Sept. 5, 2018

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UUP members say YES! to new six-year contract with state

uupdate 8-22-18

Click here to read UUP's contract ratification media release

Click here to read the state's media release on UUP's contract ratification

UUP has a new contract with the state!

Nearly 98 percent of eligible members that cast ballots voted for the new six-year pact, culminating in a resounding win for the union. UUP President Fred Kowal and members of UUP's Negotiations Team. The contract provides 2 percent salary increases each year, retroactive to July 2016.

“We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of the vote,” said Kowal. “Our members spoke loudly that this fair and equitable agreement is one that they strongly support. It’s a contract we worked hard for, and one that our members deserve.”

Nearly 15,000 members certified to vote on the contract cast ballots, one of the largest vote tallies in the union's 46-year history. It was a lopsided victory, 14,582-334; there were 19 invalid ballots. The American Arbitration Association conducted the ratification vote Sept. 5.

"This vote comes just months after the Janus decision, which so many corporate CEOs and ultra-rich union-busters saw as the beginning of the end of organized labor," Kowal said. "This shows that UUP members are dedicated to their union and that UUP is stronger than ever."

Highlights of the contract include:

      • 2 percent salary increases each year of the contract, retroactive to July 2016;
      • Coverage under the state’s Paid Family Leave Law—making UUP New York’s first state employee union to negotiate into the statutory benefit;
      • Starting in 2019, a minimum salary for part-time academics who are compensated on a per-course basis. After years of effort, this is an historic gain for part-time academics on SUNY’s state-operated campuses;
      • Dedicated on-base funds to address salary compression at campuses statewide;
      • The re-establishment of on-base discretionary salary increases (DSI);
      • Provisions to address hospital needs regarding on-call and holiday pay; and
      • Professional development and other grants to address the professional needs of UUP members and SUNY.

The contract is retroactive to July 2, 2016, and runs through July 1, 2022. UUP had been without a new contract since July 1, 2016.

Kowal thanked Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his willingness to work with UUP on a contract that members would approve.

“The governor wanted us to have a contract, and his involvement played a key role in securing these gains for our members,” Kowal said.

UUP's president also thanked Chief Negotiator Mike Smiles, assistant negotiators Pamela Malone and Jason Torre, and members of UUP’s Negotiations Team and Negotiations Committee for their fine work. He also thanked NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Philippe Abraham, who served as chief negotiator before leaving for NYSUT in 2017.

UUP officers and Negotiations Team members visited every campus to meet with members since the May 23 signing of the tentative agreement. Negotiations Team members also traveled to campuses in 2015 to listen to members’ concerns and identify the issues to address in a new contract.

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