February 24 — Day of Action!!


Statement to the UUP-New Paltz Membership

Near the end of last semester, an email raising concerns regarding the union’s work on behalf of its members was sent to the fac-staff list. This statement is intended to clarify the union’s role with regard to the grievance/disciplinary process, and also to express our solidarity on issues that have recently risen to prominence nationally regarding sexual harassment.

Grievance/Disciplinary Process

As the legally designated agent for our members, UUP has a binding responsibility to provide fair representation on behalf of all bargaining unit members. This means that when any member is subject to potential disciplinary action, regardless of the charges, and whether or not those charges may be substantiated, we are obligated to act on behalf of that member to ensure that the Administration observes the rules for discipline as negotiated in our statewide Agreement.

Determination of a member’s guilt or innocence with regard to the facts of the case is a product of the disciplinary process itself, and neither the union nor its officers take any formal position with regard to the substance of allegations being brought forth against or in defense of any member.  We probably all agree that anyone who has engaged in inappropriate behavior should be disciplined.  But we should also recognize the importance of due process rights and the union’s legal obligation to protect those rights.  This process protects us all from unfair treatment if we ever find ourselves accused of misconduct.

Sexual Harassment and Bullying

Sexual harassment, assault, and bullying can create a toxic workplace, and the rise of the #metoo movement has served to magnify attention on these issues within our society. These abuses are all too common everywhere, but it should be clarified that there no disciplinary cases involving sexual harassment, assault or bullying have been brought to the UUP recently. UUP officials, including grievance representatives, have handled other types of cases in accordance with our legal obligations as described above.  But given heightened attention to these issues nationally, we have an opportunity to come together as a community to ensure a safe workplace for all.  We are taking steps to improve practices within the UUP to ensure that all concerns are handled with the utmost sensitivity, even when we may be legally unable to address some member concerns.

The UUP-New Paltz Chapter is also planning a series of events in which members can raise concerns, questions, and comments in light of #metoo in academia, including:

  • Invited speakers, including a talk on sexual assault and the suppression of action in academia by Dr. T. Nikki Cesare Schotzko scheduled for February 20, from 5-6:30 pm, in CSB Auditorium.
  • Title IX workshop with statewide VP for Academics Jamie Dangler
  • A teach-in or other event to facilitate community discussion on these important issues

Communication Regarding Union Business

We want to reiterate that the fac-staff list is not an appropriate place to conduct union business. However, we recognize that an open electronic forum for UUP members does not exist, and we are working to rectify that in the following ways:

  • We are researching ways to communicate openly, since we cannot host our own open list serve on the New Paltz college servers. Please stay tuned for information about that.
  • In order to ensure that UUP members feel heard, we plan to continue to hold open forums in which members are invited to share their concerns. With the unprecedented level of anti-union sentiment in our country, it is important that we see the vast number of constituents and concerns as a strength rather than an impediment.

None of the above suggested activities or policies is the sole prerogative of your elected officers and delegates—rather, we, together, are the union, and the union is only as strong as its members. The direction that we take next depends on all of us, collectively. Together, we really can make a difference. Divided, we will be left to fend for ourselves.

If any member should have a concern, whether about how they are being treated in the workplace, or about our union, they should feel free to contact any member of the UUP-New Paltz Chapter leadership, listed below, for assistance. The union is not any single individual, it is all of us—and we all endeavor to listen to and support each other.

In solidarity,

Beth E. Wilson

UUP-New Paltz Chapter President

bwilson@uupmail.org, x2783

and the

UUP-New Paltz Chapter Executive Committee


Chapter Officers:

