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CONTACT: Mike Lisi (518) 640-6600
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 13, 2008

United University Professions ratifies new four-year contract


Members of United University Professions (UUP), the union that represents 35,000 academic and professional faculty on all the State University of New York (SUNY) state-operated campuses, have resoundingly ratified a new four-year contract with New York state.

UUP President Phillip H. Smith announced that the agreement, reached Dec. 19, 2007, won the approval of 97.5 percent of the members who cast ballots. The American Arbitration Association conducted the ratification vote and tallied the votes today.

“Our goal was to reach a fair and equitable contract for all our members —academic and professional, full-time and part-time,” Smith said. “The overwhelming vote in favor of the agreement is a clear sign our members agree that this is a good contract that addresses their needs.”

Smith said the contract will also help SUNY become one of the finest public higher education institutions in the nation, a goal cited by the governor’s Commission on Higher Education.

"The competitive salaries and strong benefits contained in this contract will help attract and retain top-quality faculty," Smith said.

Representatives from each of UUP's 33 chapters made up the union's Negotiations Committee. The Negotiations Team, headed by Vice President for Academics Frederick G. Floss, visited each UUP chapter before contract talks began to collect input, and after the agreement was reached to explain the pact and answer any questions. "The concerns we heard from our members guided us toward reaching a pact that responded to their needs," Floss said.

A total of 10,297 UUP members voted for the new contract, and 249 voted against it. Thirty-three ballots were declared invalid.

The new agreement runs from July 2, 2007 to July 1, 2011. It calls for salary increases in each year of:

  • 3 percent retroactive to July 1, 2007
  • 3 percent beginning in July 1, 2008
  • 3 percent beginning in July 1, 2009
  • 4 percent beginning in July 1, 2010

The agreement features other benefits, including:

  • A one-time $500 salary advance to employees who will receive permanent or continuing appointments, or a second, five-year appointment on their respective campuses during each year of the contract;
  • A lump-sum $500 payment to part-time employees who have worked at least eight consecutive years at their current campus;
  • Location stipends increasing up to $3,026 for employees in the downstate area and up to $1,513 for employees in the Mid-Hudson region;
  • Discretionary salary increases of 1 percent in each year; and
  • A $200 contribution per eligible employee by the end of the contract to the UUP Benefit Trust Fund, which covers dental and vision benefits.

Members will not see a percentage increase in their share of the cost of health insurance premiums, and only small increases in their co-pays.

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.

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