September 23, 2013

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Kowal, statewide officers visit Oswego Chapter

uupdate 9-23-13

UUP President Fred Kowal and several UUP statewide officers attended the Oswego Chapter’s Fall Solidarity Gathering Sept. 20, continuing their efforts to visit members at all 32 UUP chapters.

More than 150 members were at the event, held in a big red barn at Fallbrook Lodge, about two miles from the main campus. They listened as Kowal provided updates on UUP’s new contract with the state and discussed challenges facing the union, including seamless transfer and the potential privatization of Brooklyn’s SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Earlier in the day, Kowal, statewide Vice President for Professionals Philippe Abraham, and statewide Treasurer Rowena Blackman-Stroud chatted with members; seamless transfer and the new contract were the concerns members most frequently raised, Kowal said.

“Traveling to campuses allows us to listen to our members and to help build the chapter,” Kowal said. “I think it’s important to be here, where the members and the issues are. That’s the reason we’re out on the road.”

SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley also attended the event, which featured a performance by the Oswego Jazz Project, a jazz trio that included UUPers Eric Schmitz and Trevor Jorgensen.

Oswego Chapter President Lori Nash said that Oswego members were delighted that Kowal and other statewide officers were at the gathering.

“It is a morale booster when our union president comes to one of our chapter meetings,” she said. “Such a visit gives our members an opportunity to see how hard our statewide officers are working for them.”

Kowal and the officers continue their September chapter visits with trips to SUNY Cortland and SUNY Farmingdale. The officers have visited nearly two dozen chapters since Kowal’s election in May.

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