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September 29, 2008

Schaffer named UUP’s outstanding retiree

D. Jo Schaffer

D. Jo Schaffer of Cortland, a retired curator of visual resources at the State University of New York College at Cortland, has received United University Professions’ (UUP) annual Outstanding Active Retiree Award.

Schaffer, who retired in 1996 after more than two decades at SUNY Cortland, received the award during the union’s fall policy-making convention, held Sept. 19-20 in Albany.

The award — which is presented by the union’s Committee on Active Retired Membership (COARM) — honors an individual who has rendered outstanding volunteer service and has provided exemplary service to both UUP and SUNY following retirement.

“Jo is a longtime UUP member who hasn’t stopped working to improve her union, the University and her community,” said UUP President Phillip H. Smith. “We are pleased to honor her with this award.”

Schaffer has been involved with COARM in various capacities for the last two decades: she was COARM’s officer liaison when she served as UUP statewide membership development officer for all but two years between 1987 and 1997; was an elected COARM rep from 1999 to 2007; and is currently one of two presidential appointees.

Schaffer is an active member of the Alliance for Retired Americans, attending dozens of regional, state and national meetings each year on issues relevant to retirees. She is an outspoken critic of proposals to privatize Social Security and Medicare, and has worked tirelessly to protect the freshwater aquifers in Cortland County. She is a frequent contributor to the union’s retiree newsletter. She has been a NYSUT and AFT delegate since the mid-1980s, and she has worked to promote women’s issues around the country.

During the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Convention in July, the AFT Women’s Rights Committee honored Schaffer with its Diamond Recognition Award for 50 years of continuous union service.

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 37,000 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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