May 20, 2015
North Country chapters advocate in Albany
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Plattsburgh Chapter members let state Assemblywoman Janet Duprey know what UUP’s legislative priorities are during the first in a series of post-budget regional advocacy days in Albany.
“Maintenance of Effort is highest on our agenda,” Plattsburgh Chapter VP for Academics Kim Hartshorn told Duprey (R-Peru), during a May 19 advocacy event for North Country chapters. “Each year without (a genuine) Maintenance of Effort, it hurts us more and more.”
Pictured from left, are Plattsburgh Chapter member Richard Aberle, Chapter President Karen Volkman, Chapter member Dan Gordon, Hartshorn, Duprey, and Chapter members Shawna Mefferd Kelty and Ben Wright.
UUP scheduled five regional advocacy days in May and June for members from specific areas of the state to meet with and urge their representatives to act on a number of issues pending before the Legislature that are important to UUP.
Canton Chapter President Dave Hartle and chapter member Sabel Bong, right, discussed Maintenance of Effort in a meeting with Assemblyman Marc Butler (R-Newport). They were joined by statewide VP for Academics Jamie Dangler, who described the absence of a true Maintenance of Effort as “a budget cut in disguise.”
The union is pushing for a MOE agreement that includes SUNY’s hospitals and mandatory and inflationary cost increases. The current MOE, included in the state’s NYSUNY2020 legislation, only requires the state to provide the same funding and fringe benefits of the prior state fiscal year.
UUP believes changes must be made to protect funding for student services and ensure a financially secure public higher education system. The union is also calling for the creation of a permanent endowment for public higher ed and protections for SUNY’s state-run hospitals and health sciences centers.
Advocates also sought lawmakers’ support for a measure to require CUNY and SUNY to produce an annual online report that would disclose their financial records, including vendors, employees and general accounting information for any research foundations which are owned and operated by public colleges and community colleges.
UUPers also urged lawmakers to keep SUNY hospitals public, reminding them that SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse serves their region through its poison control center and burn unit.
Union advocates from Western New York will be in Albany June 1, followed by advocates from Capital District/Mid-Hudson chapters (June 2); Long Island and New York City (June 9) and Central New York (June 10). Click here to take part in a regional advocacy event.
UUP retiree members and veterans are encouraged to attend the regional advocacy days to press for their issues.
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