I am pleased to inform you that we have reached an agreement with SUNY over the terms for mandatory surveillance testing of campus employees. A summary of the provisions of that agreement is provided below. The full agreement is attached.
We continue to press the Governor’s office for an extension of the telecommuting agreement, and we are making progress there. As for campus testing of students, our pressure at the chapter and statewide levels are having a real impact. It’s clear that campuses are beginning to ramp up testing to increase both the rate of testing and the size of samples to be tested. Our united front on this crucial issue is key to our success — and our members’ health and safety. Thanks to all of you for your diligence and hard work.
Key provisions of the UUP/SUNY agreement on mandatory testing:
The agreement provides that campuses must test employees who are required to report in person to campus for work (whether part or full-time). Testing of UUP-represented employees will be conducted in concert with regular surveillance testing of students on campus.
Campuses must use less invasive tests such as saliva tests, short swab rapid tests, or other short swab tests for mandatory testing. If a campus uses long swab testing employees will not be mandated but may volunteer for testing.
Campuses must consult with UUP chapter representatives on the testing protocols for UUP-represented employees and the campus testing plan and information regarding how samples for testing are constructed, such as the size of pools and the number of employees to be tested shall be provided to UUP chapter representatives.
Testing procedures must ensure that: the identity of individual employees testing remains confidential and is only accessible on a need to know basis; the privacy of employees being tested and the identity of employees who test positive must be protected to the extent possible. Employees must be tested during regular work hours and without cost to the employee. Test results shall not be retained in personnel files or other personnel records and shall not be retained by the campus any longer than is necessary to comply with COVID 19 related public health requirements.
Employees who are quarantined or isolated following a positive test at public health, medical, or campus direction shall be allowed to telecommute to the greatest extent possible. If telecommuting is not possible, the employee shall be permitted to use applicable statutory leaves in accordance with state and federal law and leave accruals as contractually appropriate.
The agreement expires December 31, 2020, subject to possible extension by mutual agreement. View Agreement
I’m happy to answer any questions you may have and I look forward to “seeing” many of you at our regional meetings, starting tomorrow for Western New York.
Stay safe, stay well, and take care… In Solidarity, Fred
Wednesday, September 16, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 14, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 18, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 9, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Fall 2020 Labor Management Meetings (Only Officers Attend) – Zoom Monday, September 21, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday, October 19, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday, November 16, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday, December 21, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Please mark your calendars for the Fall 2020 UUP Executive Board Meetings and Fall 2020 Labor Management Meetings. Dates for the Spring 2021 Executive Board Meetings and Labor Management Meetings have not been finalized as the Spring 2021 calendar is under development. Due to COVID-19, Fall Frolic and the University-Wide Benefits Fair will not be held this year. Members wishing to attend the Executive Board Meetings should email the chapter at least two days prior to the event (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Prescription Drug Phone Scam Targeting Empire Plan Members
The Department of Civil Service is aware that third party companies, unaffiliated with The Empire Plan, are targeting enrollees with offers to obtain medications for no cost or reduced cost. Do not provide your personal information to these companies; they are not authorized by The Empire Plan. If you are able to provide details regarding the call such as the phone number and the medications they say they will cover, please report this information to the Plan by calling the toll-free number at 1-877-7-NYSHIP (1-877-769-7447) and selecting option 4 to reach the Prescription Drug Program. If you have any questions about your Empire Plan prescription drug coverage, please visit www.cs.ny.gov/empireplanrxprogram or call The Empire Plan toll-free number.
Jeri O’Bryan-Losee she/her/hers Statewide Secretary/Treasurer United University Professions Post Office Box 15143 Albany, New York 12212-5143 800 342 4206 / 518 640 6600 www.uupinfo.org
As you know, many of our contingent colleagues have been working along side us for years, demonstrating their commitment to the success of this institution and its mission. They have provided expertise and labor, and are a key part of the excellence that makes Binghamton a “Premier Public University”.
However, the current fiscal challenges have left many of them vulnerable to departmental budget cuts. Some of our long-time colleagues, many who have dedicated years to this institution, are at risk of losing their appointments and/or health insurance in the middle of a global pandemic and economic crisis — a time when both are critical to their security and wellbeing and that of their families. This is unacceptable.
In addition, the faculty and professional staff who remain may be expected to cover the courses or other professional obligations that are now unassigned, without compensation or an equivalent reduction in other professional obligations. This would also be unacceptable.
There are alternatives to consider before eliminating positions, before threatening the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, and before diminishing the quality of the education our students will receive. Together with UUP chapters across the SUNY system, the Binghamton chapter urges our administration to take a strong stance in support of our contingent colleagues. I also encourage each of you to click on the link below, read the petition, and to add your name to show you stand in solidarity with our contingent colleagues! PETITION IN SUPPORT OF CONTINGENT EMPLOYEES
In the context of online course expansion some faculty are being presented with course development agreements that give their campus intellectual property ownership of their courses/course materials. Faculty lose their intellectual property rights only if they sign a written waiver surrendering ownership of their work. Individuals should know the full implications of what they are asked to sign and whether there are possibilities for alternatives that do not relinquish their ownership rights.
