Delayed raises and a call for action

Contractually guaranteed raises to UUP members that would have started this month will instead be delayed to Sept. 30, a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

But a delay is unacceptable to UUP, so the union is taking a two-pronged approach to make sure that the raises come through as quickly as possible—especially as the state has also said the Sept. 30 date is subject to review, said UUP President Fred Kowal.

On July 1, the union filed a class-action grievance over the delay of the raises. Also, it is pressing federal and state lawmakers for emergency funding to SUNY to deliver the raises to UUP’s hard-working members, who have sacrificed so much during the pandemic—and in some cases have risked their lives.

“While we did not agree with or accept the state’s decision, we understand that it is driven by the state budget crisis that has developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kowal said. “Still, we need answers and we need a partnership with SUNY to ensure our members’ concerns are addressed before reopening.”

Nearly 2,000 UUP members and SUNY employees have signed a UUP petition calling on SUNY to hold a virtual public hearing this month to discuss their financial and health concerns prior to returning to campus. CLICK HERE to sign the petition.

“This is about our students, our patients, our communities and our SUNY,” Kowal said. “We must invest in our public higher education institutions and public hospitals to combat the overwhelming health, economic and social justice crises that face us in New York and across the country.”