June 9, 2016

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Team continues its work on contract strategy

The UUP Negotiations Team is gearing up for what it hopes is a July 15 date with the state to exchange contract proposals—the kick-off to face-to-face bargaining for a successor agreement.

The union’s five-year contract with the state expires July 1.

UUP Chief Negotiator Philippe Abraham announced the date at the 2016 Spring Delegate Assembly, May 13-14 in Saratoga Springs. He said members would get their first look at the conceptual proposals once the talks begin. The Negotiations Team crafted the proposals after nearly 18 months of member input; the Negotiations Committee approved the conceptual proposals in April.

Since then, the Negotiations Team has met almost weekly throughout May, and strategy sessions continue through June. Meetings are scheduled for July 13-14, as union negotiators ready themselves for opening talks with the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations.

Abraham told delegates how important it is for members to understand that UUP has no idea how long contract talks could take.

“Every round of talks is different,” he said.

What never changes, Abraham added, is the need for a strong, unified membership if the union expects to negotiate a contract that meets the needs of all members. “We need and value the support of every member,” he said. “We will do everything we can to get the best possible contract.”

Abraham promised periodic updates throughout the bargaining process.

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