July 2, 2020
UUP members at SUNY campuses across the state haven’t let the coronavirus pandemic and a recession stop them from making a difference.
Members have stood up for social justice by organizing and attending local Black Lives Matter rallies and community-based events like the AFL-CIO’s Workers First Caravan for Racial and Economic Justice.
They’ve set up a series of virtual town hall panel discussions with local state elected representatives. The events, hosted by UUP have included candid conversations with officials such as Assembly members William Magnarelli, Mark Walczyk, Carrie Woerner and Patricia Fahy.
And UUP members have provided aid and support to colleagues and their communities by hosting online workshops and seminars to help people deal with the coronavirus crisis.
“It’s our members that are out there setting the course,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “Supporting and activating members is key for our member-driven union. I am proud to be a UUP member and could not be prouder to work alongside my colleagues to make a difference during a very difficult time.”
Leading the way
Earlier this month, the Empire State College chapter held a series of virtual workshops titled “Helpful Resources in the Time of COVID,” which focused on self-care and caring for parents and older family members and friends.
The Oneonta, Stony Brook, Downstate and Fredonia chapters have also actively worked to help members and their communities cope with the impact of the pandemic. Downstate and Stony Brook HSC members have tirelessly—and successfully—pursued donations of personal protective equipment for members on the front lines of coronavirus.
The Stony Brook Chapter has taken several public stands, including passing a resolution condemning the rise in anti-Asian rhetoric in connection with the coronavirus outbreak.
And UUP members have vigorously taken up the task of advocating for SUNY. They’ve sent letters, made calls and spoken up at virtual town halls held by UUP and the AFT to call for passage of the HEROES Act, and to push for taxes on ultra-millionaires and billionaires.
UUP members can continue to apply pressure and advocate for support for our SUNY, communities, students and patients by taking four quick actions:
- Urge colleagues to sign a petition for SUNY to hold a virtual public hearing in July to address concerns about reopening campuses in the fall. CLICK HERE to sign the petition.
- Volunteer to call NYSUT and UUP members who live outside New York and push them to press U.S. senators to pass the HEROES Act. CLICK HERE to volunteer.
- Send e-letters through an AFT web portal telling your senators to support crucial pieces of the HEROES Act; those measures would send billions in federal dollars to states to fund public education, and police, firefighters, health care providers and other essential workers. CLICK HERE to send the e-letter.
- Send e-letters to your state legislative leaders telling them to tax the ultra-rich. CLICK HERE to send an e-letter.