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.
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:
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:
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.
Beth E. Wilson
UUP-New Paltz Chapter President
UUP-New Paltz Chapter Executive Committee
|Kevin Saunders||VP Professionalsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Douglas A. Koop||Treasurer||339 email@example.com|
|Peter Brown||Grievance Officer||255 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Glenn McNitt||Officer for Retirees||255 email@example.com|
|Peter Brown||255 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Carol Rietsma||255 email@example.com|
|Glenn McNitt||255 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Susan Puretz||246 email@example.com|
|Abigail Robin||339 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Douglas Koop||339 email@example.com|
|Donna Goodman||255 firstname.lastname@example.org|
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.
NO CHANGES TO FURTHER ARTICLES
Join us to call on the State to talk turkey on our open demands!!
What do we want?
When do we want it?
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.)