Gowri Parameswaran

VP Academics x2629 paramesg@newpaltz.edu  
Kevin Saunders VP Professionals x3893 saunderk@newpaltz.edu  
Linda Suszcynski Secretary x3181 suszczyl@newpaltz.edu  
Douglas A. Koop Treasurer 339 9945 koopd@newpaltz.edu  
Peter Brown Grievance Officer 255 4302 brownp@newpaltz.edu  
Glenn McNitt Officer for Retirees 255 1398 mcnittfg@newpaltz.edu  
Academic Delegates:
Peter Brown 255 4302 brownp@newpaltz.edu  
Carol Rietsma 255 6377 rietsmac@newpaltz.edu  
Kiersten Greene x2887 greenek@newpaltz.edu  
Glenn McNitt 255 1398 mcnittfg@newpaltz.edu  
Stephen Pampinella x3549 pampines@newpaltz.edu  
Faheem Haider x3875 haiderf@newpaltz.edu  
Susan Puretz 246 1823 puretzs@newpaltz.edu  
Abigail Robin 339 7299 robina@hawkmail.newpaltz.edu  
Vanessa Plumly x3509 plumlyv@newpaltz.edu  
Douglas Koop 339 9945 koopd@newpaltz.edu  
Colleen Lougen x3729 lougenc@newpaltz.edu  
Frantz Folmer-Anderson X3796 andersef@newpaltz.edu  
Karl Bryant x3035 bryantk@newpaltz.edu  
Brian Obach x3447 obachb@newpaltz.edu  
Professional Delegates:
Michael Malloy x2385 malloym@newpaltz.edu  
Donna Goodman 255 5779 goodmand@hawkmail.newpaltz.edu  
Wayne Lempka x3845 lempkaw@newpaltz.edu  
Amanda Merritt x2335 merritta@newpaltz.edu  
Nancy Cooney x3572 cooneyn@newpaltz.edu  

statement to membership Jan 2018 PDF

UUP-New Paltz Chapter Revised Bylaws

The UUP New Paltz Chapter’s Executive Committee has undertaken an extensive process to update and revise its chapter bylaws. The standing version of our bylaws dates to 2000, and since then there have been a number of statewide UUP constitutional changes that we needed to incorporate; in addition, we have taken the opportunity to clarify the language in some articles, and to re-organize our officer and committee structure to reflect the Chapter’s needs as we move forward.

The Executive Summary that follows outlines the major changes incorporated in this new document, the full text of which is available as a pdf here: Revised bylaws Dec 2017. These new Bylaws were officially recommended to the membership by the Chapter Executive Committee at its meeting on December 4, and formally presented to the Chapter membership at our end of semester gathering on December 13.

Ratifcation of these newly revised Bylaws happens through a mail vote of the membership; please follow the directions included in the letter detailing the process of marking your ballot and returning it.

Many thanks to Executive Committee members Wayne Lempka and Amanda Merritt, and to our Labor Relations Specialist Bill Capowski, for their diligent work on this document.

Executive Summary of Major Changes

Definitions of membership categories and requirements changed in accordance with UUP Bylaws template.
3.1.2 Added: “… UUP Constitution, copies of which are in the Chapter Office and on the UUP website” here and throughout.
4.2 Deleted requirement to have meeting one week before DA to reflect current actual practice.
4.3 Changed 20% membership requirements to 10% here and throughout.
5.1 Changed Part-Timers to Contingents in accordance with UUP Constitution, dropped Designated Election Official to reflect current practice. UUP now supports Chapter elections.
5.2.4 Changed to reflect practice of keeping notes of Chapter meeting and minutes of Executive Committee meetings.
5.2.5 Treasurer duties made more specific.
5.2.7 New: Membership Development Officer.
5.2.8 New: Retiree Rights & Concerns Officer
5.4 Changed: VP for Contingents elected, no longer appointed by Chapter President; added Officer for Retirees and Membership Development Officer.
6.1.3 New: Disability Rights & Concerns Chair
7.1 d New language on delegate status of Vice President for Contingents.
New details on appointment and responsibilities of Area Representatives from
UUP Chapter Bylaws template.

Added: Standing Committees to make regular updates on activities to Executive Committee.
Added: Chapter President is ex officio member of Committees. Removed this statement from duties of President as per new bylaws template.
9.2.1 Academic Concerns Committee is new.
9.2.3 Added: provision for social media. Direction/limitations will come from UUP.
9.2.5 Disability Rights & Concerns Committee is new.
9.2.6 Added: Requirement for Grievance Committee member to attend statewide Grievance Committee meetings when necessary.
9.2.9 Retiree Rights and Concerns Committee is new.
9.3 New: Executive Committee establishes ad hoc committees.



Rally for a FAIR Contract!!

Join us to call on the State to talk turkey on our open demands!!

 When:  Thursday, November 16, Noon to 1:00 pm

Where: On the concourse in front of Humanities


What do we want?

  • ON BASE raises for all members
  • AFFORDABLE, accessible health insurance
  • a LIVING WAGE for adjuncts
  • equitable FAMILY LEAVE provisions

When do we want it?

  • NOW

Come attend our rally to make our voices heard– and wear RED!!

(UUP t-shirts are available at the union office, LC 6D, basement of the Lecture Center.)