Archive for United University Professions

Labor Day Parade in NYC Saturday, Sepember 6

LaborDayPoster2UUP wants you, your family and your friends to march with labor in Manhattan

Sign up now for a bus trip to New York City to take part in the annual New York City Labor Day Parade. The parade is set for Saturday, Sept. 6. Click here to sign up for the Albany bus or click on the link above this paragraph.

UUP will offer FREE transportation to NYC and back. The bus from Albany will stop in New Paltz to pick up folks around 8.45 AM at the Rt. 32 bus stop near the Haggerty Administration Building. UUP will also provide free meals.

This huge parade begins 10 AM at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 44th Street, and continues up Fifth Avenue to 64th Street. UUP members, family and friends will get free UUP T-shirts to wear as they march.

For those getting to the City on their own and wishing to meet up with us, the UUP contingent will assemble around 12.30 PM on West 47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

UUP President Fred Kowal said he expects as many as 500 UUP members to march in the parade. Thousands of unionists from New York City and across the state will take part in the event.

New York State AFL-CIO Issues Endorsements for November Elections

AFL-CIO logo

The New York State AFL-CIO has endorsed a slate of more than 200 candidates for statewide, legislative, and congressional seats in November’s midterm election.

The powerful federation, which represents 2.5 million workers and retirees from public and private sector and building trades unions across New York, declined to issue an endorsement for the state’s gubernatorial race at its Aug. 18 endorsement convention. NYSUT has also passed on backing a candidate for governor in November.

UUP and NYSUT are affiliated with the New York State AFL-CIO.

“Our members want a state that prioritizes the creation of good, long-term jobs and strong investment in the public services all New Yorkers rely on,” said federation President Mario Cliento. “ But that only happens if we elect the right candidates to office. Union members from throughout the state will work together in a coordinated effort to ensure that our endorsed candidates, and in turn an agenda that puts workers and their families first, are successful on election day.”

As a union, UUP does not endorse candidates. However, UUP’s statewide officers and more than 20 UUP members were part of a delegation of more than 400 NYSUT members that participated in the endorsement convention, and voted for candidates to endorse.

“We approve of the list of candidates that the New York State AFL-CIO has chosen to endorse, and UUP will work to support those candidates,” said UUP President Fred Kowal.

The federation is backing two statewide candidates, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. It endorsed 26 Congressional candidates, 63 state Senate candidates and 147 candidates for state Assembly; it will review endorsements for three Assembly seats after September primaries.

To support candidates, the federation will contact members at home through member mailings, flyers, phone bank operations, and a “labor-to-neighbor” program, where union members visit area members to talk about specific races.

View complete list of 2014 NYS AFL-CIO endorsements for state Assembly and Senate
View complete list of 2014 NYS AFL-CIO endorsements for Congress

AFT Demands an End to Exploitation of Contingent Faculty

aftThe American Federation of Teachers (AFT), UUP’s national affiliate with 1.6 million members, issued a strong call for “ending the exploitation of contingent faculty.” At SUNY New Paltz, fully half of the teaching faculty are contingents, with over 200 part-time adjuncts and some 70 full-time lecturers.

In a series of resolutions passed at AFT’s convention, meeting July 11-14 in Los Angeles, AFT demanded pay equity for contingents, including compensation for class preparation time and office hours. Further demands include:

• Equitable access to employee benefits;

• Access to and compensation for opportunities for professional development;

• Meaningful job security, including job security comparable to tenure, long-term academic appointment contracts or certificates of continuing employment, which guarantee the presumption of rehiring;

• Opportunities for career advancement, including conversion opportunities to full-time, tenure-track positions;

• Enforceable standards for the timely notification of teaching appointments;

• Protections for academic freedom, regardless of tenure status; and

• Full inclusion in and compensation for participation in all institutional work, including service, research and governance.


Statement by UUP President Fred Kowal on Harris v. Quinn ruling


On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Harris v. Quinn, a long-awaited case that could have gutted unions by barring them from collecting agency fees from non-members.

The case was brought by a group of Illinois home-care workers who refused to pay their fair share of their union’s costs to represent them in collective bargaining agreements. The court ruled that the home-care workers should be considered as “partial public employees,” and not be forced to pay their fair share—known in New York as agency fee—even though they would still be represented by their union.

In essence, these home-care workers would be “free riders,” contrary to the Supreme Court’s landmark 1977 case Abood vs. Detroit Board of Education, which asserted labor’s constitutional right to collect dues and collectively bargain for public workers.

UUP’s ability to represent its 35,000 members isn’t impaired by the Harris ruling, which does not apply to “full-fledged” public employees such as SUNY academics and professionals, teachers, police officers and firemen who work in the public sector.

Strong anti-union forces bankrolled and supported the case. The National Right to Work Committee Legal Defense Fund represented the home-care workers. The Legal Defense Fund is linked with the billionaire Koch brothers, the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Cato Institute, among other anti-union advocates.

Read entire article here.