Aug. 3, 2018

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Contract ratification ballots in the mail

uupdate 8-3-18

The day that UUP members have been waiting for is at hand – they are about to vote on the union’s tentative contract with the state.

Members will soon receive contract ballots at their home addresses. The ballots were mailed Friday, Aug. 3, so they should begin arriving the week of Aug. 5.

The ballots will arrive in a business-sized white envelope from the American Arbitration Association, pictured above. Each envelope will also contain a postage-paid return envelope addressed to the AAA. Please mail your ballot in this return envelope back to the AAA, not to UUP.

To vote YES on the contract, check the box marked FOR on the ballot.

The American Arbitration Association, which is distributing and will count ballots, must receive ballots by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4. The ballots will be counted Sept. 5.

If you are a UUP member as of May 23, 2018, you are eligible to vote; May 23 is the date that both sides signed the tentative agreement.

If you believe that you are eligible to receive a ballot and vote on the contract, but you have not received a ballot in the mail at your home address, please call the American Arbitration Association at 1-800-529-5218 to request a duplicate ballot.

An empowering message

“Your vote on a tentative contract agreement is the final step in this democratic process, and very possibly the most important and empowering action you will take as a UUP member,” UUP President Fred Kowal said. “All that I ask as you vote is that you be assured that neither the Negotiations Team nor I would have ever presented this tentative agreement to the membership if we did not truly believe it is a very solid, strong and comprehensive agreement that will stand the test of time.”

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

      • 2 percent salary increases each year of the contract, retroactive to July 2016;
      • Inclusion of the state’s Family Paid Leave provision in UUP’s contract—making it New York’s first public-sector union to negotiate the policy;
      • Beginning in 2019, a minimum starting salary for part-time academics for each three-credit course they teach. This is the first time that UUP has been successful in negotiating a minimum salary for part-time academics on SUNY's state-operated campuses;
      • A new compensation provision that establishes on-base funds, allowing UUP to address salary compression and inequity at campuses statewide;
      • The reestablishment of on-base discretionary salary income (DSI) increases;
      • Provisions to address hospital needs regarding on-call and holiday pay—which will positively impact UUP professionals at all campuses;
      • Access to a yearly grant to help members pay for their child’s education at a SUNY state-operated campuses.

A copy of the tentative agreement and other detailed information is available on UUP’s Contract Negotiations web page.

Since the May 23 signing of the tentative agreement, UUP officers and Negotiations Team members have visited every chapter to meet with members. Officers and Team members have remained on call to answer any additional questions about the agreement, or to speak with members who were unable to attend their campus meeting.

Officers will continue to be available for final questions during the voting process.

“These are very tough times for unions,” Kowal said. “But UUP stood firm even as other public-sector unions reached settlements, because we negotiate only for our members – we would never let outside pressures dictate such an important decision. I can proudly stand behind this proposal, and I hope that all of you will, too.”

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