Apr 30, 2010

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UUPers focus on key issues at NYSUT RA


UUP President Phillip Smith discusses proposed resolutions with union delegates attending the 38th annual New York State United Teachers Representative Assembly in Washington, D.C.

UUP sponsored four of the 40 resolutions for consideration at the RA, including one calling on NYSUT to publicly denounce SUNY’s proposed Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act (PHEEIA) and to withhold union endorsements to legislators or candidates who back the plan. Another asks NYSUT to deny endorsements to candidates or lawmakers who support 2011 budget cuts to SUNY or CUNY.

The other UUP-backed resolutions dealt with opposition to the war in Afghanistan and providing parity in funding mechanisms to CUNY and SUNY.

About 120 UUP delegates from across New York were in the nation’s capital to attend the RA, which began April 29. Nearly 2,000 registered delegates and visitors were at the conference, which wrapped up May 1.

Among the highlights of the assembly were speeches by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand on April 29. Both expressed concerns over keeping college affordable for middle-class New Yorkers.

UUPers also heard speeches from NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi and NYSUT officers, U.S. Rep. William Owens, AFT President Randi Weingarten, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and New York State AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes.

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