June 21, 2011
UUP president addresses Capitol labor rally
Organized by PEF, the rally – one of a dozen conducted across the state – comes in response to the threatened layoffs of 9,800 state workers if state employee unions don’t make major concessions in their contract negotiations.
“Our members at SUNY teach a lot of valuable lessons. Among them is respect,” Smith said. “But how can we educate our students about respect if we ourselves are not respected?”
“Will you stand with me to demand we get a fair contract? It’s time for this ridiculous scapegoating and backbiting to end, and time for real and respectful contract negotiations to begin,” Smith emphasized.
The union members displayed their determination by using clackers and whistles to make noise, carrying placards that read, “Fair contract,” “Hell, no, no one goes,” and chanting, “We demand fairness. We demand justice.”
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