Oct. 25, 2017

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Fall DA a success in many ways

uupdate 10-25-17

Delegates to UUP’s 2017 Fall Delegate Assembly helped victims of Hurricane Maria and the wildfires in California, and they learned ways to further strengthen the union at a time when public sector unions are in peril.

Nearly 300 delegates from chapters across the state attended the DA, Oct. 13-14 in Buffalo. That included more than 75 new delegates, who were introduced to union service as well as a new DA structure that featured four workshops—“ Maneuvering Your Way Through the DA,” “Contingent Employee Issues: Activating All Members to Support UUP's Action Plans,” “Solving the Bylaws Puzzle,” and “Advocacy Etiquette.”

Delegates also raised $2,352 to aid hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and victims of the California wildfires. UUP’s Executive Board donated $1,000 to the causes.

"This was an incredibly successful gathering,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. "We welcomed many new delegates, honored beloved members who have passed away, and did the union’s business. Most importantly, we focused on mobilizing to sign up new members, which has been a priority for UUP."

uupdate 10-25-17

Speech resonates with delegates

Kowal addressed those issues in his keynote speech to delegates Oct. 13; he stressed the importance of strengthening chapters and preparing them to do the difficult work of growing the union, which is so important now that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 , a court case that could rob unions of the ability of collecting fair share fees from bargaining unit members who haven’t signed union cards.

Kowal, above, also provided an update on contract negotiations with New York State; the union’s contract with the state expired in July 2016. UUP members can get the latest contract negotiations updates on UUP’s website.

New delegates representing 24 chapters across the state attended the DA. Geneseo and Upstate Medical University had six new delegates each, followed by Binghamton, Brockport, Buffalo Center, New Paltz, Oneonta, and Oswego with five each.

Delegates also:

      • Posthumously honored one of the union’s founders, Oneonta Chapter member Fred Miller, and Binghamton Chapter member Erik Colon with special resolutions citing their service to UUP. Both members passed away earlier this year.
      • Honored Oswego Chapter President Bill Canning and New Paltz Chapter member Donna Goodman with the Nina Mitchell Award for Distinguished Service.
      • Honored Albany Chapter member Rebekah Tolley and Fredonia Chapter member Derrik Decker with the Fayez Samuel Award for Courageous Service by Part-Time Academic and Professional Faculty.
      • Presented four SUNY students with scholarships from UUP’s Scholarship Fund.
      • Honored retiring NYSUT labor relation specialists Ed Giblin and Pete Ludden.
      • Approved resolutions regarding Iraqi workers' interests; ending the War in Afghanistan; an open letter of support for teaching assistants at the University at Buffalo; and letters of support to colleagues in Puerto Rico reeling from Hurricane Maria victims and colleagues impacted by the California wildfires.

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