June 8, 2023
Negotiators for UUP and the state have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract for our union.
If ratified, the contract would take effect immediately and run through July 1, 2026. It would be retroactive to July 1, 2022, which is when the union’s current contract expired; UUP has been without a new contract since then.
Above left, Michael Volforte, director of the New York State Office of Employee Relations, and Kowal sign the tentative agreement at UUP's statewide offices in Albany County.
“This is an historic agreement that builds upon the gains achieved in our last contract, all while addressing many of our members’ current concerns,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “It is a fair and equitable agreement with reasonable salary increases, minimum salary gains for part-time contingent faculty and other enhancements important to our members. This agreement enhances UUP members' professional lives, and that is good news for our students, patients and campus communities.”
Both sides reached consensus on the new pact June 6; a joint press statement from UUP and Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office was issued June 8. Read the release HERE.
“I'm exceedingly proud of this contract,” said UUP Chief Negotiator Bret Benjamin. “It is the richest agreement that we have seen in years. As important, it achieves structural changes that UUP has been fighting to win for decades.
“We look forward to presenting the details of the tentative agreement to the Negotiations Committee shortly, and if they approve it, to the full membership for ratification,” he continued. “Heartfelt thanks to Fred Kowal, (Counsel to the President) Elizabeth Hough, and the amazing Negotiations Team, who have worked tirelessly and with so much care and integrity throughout this process.”
What happens now?
UUP’s Negotiations Committee—made up of a representative from each chapter plus an at-large part-time professional and an at-large part-time academic—must approve the tentative agreement before it can be put up for a ratification vote by UUP members. The committee is set to meet June 21; details about the agreement will be made available at that time, provided the committee votes to recommend the agreement for a ratification vote, Benjamin said.
Only UUP members may vote on the agreement. You can sign up online to become a UUP member at www.uupinfo.org/join.
Details about the tentative agreement will be available on UUP’s password-protected Members Only portal once the Negotiations Committee approves the pact for ratification by members.
A ratification vote could occur in late summer. However, a date and process for a ratification vote has not been set.
Over the summer, Kowal and Negotiations Team members are set to visit each campus to explain the proposal to members and answer questions about the tentative agreement prior to the vote. Statewide virtual town hall sessions will also be held to provide all UUP members access to full and accurate information about the contract.
UUP’s contract negotiations began three years ago with the selection of Benjamin as chief negotiator and the 12-member Negotiations Team (see page 18). Team members visited campuses—virtually and in-person—over the next year to get input from members on what they wanted to see in a new contract. Formal negotiations with the state started May 27, 2022.