Negotiations Virtual Town Halls


Good news! Contract negotiations between UUP and the State are set to begin this Friday (5/27/22).

UUP will be presenting our conceptual proposals—an overview of all the areas of the contract that we intend to bargain in this round—to the State this Friday. These proposals were developed by the Negotiations Team using feedback from members collected via the negotiations survey and virtual town halls, and approved by Chapter leaders on the Negotiations Committee. The proposals will be posted to the UUP Members Only section of the website by 5 pm on Tuesday, May 31.

We want members to know about UUP’s ambitious bargaining agenda—what we’re fighting for and why it matters. UUP Chief Negotiator Bret Benjamin and Counsel to the President Elizabeth Hough will be hosting four members-only virtual town halls on June 8 (12 PM & 4 PM) and June 9 (12 PM & 7 PM) to discuss the conceptual proposals. Please join us for one of the town halls by registering here. We ask that you only register for one session so that all members have an opportunity to actively participate.

Thank you to all who shared ideas for negotiations priorities with Bret and the team. With your input, I believe the team has developed a balanced list of priorities that will benefit all UUP members. Please stay tuned for additional opportunities to support the negotiations team statewide and on your campus.

In solidarity,

Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D.
United University Professions

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Beat the Winter Blues 2022

Have the cold, gray days got you down?

United University Professions (UUP)
Binghamton Chapter
invites faculty and professional staff to

“Beat the Winter Blues”

Wednesday, March 30, 2022
4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Mandela Room
University Union

Join us for hot hors d’oeuvres, mini pastries,
cold beer, wine, soda, water and good company.
Music will be provided by the Harpur Jazz Conspiracy Quartet.
There will be a short discussion of membership issues
as part of the festivities.

This is a member only event, membership cards will be available at the door to join UUP.

Please RSVP to Linda O’Branski, Chapter Assistant by
Wednesday, March 23 at 777-4382 or email

Department Representatives

The UUP’s Binghamton Chapter is looking to expand its Department Representatives (Reps). As we prepare for contract negotiations, we must have an active and engaged Department Rep System to communicate essential information to and from our union members. It’s a simple way to take an active role in supporting your Union. Please consider becoming a Representative for your department.

Department Reps serve as the “face” of UUP to members they represent and are the Chapter’s “heart and soul.” Some other responsibilities include: 

  • Become better informed on contractional obligations
  •  Improve your working conditions by alerting UUP Chapter Officers of concerns regarding contract violations or other problems in your department.
  • Facilitate two-way communication between members and chapter leaders. 
  • Attend Department Rep and General membership meetings to raise concerns, request information, and bring information back to your leaders.  
  • Have conversations with non-members about becoming union members and encourage members to become active in UUP.  
  • Help to ensure UUP signage on campus in every building/department. 

To become a Department Rep., complete the Department Rep Contact Information Form

In solidarity, 

Come advocate for SUNY funding

Come visit the UUP table to get information about the need for additional SUNY funding in this year’s state budget. UUP is fighting for state support to Binghamton University and other SUNY institutions.

Where: Spine A1, located just outside the University Union
When: Wednesday, March 2nd from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

Hear from UUP President Fred Kowal at 11:15 am

Download flyer

Unions + Contracts 101: a UUP lunchtime reading group

Interested in learning more about what unions are? Curious about the Contract as we move into negotiations this spring? Join us for Unions + Contracts 101, a lunchtime reading group. 

This lunchtime book club will first focus on what unions are, how we can organize to build member-based power in UUP as we move into contract negotiations. The second part will focus on what our union contract is and why it is so important. Many of our members have likely meant to crack its pages to understand their rights as workers, but perhaps felt daunted by its legal jargon and length. Many aspects of our daily work lives are dictated by this contract, and we are on the verge of entering a new round of negotiations between UUP and New York State, so it is important for UUP members to have familiarity with this document in order to advocate for ourselves in the workplace and in upcoming negotiations. 

It has three goals:

1) We can protect ourselves and our colleagues better when we know our current rights.

2) We are better able to gain wins in contract negotiations when our members have read and understand their current contract.