Jamie Dangler, PhD Vice President for Academics United University Professions 1-800-342-4206 email@example.com
Nothing is more important than carrying the voices of our membership forward in this difficult time. Our advocacy efforts are multiple and on-going, and I extend a heartfelt thank you to the dedicated members who have sent letters, made phone calls, and joined our social media campaign to protect SUNY and the work UUP does.
We will always be stronger when we are engaging one another and working from the grassroots. In this vein, we are scheduling a series of tele-town halls, which will include a brief presentation on the overall economic perspective of where we are as a state and as a nation, as well as an overview on New York State and national public higher education funding trends. The presentation will then be opened up to our members for a solution-driven discussion. If there is a “best” way to face these unprecedented times, I am certain that together UUP members can and will develop that strategic plan.
The tele-town halls will take place on the following days:
Please follow the registration link and sign-up to attend one of these events. Information on how to log-in to the event will be sent the week of the tele-town hall. Please share information about the tele-town halls as widely as possible.
Your entire statewide team is eager to hear from you!
I am writing to you with a request to add your voice to the thousands of other UUP members advocating to keep our union strong and to protect SUNY. The recently enacted budget has – for now – spared SUNY from budget cuts despite the downturn in the economy. But we must work to guard against likely future cuts and press our representatives in Washington for federal relief in what is expected to be a difficult year ahead.
Please click here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/uupcovid19letter/ to send a letter to your member of the House of Representatives and our United States Senators. Thanks to Senator Schumer, New York received significant resources for state-operated campuses and our hospitals. In addition to the $180 million direct aid to campuses, we will seek funding from other pools of money from the recent stimulus bill. Today, with your voice, we are advocating for additional resources in the next round of stimulus that will preserve our state funding and strengthen the position of SUNY and the work we do. We have been in constant contact with our national affiliate AFT since this crisis has unfolded and they are incorporating our input into their national agenda.
I thank you for your dedication. Our advocacy and work does not stop in these times of crisis, the times demand we do even more.
In an effort to stay in touch during these strange times, the Binghamton Chapter of UUP will be holding virtual office hours on Monday, April 13 from 2:30-3:30 pm using the Zoom conference system. Jamie Dangler, UUP’s Vice-President for Academics will be joining us on the call. Jamie has been an invaluable resource to all of the UUP Chapters during this crisis and will try to answer any questions you have and tell you more about what UUP has been doing to advocate for and protect our members during this crisis.
Because we know your time is limited, and because we’d like to answer as many questions as possible during this call, we are asking that you try to submit some of your questions in advance. To facilitate, we’ve set up this online form:
Please feel free to include as much (or little) information about yourself as you are comfortable providing. The deadline for question submission is end of day Friday, April 10. I will send out the zoom link closer to the date (note: in order to maintain security, the zoom meeting will be password protected).
The UUP website has a direct link to all information related to the Coronavirus. Just click on the Coronavirus link at the top of the page and it will take you to a listing of resources, including a portal which members are using to post questions to us, Fred Kowal video details what UUP working on, and numerous other items. There will be an updated Q & A which reflects the most recent progress UUP has made on issues and the new ones that are coming up thanks to input from so many of you, especially our chapter presidents, who are providing great information to UUP on a daily basis.
Given the current atmosphere on campus, it’s extremely important that professionals understand your rights with regard to the terms and conditions of our contract. Professionals are being delegated duties initially assigned to their supervisor. Compensation for additional duties should be discussed and agreed upon prior to taking on these additional duties.
Understand the basic principles that apply to your professional obligation.
Take advantage of discussing job duties with your supervisor as your Performance Program is being developed
Make sure you have a current Performance Program that accurately reflects your professional obligation
Consult with the chapter leadership if you have questions
Document workload increases
Begin to keep a log of work done in area areas that are subject to workload creep
Use written correspondence to document that you have taken on additional workload for specific reason/projects – and note that you do not consider it to be part of your professional obligation going forward
Make sure your performance Program is modified to reflect workload increases, identifying extra work as such in relation to previous years
A change in duties and responsibilities may warrant a promotion, salary increase, reduction in duties, extra service pay or compensatory time
Consider requesting a salary increase or promotion whey you feel it is warranted especially if your Performance Program shows an increase in duties and responsibilities
If additional duties are added to your performance Program ask for others to be removed, or ask for a salary increase.
Ask for an end date for temporary duties
Ask for a temporary salary increase if duties are temporarily assigned
Professionals can self nominate for a promotion or salary increase during the months of January and June. If you are denied a salary increase or promotion you can appeal to denial to the College Review Panel by contacting the Binghamton Chapter Vice-President for Professionals.
Participate in Workload/Performance Program workshops run by our Labor Relations Specialist
Access the L.E.A.D. Program through the UUP web site to learn more about workload and many other topics.
Keep a copy for The Guide for Professionals handy for tips on how to use your Performance Program to help keep workload in check. Linked here