June 29, 2020
The following email was sent to union leaders June 26 by UUP President Fred Kowal:
We have received notification from the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations that the state is delaying implementation of the 2 percent across-the-board salary increases due to our members July 1 or Sept. 1 (depending on obligation).
At this time, the state has indicated that these raises will be delayed to Sept. 30, subject to further review at that time. The state has informed us that this is a delay in payment of the July1/Sept. 1 increase, not a cancellation of the raise.
The delay of the increase for our members mirrors the delay of the 2 percent increases that were due to other state employees beginning April 1. It is our understanding that the April 1 increases for other state bargaining units have also been delayed to Sept. 30, subject to further review at that time.
As we know, the 2 percent increase due July 1/Sept. 1 is contractually provided for in the 2016-2022 State/UUP Agreement. We are reviewing all options available to us to assure that the state honors its contractual obligation. This will include filing a statewide class action grievance to challenge the state’s failure to implement the 2 percent increase on a timely basis.
While we did not agree with or accept the state’s decision, we understand that it is driven by the state budget crisis that has developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To address this crisis, it is crucial that the federal government provides desperately assistance to state and local governments across the country, including New York.
This support is provided in the federal HEROES Act which has passed the House of Representatives but has yet to be taken up by the Senate. Just as we asked members to advocate to pass the CARES Act, we are also asking members to advocate for passage of the HEROES Act. Specific information about what you can do to help will be available next week.
UUP President Fred Kowal