September 9, 2010

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UUP begins the negotiations process


UUP's Negotiations Team and Negotiations Committee met in Albany for the first time Sept. 16 to begin the first phase of the negotiations process. The 36-member Committee received their charges from UUP President Phil Smith, above.

Chief Negotiator Jamie Dangler of Cortland and Associate Chief Negotiator Mike Smiles of Farmingdale are heading up the Team, which represents UUP at the bargaining table. The Committee's constitutional charge is to prepare proposals for negotiations and submit the tentative agreement to the membership for ratification. A third group—the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee—compiles and presents chapter members' concerns for consideration as potential UUP proposals.

Smith, who is constitutionally responsible for negotiating the contract, outlined the process UUP will follow to craft a package of proposals to present to the state. First up is collecting member information, ideas, opinions and concerns. Throughout the fall semester, UUP will gather input with a member survey, member suggestion forms, and an open hearing at the Fall DA, and chapter visits by Team members. Member suggestion forms are available on the UUP website under the Contract tab, at negotiations. UUPers can also send their comments by e-mail to In October UUP members will be mailed instructions for accessing and completing the negotiations survey.

Team and Committee members also heard from NYSUT Executive VP Andy Pallotta and NYSUT Director of Legislation Steve Allinger on the economic, political and fiscal conditions confronting New York state. UUP Membership Development Officer Ed Quinn detailed the demographics of UUP's 35,000 members.

Team and Committee members will meet again in December to hear chapter reports from the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee.

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