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For Immediate Release
September 5, 2018

UUP members overwhelmingly ratify new six-year contract

Members of United University Professions, the union that represents more than 35,000 academic and professional faculty at State University of New York (SUNY) state-operated campuses, resoundingly ratified a new six-year contract with New York state.

The contract was approved by 98 percent of eligible voters that cast ballots, the union’s largest contract ratification percentage since the turn of the century. This also marked UUP’s highest vote total for a contract since 2000; 14,582 members voted for the new contract, 334 voted against it, and 19 ballots were invalid.

The American Arbitration Association, which conducted the ratification vote, tallied the votes today.

“At a time when organized labor is under attack like never before in America, UUP members stepped up in record numbers and voted for our new contract,” said UUP President Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D. “This vote comes on the heels of the Janus case, and proves without a doubt that UUP members strongly support this contact and their union.”

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. Until today, UUP has been without a new contract since July 1, 2016.

"Our goal was to secure a fair and equitable contract for all of our members, and the strong approval of this contract shows that our members believe that we met that goal," Kowal said.

"I’d like to thank Gov. Cuomo for his willingness to work with us on a contract that was embraced by our members,” Kowal continued. “The governor wanted us to have a contract, and his involvement played a key role in securing these gains for our members.

UUP officers and Negotiations Team members visited every campus to meet with members since UUP and the state signed the tentative contract 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.

"Our Negotiations Team was instrumental in delivering our new contact to UUP,” Kowal said. “Thank you to Chief Negotiator Mike Smiles, assistant negotiators Pamela Malone and Jason Torre, and NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Philippe Abraham, who served as chief negotiator before leaving for NYSUT in 2017."

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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