3) It is a chance for us to gather, break bread, and share social time with one another over lunch. 

Please fill out this form
no later than 2/9 to sign up to reserve your lunches and allow time to place orders for books. This program is only available to UUP members. Questions? Contact Claire Kovacs.

All meetings will take place from noon-1 pm (location TBD). All participants will be provided lunch, a paper copy of the current Contract, and copies of the three books generously provided by UUP.


February 16: Michael Yates, Why Unions Matter, Chapters 1 + 4 

March 2: Jane McAlevey, No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age, Chapters 1 + 2

March 30: Drescher, Scheuerman, and Steen, United University Professions: Pioneering in Higher Education Unionism, Chapter 6 + Introduction and Overview of the UUP/NYS Contract (with Chris Sielaff, Labor Relation Specialist)

April 20: Drescher et al, Chapter 7 + Conversation about Selected Contract Sections (with Chris Sielaff, LRS; exact sections TBD by participants)

May 18: McAlevey, Chapters  4 + 7

2021 UUP Salary Compression Analysis and Distribution Message from President Fred Kowal

The 2016-2022 NYS/UUP contract established four annual salary pools, each one-half percent (0.5%) of total basic annual salaries at each campus, for distribution to eligible UUP-represented employees to address salary compression. Generally, salary compression exists when the salaries of more experienced employees have not increased sufficiently relative to the salaries of colleagues hired later. Click here for the full message.

Mandatory COVID-19 Testing

Memorandum of Understanding
The State University of New York
United University Professions
Mandatory COVID 19 Testing of Employees In the Professional Services Negotiating Unit

Due to the unprecedented public health crisis presented by the COVID 19 pandemic and the critical need to quickly identify and control the spread of COVID 19 infections on state-operated SUNY campuses, and in the best interest of the entire SUNY community, the State University of New York and the United University Professions hereby reach the following agreement: Click here for the full text of the agreement.

Negotiations concerns survey/townhall

Statewide Negotiations Update:

Colleagues, the statewide negotiations team has asked for membership to provide your top 3 concerns that you would like to see addressed in the next contract outside of the following concerns and issues that are already a priority

  1. Across the board raises
  2. General maintenance of health benefits
  3. General support for a telecommuting policy that is more flexible/applicable across the membership

Here is a form for you to input your top 3 concerns you would like addressed outside of the above no later than 12/31/21

Please fill out the negotiations survey if you have not already done so.

One last way you can share your perspective and concerns:
In December, the contract negotiations team will hold specific town hall sessions for specific groups of members to give them a chance to share their issues

Below are the links for each membership group:

December 3: noon-1:30 pm

December 8: noon-1:30 pm
December 9: 6:30-8:00 pm

December 10: noon-1:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Residential Life Vaccination Eligibility Update


The following email was sent from SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras to campus presidents and safety monitors. The message expands the 1B New York State vaccination category to include individuals in residential life who do programming with students as part of their assigned duties. 

This step is the first success UUP has had in our efforts to include all in-person professional staff (and academic and professional librarians) in 1B. The efforts have been ongoing for several weeks now and we are not stopping our efforts on behalf of our colleagues. Just yesterday, I sent a letter to the Governor demanding that all in-person professional staff be included in 1B. We have also started a petition drive to get all in-person professionals eligible for vaccination. We need to get everyone to sign, so if you haven’t done so, please do. If you have, please spread the word! This one is easy: We should have every member of our union signed on!

I want to thank Ed Quinn, chapter president at the Stony Brook University Chapter for bringing to my attention Cornell University’s actions regarding the residential life staff at Cornell. Ed shared with me the email that went out to all res life staff at Cornell that made them eligible for vaccination if they were involved in student programming. Ed bringing this to my attention gave me the example that I could take to the Chancellor and that he has now endorsed for SUNY. This is how our union works best: Through the sharing of information across our organization so that we can advocate successfully for each other. Thanks, Ed!

Once again, this is only a start. But, it is a start. Now let’s get the Governor to take the step that must be taken: Make all in-person professionals eligible and let’s get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Stay safe and well…

In Solidarity,
Fred Kowal

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