Sept. 19, 2014

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Union activism in Oswego

uupdate 9-19-14

MDO Edison Bond, left, and Secretary Eileen Landy talk shop with Oswego delegate Steve Rosow at the Oswego Chapter's fall gathering Sept. 19.

Statewide Membership Development Officer Bond and Landy mingled with several new and veteran Oswego Chapter members during the annual fall gathering at the campus Fallbrook Recreation Center. They snacked on hotdogs, salad, salt potatoes and fruit.

Then they got down to business.

"We are in an election year and we need to work to elect lawmakers who support SUNY, who believe in affordable, accessible, quality public higher education," Landy said after bringing greetings from UUP President Fred Kowal. "We need you to work for labor-endorsed candidates, to be in your community wearing UUP T-shirts and be identified as union members, and to build lasting relationships with legislators."

"We cannot use union dues for political action," he said. "If we want to keep SUNY great, we need you to donate to VOTE-COPE." He suggested an annual contribution of $100, or about $4 per pay period.

The nearly 200 UUPers, family members, children and other guests at the gathering also had a chance to watch five guys get drenched in an Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS research. The quintet was willing to face the frigid water to raise money in recognition of longtime Oswego UUPer Greg Auleta, who has ALS. Oswego delegate Chuck Spector, bottom, second from right, orchestrated the challenge.

Get active

Oswego Chapter President Lori Nash also urged members to get involved in their union, and encouraged them to stop by a table staffed by UUPer Charlie Itzin to pick up important union materials. Available were copies of the 2011-2016 contract, membership and VOTE-COPE cards, brochures on a range of union services, and fliers about the Central Labor Council Labor Walks next month in Oswego and Syracuse.

Landy thanked Nash for her hard work in organizing the event, and asked others to step up at the chapter or statewide levels. Then she held up a Volunteer Registration Form.

“We need you to get engaged in the union,” Landy said. “It doesn’t have to be political; you can write an article for the newsletter or serve on a chapter committee. You are the union and we want you do whatever makes you comfortable.”

Bond held up his smart phone and asked everyone to “like” UUP on Facebook and follow the union on Twitter.

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