February 19, 2013

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Union, state reach tentative agreement

uupdate 2-19-13

UUP Negotiations Committee members applaud after unanimously voting Feb. 15 to submit a tentative contract agreement to the full membership for a ratification vote. If ratified, the five-year contract between UUP and New York state would run through July 1, 2016.

UUP has been without a new contract since July 1, 2011.

"This contract meets the unique needs of our members and meets the state's need to achieve savings in these difficult economic times,” said UUP President Phil Smith. "It’s a fair contract for our union and the state."

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

  • increased compensation, including salary increases of 2 percent in 2014 and 2015;
  • salary increases of $500, $250, and $500 in 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively, payable each year at the discretion of the chancellor, to all employees on the payroll at each year’s eligibility date;
  • service awards that provide salary increases at achievement of specific career milestones;
  • maintenance of health benefits under a new cost-sharing structure that includes increased premium share contributions and higher deductibles for out-of-network benefits under the Empire Plan;
  • reinstitution of grant and other programs that benefit members; and
  • enhancements to a variety of UUP contract provisions.

UUP is preparing handouts that explain all of the provisions of the tentative contract, which will be distributed online and in face-to-face meetings with members at every chapter. President Smith, UUP Chief Negotiator Jamie Dangler, and Negotiations Team members will visit campuses in March and April to present specifics and answer any questions on the new deal.

The full text of the contract proposal—with an article-by-article comparison of major changes—is also being prepared and will be mailed to members’ addresses of record. Included in the mailing will be information on the ratification vote.

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) is expected to conduct the ratification vote this spring. Members will have approximately three weeks to return their ballots to AAA.

Check back regularly for the most up-to-date information on chapter visits.

See details of the tentative agreement here.

See the governor's news release here.

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