UUP-New Paltz Chapter Election 2021 Candidates/Statements

Officer for Contingents:

Academic Delegates:

  • Barros, Cesar Barros (see VP for Academics statement above)
  • Brown, Peter

I would like to continue serving our members and the chapter as an Academic Delegate. Before my retirement, I served as Academic Vice President for six years. Following my retirement a decade ago, I served two terms as Chapter President and two terms as Grievance Officer. 

My goal is to further utilize some of my time and experience to serve both active and retired members during these difficult times. I would like to see salaries for adjuncts at New Paltz improve substantially, as they already have at some of our other SUNY sister campuses, such as Oneonta and Albany. 

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, I would hope we could engage the membership around the need to support increased NY State funding for SUNY.  

Later this year and into the next one, we will need to focus on providing input to the union on what specific changes we would like to see in the next UUP contract with the State, which goes into effect in July 2022. 

  • Greene, Kiersten A.

Like many of you, I am beyond frustrated with the current circumstances of our work,  which have been exponentially amplified and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The  2% cost-of-living raises we were granted in our current contract are not enough to keep  pace with inflation or the skyrocketing cost of living in the surrounding area; the  institutionalized racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia of many campus policies  and practices remain intact; and we are facing the shifting terrain of an uncertain future for  academia. I believe in our union as a vital tool in determining where we go from here. If you  feel the same, please consider casting your vote for me.

  • Koop, Douglas   (See Treasurer statement above)
  • McNitt, F. Glenn
  • Obach, Brian K.
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I have been active with the UUP in various capacities since my arrival at SUNY New Paltz 20 years ago. Prior to that I was an advocate for SUNY as an undergraduate student at SUNY Albany and then as a professional staff member in a public higher education advocacy organization. In the years between I was an officer in the graduate employee union at the University of Wisconsin and was active in a successful campaign to unionize graduate student employees in the University of California system. In short, I have been advocating for public higher education and the rights of employees my entire adult life. As a scholar of social movements I have utilized my expertise to help shape UUP strategy to mobilize members and direct energy towards effectively advancing our shared interests. Much of this work has involved political advocacy at the state level. I believe that most of the challenges we face as employees on campus are ultimately tied to a lack of state support for SUNY. If elected as a delegate I will continue to mobilize UUP members to demand greater state funding for the SUNY system. 

  • Parameswaran, Gowri
  • Rietsma, Carol S.

I am running again as an Academic Delegate. Two important issues facing us are greater funding for SUNY by NYS and contract negotiations. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and want to represent you.

  • Rock, Melissa Y.
  • Wilson, Beth E. (see President statement above)

Professional Delegate

  • Felton, Edward T.

I look forward to continuing as MDO. Member participation is the key to our union’s strength. I’ll work with colleagues to further activate our Executive Committee, develop our Department Representative network, and provide opportunities for all members to contribute to our collective voice.

  • Goodman, Donna

I am seeking your support for my re-election as professional delegate. 

I represent our union in the larger labor movement 

I serve as UUP’s delegate to the Upper Hudson Central Labor Council, where I have been a voice for women’s rights, immigrant rights, and public sector unions. As a vice president of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, I speak out for SUNY funding and for public sector unions, green environmental policy, women’s rights, fairness for contingent faculty, and the issues we promote in our legislative agenda. In both bodies, I have raised the profile of UUP in the regional labor movement.

As co-chair of the statewide Women’s Rights and Concerns Committee, I was an organizer of a statewide survey on workplace conditions, that drew more than 3,000 responses, and will be used to inform the upcoming contract negotiations.

Last year I initiated an educational program for the HVALF called First Fridays, which consists of monthly public forums on issues of concern to labor, such as what frontline workers face during the pandemic, budget cuts and austerity, labor and community alliances, and labor’s role in the transitional economy. These forums are an opportunity for rank and file union members, labor leaders, public officials and community activists to engage in conversation about the issues that concern them. They have become well known and are being replicated in other Federations, such as Rochester, NY and Houston, Texas.

I am proud to serve as your delegate and will continue to work for your rights and to build UUP.

  • Hancock, Robert W.

I have been an Educational Opportunity Program Advisor for fifteen years at New Paltz.  As an EOP Advisor I am acutely cognizant of how policy can impact people.  Especially those that are often overlooked or have faced historic inequity.  I have served as department representative for many years and have been active in UUP meetings.  I believe that it is important to have a strong union and that the foundation for a strong union begins with listening to the diverse perspectives and experiences of the members.  I would be honored to represent your voice in the role of Delegate if you so choose.   

  • Lempka, Wayne W.

For years I would only attend the UUP events that offered a free lunch.  Yet, I kept hearing my father’s words each time I would sit down at one of these gatherings: “There is no such thing as a free lunch!” So, I decided to become involved more fully in our UUP Chapter and have been a member of the Executive Committee for well over ten year. During this time I  have served on a number of committees including  Membership , Grievance and the By-Laws Committees, having helped to rewrite this lengthy By-Laws document.  I also have served as our chapter’s Interim Secretary and I am our department’s representative for full and part-time employees.

Not only do I ask for your support in our upcoming election but would like you to consider the line: “There is no such thing as a free lunch” and get involved with your union which does so much for you! 

  • Merritt, Amanda (see Grievance Officer statement above)
  • Saunders, Kevin

I have had the pleasure in serving as the Vice President for Professionals for the last 6 years.  I am not seeking another term as VPP, but I would love you continue to serve as one of your Professional Delegates.  I have been very involved with the Union for the last decade and am looking forward to continuing the work I have done.

Officer For Retirees:

  • McNitt, F. Glenn  (A)

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