The People’s Climate March was a march for the ages, and UUP was a part of it.
Dressed in blue T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Climate Justice,” more than 40 UUP members joined hundreds of thousands of their labor sisters and brothers, environmental activists, students, actors, musicians, and other demonstrators calling for curbing climate change in the Sept. 21 march.
More than 310,000 people marched in the Manhattan protest; organizers, who expected about 100,000 participants, called the event the largest climate march in history. It dovetailed with climate change marches worldwide.
The march went off just days before a Sept. 23 U.N. summit in New York City on climate change.
“It’s imperative that we’re here,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “I think what we’re trying to do is to bring some healing about for the planet and for our students because they’re going to inherit this world.” MORE
UUP President Fred Kowal said he wanted UUP to march in the 2014 New York City Labor Day Parade to demonstrate the union’s strength to politicians, candidates, unionists and anyone who was watching.
Mission accomplished, and then some.
More than 300 UUP members, along with family members and friends, marched proudly up Fifth Avenue, joining thousands of unionists from New York City and across the state in the parade.
Members fell in behind UUP President Fred Kowal and the union’s statewide officers, chanting and waving signs that said “Speak Up for Workers” and “Labor Works for You.” They smiled, waved and even blew kisses on a sweltering, humid day with temperatures in the mid-90s.
There were no complaints, only gritty determination as members, wearing red UUP shirts, marched 17 blocks up the sun-drenched avenue, handing pencils to parade goers who cheered as they walked past.
“We’re showing our strength, our solidarity, and our willingness to literally take to the streets in defense of the work that we do,” said Kowal. More
Resolution Opposing the NYSUT Endorsement of Congressman Chris Gibson
Whereas, The board of directors of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) voted in June 2012 to endorse Republican Chris Gibson over Democrat Julian Schreibman in the newly-created 19th Congressional District race;
Whereas, NYSUT is an affiliate of the United University Professions (UUP), and the UUP statewide organization has membership on the NYSUT executive board, and the UUP is bound by NYSUT endorsements;
Whereas, The NYSUT local presidents voted to take a position of neutrality on the race between Chris Gibson and Julian Schreibman;
Whereas, The NYSUT board of directors initially adopted a stance of neutrality on the race between Chris Gibson and Julian Schreibman, and then later changed their position to endorse Chris Gibson without consulting the NYSUT local presidents;
Whereas, Chris Gibson supported Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget plan which would – among other things – devastate education funding;
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted to extend Bush-era tax cuts through 2013;
Whereas, Chris Gibson has voted to support voucher programs for education, depriving public schools of important funding;
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted in support of school vouchers in Washington, D.C., schools;
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted in support of increasing the interest rates on student loans;
Whereas, AFT and NYSUT’s own ranking of Chris Gibson on Education issues before Congress is a mere 38%;
Whereas, Chris Gibson has called for the scaling back or closing down of the Department of Education;
Whereas, Chris Gibson has voted to prevent the E.P.A. from spending money to enforce its standards regarding the reduction of mercury emissions from cement plants across the U.S.;
Whereas, Chris Gibson has supported building additional nuclear power plants along the Hudson River;
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted in support of the Defense of Marriage Act and this year voted twice against efforts to repeal it, and opposes same-sex marriage;
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted to restrict the ability of unions to organize and effectively enforce safe labor standards;
Whereas, Chris Gibson was rated at a shockingly low 14% by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (a grade of “F” on worker’s issues);
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted to ban federal health coverage that includes abortion; and
Whereas, A vote for Chris Gibson is also a vote for the anti-labor, anti-education leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives;
Resolved, That the UUP New Paltz Chapter Executive Committee opposes the NYSUT endorsement of Representative Chris Gibson for the 19th Congressional District.
—UUP New Paltz Chapter Executive Committee, September 21, 2012