August 25, 2023
UUP has a new four-year contract!
UUP members overwhelmingly voted to ratify the new contract with the state in one of the largest vote totals ever recorded in UUP’s 50-year history.
The four-year agreement was ratified by 96.4 percent of members who cast ballots; the vote count was 14,900 to 556. Nearly half of all eligible voters voted in the ratification election.
MK Election Services, which conducted the ratification vote, tallied the votes Aug. 24. This is the first time that UUP members voted electronically to ratify a contract. Members cast votes between Aug. 10 and Aug. 24.
“This contract contains historic gains for our members and builds on advances made in our last contract,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “It rewards our members at SUNY’s public teaching hospitals—who were on the front lines of the pandemic—raises minimum salaries for our lowest-paid members and provides 12 weeks of parental leave with pay.
“We won this agreement because we are a union,” said Kowal. “We speak with one loud, strong voice, which is why Chief Negotiator Bret Benjamin and our Negotiations Team were able to deliver a contract that was emphatically ratified by our members.”
The new contract includes across-the-board raises, on-base retention awards for full-time employees and per-course minimum payment increases for contingents. It raises minimum salaries for UUP’s lowest-paid academics and professionals.
Bargaining unit members will receive a $3,000 lump-sum bonus (not on base, paid in 2024 and 2025, and pro-rated for part-time employees) and access to the state’s new Paid Parental Leave program.
Highlights of the contract include:
- Across-the-board raises, with a 2% raise for 2022 and 3% raises for 2023, 2024 and 2025;
- Retention awards that bring on-base salary increases based on length of service to full-time employees who work seven years, and then 12 years;
- Per-course minimum increases for adjunct and part-time faculty. Contingents at University centers and health sciences centers will be paid $6,000 per three-credit course by 2026; contingents at comprehensive and technical campuses will receive $5,500;
- Living wage increases which raise minimum salaries for UUP’s lowest-paid academic ranks and professional grades;
- The state’s new Paid Parental Leave program, which provides 12 weeks of leave at full pay for birth, adoption or foster placement, taken anytime within seven months of such an event;
- No increases in basic health insurance costs, including employee premium shares, co-payments, annual deductibles or co-insurance maximums;
- Improved job security for contingent employees; and
- For members at SUNY's public teaching hospitals, holiday pay for comp time or state holidays.
Also included are on-call pay increases for hospital workers, and increased location adjustment pay for members on Long Island and in New York City.
The contract is retroactive to July 2, 2022, and runs through July 1, 2026. UUP and state negotiators tentatively agreed on the new contract June 6.
"I’d like to thank Gov. Hochul for her willingness to collaborate with us to achieve a fair and equitable contract that our members ratified in large numbers,” Kowal said.
Before the vote, Kowal, Benjamin, UUP Counsel to the President Elizabeth Hough and Negotiations Team members spent two months traveling to chapters across the state and holding virtual town hall sessions to explain the agreement to members.
"Our Negotiations Team did an incredible job of negotiating a superb contract that our members embraced,” said Kowal. “Thank you to Bret, Elizabeth, the Negotiations Team and UUP staff, who spent countless hours bringing this to fruition.”
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.
Members can find out many more details about the contract in UUP’s Negotiations Bulletin, which can be found on the password-protected Members Only portal on UUP’s website.