August 20, 2015

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Negotiations Team meets, learns at retreat

uupdate 8-20-15

UUP’s 18-member Negotiations Team spent some time in August getting to know one another and learn the ins and outs of the collective bargaining process.

UUP President Fred Kowal welcomed Team members to their three-day retreat in Lake Placid Aug. 18-20 and outlined the important role they will have at the bargaining table once they begin negotiating the union’s contract with the state. The UUP contract expires July 1, 2016.

Kowal also explained the union’s constitutional provisions regarding the negotiations process. He talked about how the Negotiations Team—headed by VP for Professionals and Chief Negotiator Philippe Abraham—and Negotiations Committee work together to craft proposals that will be presented to the state on behalf of the membership.

“The union is committed to giving every UUP member a chance to weigh in on the process,” Kowal said.

To do that, the Team will focus on soliciting input from members through a variety of venues; those include open meetings at every chapter, an online survey, and member suggestion forms and negotiations hearings—beginning with a hearing at the 2015 Fall Delegate Assembly Oct. 1-2 in Buffalo.

The Team will visit every campus to allow members an opportunity to ask questions and offer opinions about the negotiations process. The visits begin Aug. 26 at Empire State College in Manhattan; a list of campus visits is posted on the UUP website; click here to view/download the list.

uupdate 8-20-15

At the retreat, team members got hands-on training from NYSUT labor relations specialists assigned to UUP on topics ranging from the Taylor Law to reflections on previous negotiations. Team members were given subcommittee assignments and a schedule of upcoming meetings.

Rank-and-file UUP members will be kept informed throughout the negotiations process via regular website postings, mailings from President Kowal, and articles online and in The Voice and The Echo. Periodic updates and other information will be sent to chapter presidents for distribution through chapter websites, newsletters, fliers and meetings.

Members are encouraged to check the UUP website at for updates. Feel free to contact Chief Negotiator Abraham for further information or to submit questions or comments.

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