July 17, 2013

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UUP, PSC ready to work together

uupdate 7-10-13

UUP President Fred Kowal makes a point as Professional Staff Congress President Barbara Bowen and UUP VP for Professionals Philippe Abraham listen at a meeting between the unions’ officers July 17. PSC represents faculty and staff at the City University of New York (CUNY).

UUP’s statewide officers and PSC leaders pledged to renew the relationship between the higher education unions and work closely to strengthen their collective legislative clout—and become more effective for their members.

Both groups discussed a wide range of topics during the four-hour meeting at the PSC’s offices in lower Manhattan. The officers vowed to partner on a number of issues, including MOOCs and online learning, legislative outreach, the fight to save jobs and health care services at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

“There is a natural affinity between UUP and PSC and we have to take advantage of that,” Kowal said. “I think there are many things we can do much more powerfully together.”

Bowen and the PSC’s three officers—First VP Steve London, Secretary Arthurine DeSola and Treasurer Michael Fabricant—agreed. The unions can accomplish much by working in tandem.

“There are a lot of things we should be collaborating on,” Bowen said. “For us not to take advantage of the fact that we have viable unions, that we’re under attack and that we can talk to each other is crazy.”

UUP VP for Academics Jamie Dangler, Secretary Eileen Landy, Treasurer Rowena Blackman-Stroud and Membership Development Officer Edison Bond Jr. were also present at the meeting with Kowal and Abraham.

UUP and the PSC have worked well together in the recent past, including partnering with student groups to push for more funding for SUNY and CUNY. And Bowen offered her strong support for UUP’s fight to save Downstate at a May rally in Brooklyn.

Kowal said working with the PSC will also give UUP more of a legislative presence in the New York City area, an initiative PSC leaders were willing and ready to assist with.

“We’d love to work with you on that,” London said.

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