the lawyer who fought the M-L case in court -- and told the medical residents that there was nothing he could do for them]; 2) medical residents and nurses who have lived there for at least a few years and who had leases but were just sent "occupancy agreements" to sign effective July 1 that take away all tenant rights and boost rent by about 15% (without any limits on the hospital's discretion for future increases -- they weren't given advanced notice of termination of their current lease); 3) medical residents that moved in within the past 18 months or so (i.e., during the time of the court case) who signed occupancy agreements when they moved in that #2s are being converted to now (these agreements authorize the hospital to deduct the rent from paychecks and include a rider that says the rent will immediately double if the M-L case is resolved); and 4) incoming residents who all signed the new occupancy agreement with the higher rent to gain possession of the apartment. There are also a handful of #2's who changed apartments (one guy who was forced to by the hospital) in the past year and were converted to the occupancy agreement at that time.

The hospital wants it both ways: to be landlord, but not abide by a lease and not respect tenant rights; and as an employer offering a housing benefit, but not be subject to collective bargaining.

The case is more interesting when you consider that most of the residents are immigrants who have visas conditional on their employment at St. Luke's. So moving to Queens and getting a job at a different hospital isn't an option, nor is a long subway commute given their long hours and being on-call overnight and having kids, etc.

The case will really get interesting next Thursday when the residents get their paychecks -- and they see the new rent amount automatically deducted from their check. A decent number of them have not signed the new agreement and, in their minds, have not authorized an increase in the rent amount withheld.

Any further thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

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