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CONTACT: Don Feldstein or
Mike Lisi (518) 640-6600
Feldstein’s cell number is (518) 461-0275

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 27, 2010

UUP/UMU host higher education and health care forum


SYRACUSE
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In order to provide its members and the public with the information they need to make an informed choice on Election Day, United University Professions today conducted an open forum featuring candidates for the 119th Assembly district seat. The forum, jointly hosted by UUP and Upstate Medical University, focused on higher education and health care issues.

“The nearly 2,600 Upstate Medical University employees we represent wanted to know which candidates would best represent them and the interests of Upstate, the largest employer in Central New York,” UUP President Phillip H. Smith said. “We needed to hear which candidates are sensitive to the needs of the State University of New York, which has been stung by $562 million in budget cuts over the past two years. We also needed to hear the candidate’s positions regarding health care education, since our members’ work includes educating the next generation of physicians.”

Three candidates vying for the Assembly seat now held by the retiring Joan Christensen — John Sharon (R), Chris Fadden-Fitch (C) and Michael Donnelly (G) — participated in the 90-minute forum held on the UMU campus in Syracuse.

Prior to the forum, Smith and UMU President David Smith honored Assemblywoman Christensen for her 20 years of public service, and presented her with a certificate of appreciation.

“For the UUP members who work at Upstate Medical and the faculty we represent at SUNY, we cannot thank you enough for the work you have done on behalf of our members, students and the state as a whole,” UUP’s Smith said.

UUP, through its statewide affiliate — New York State United Teachers — has not endorsed any candidates in the 119th Assembly district race.

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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