August 6, 2015

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Abraham tapped as chief negotiator; Negotiations Team named

uupdate 8-5-15

Vice President for Professionals Philippe Abraham, above, is the chief negotiator for UUP’s upcoming contract talks with the state.

Abraham will lead UUP’s 18-member Negotiations Team, which will represent the union in negotiations with the state of New York for a new contract. UUP’s 2011-2016 contract runs from July 2, 2011 to July 1, 2016.

“Philippe is the right man to take on the important task of leading UUP through what will certainly be a difficult negotiation process,” said UUP President Fred Kowal, who appointed Abraham as chief negotiator. “He and his team are dedicated leaders who will represent our members well.”

Abraham, who has served as statewide VPP since 2011, was a member of UUP’s Negotiations Team for the 2007-2011 contract. A NYSUT state delegate to the National Education Association, Abraham is an AFT and NYSUT delegate and a NYSUT board member. He is one of three elected senators representing UAlbany on SUNY’s Faculty Senate.

Abraham is a UUP Executive Board member and has served on several statewide UUP committees, including Legal Defense, Affirmative Action, and the Committee on Latino Affairs. He is president of the Albany/Capital District Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

“I look forward to this challenge,” Abraham said.

A talented Team

Farmingdale VPA Mike Smiles, a veteran Negotiations Team member who served as associate chief negotiator for the union’s current contract, is back, this time as associate/deputy chief negotiator. The Team will also have two assistant negotiators: Empire State College Chapter President Pamela Malone and Stony Brook Chapter VPA Jason Torre.

Also on the team:

Bret Benjamin, Albany; Doug Cody, Farmingdale; Ray Dannehoffer, Buffalo HSC; Jen Drake, Cortland; Pat Ghee, Buffalo State; Carolyn Kube, Stony Brook HSC; Mike Lyon, Upstate Medical University; Idalia Torres, Fredonia; Tom Tucker, Buffalo Center; Bill Tusang, Cobleskill; Paula White, Downstate; Anne Wiegard, Cortland; Beth Wilson, New Paltz; and Ezra Zubrow, Buffalo Center.

“My team and I will work tirelessly to secure the best deal possible for our members," said Abraham. "We will accept nothing less.”

UUP members will be kept informed as the negotiations process unfolds. In the fall, the Team will be focused on soliciting input from members through a variety of venues, including open meetings at every chapter, a contract survey, member suggestion forms, and a negotiations hearing at the fall Delegate Assembly.

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