April 8, 2017

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VPP Abraham elected as NYSUT VP

uupdate 4-8-17

Philippe Abraham stood at the podium, speechless.

Tears welled in his eyes as Abraham, the union’s longtime vice president for professionals, found his voice seconds later and explained to delegates why he chose to run for NYSUT statewide office.

Hours later, Abraham, above, left, with UUP President Fred Kowal, was elected to his first three-year term as NYSUT's first vice president April 8 at the 2017 NYSUT Representative Assembly in New York City. He became the first higher education unionist elected as an officer in NYSUT’s 45-year history.

“This is a very hard moment for me,” said Abraham. “I want you to know that I’m doing this because I believe it is in the best interest of UUP and NYSUT. I will always be a UUPer, no matter where I go, no matter what I do. This is my home, this is where I grew up. This is my base.”

“We look forward to working with our brother Philippe in his new role at NYSUT,” said Kowal. “Philippe cares about higher ed, he knows our issues, and I know he will be a strong voice for us with our affiliate.”

uupdate 4-8-17

NYSUT delegates voted in a full slate of officers, including Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta as president. They elected Jolene DiBrango as executive vice president and re-elected Second Vice President Paul Pecorale and Secretary/Treasurer Martin Messner. They also elected members to NYSUT’s Board of Directors.

Abraham, who became UUP’s VPP in 2011, assured delegates that his NYSUT duties will not interfere with his work as the union’s chief negotiator for a new contract with the state.

“I am not leaving you, I will finish the job,” said Abraham, as delegates clapped and cheered. “I will continue to work with UUP. I will be one floor below, that’s all that’s going to change.”

Malone elected to NYSUT board

UUP delegates re-elected VPA Jamie Dangler, Treasurer Rowena Blackman-Stroud, and Buffalo Center Chapter President Tom Tucker to the NYSUT Board of Directors. Empire State College Chapter President Pamela Malone was elected as the board’s higher education at-large member; she replaces Abraham.

UUP will appoint a member of its Executive Board to fill Abraham’s vacant VPP post until a special election is held at the 2017 Spring Delegate Assembly in May.

Pallotta replaces former NYSUT President Karen Magee, who announced in February that she would not run for a second term. Magee will work on women’s issues in a new position with AFT and the New York AFL-CIO. Abraham replaces former NYSUT VP Catalina Fortino, who stepped down to spend more time with her family.

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