Union Apprenticeship Programs in Jeopardy


I have received a reach-out from the former Director of Research for UUP, Dr. Tom Kriger, who is presently Director of Research at the North American Building Trades national office. He is seeking our help as the trades deal with ominous signs of impending attacks on their excellent, union-sponsored apprenticeship programs. The details are as follows.

The apprenticeship programs, which are the lifeblood of the unionized construction industry, are under attack from the Trump Administration.  The Department of Labor is implementing something called “Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs,” (IRAP) which are apprenticeship-light type programs. In these programs, the Department of Labor will allow private industry groups to approve their own apprenticeship programs with few standards, little oversight and very light reporting requirements.  The interesting aspect of this is that any corporation in US can set up an identical training program RIGHT NOW with similar requirements, but without these new regulatory changes they wouldn’t be able to use the name APPRENTICESHIP and call these trainees apprentices.

Unions have managed to keep these low road training programs out of construction so far; the Building Trades’ President Sean McGarvey reached an agreement with former Secretary of Labor Acosta to keep IRAP’s out of construction. However,  our colleagues in the trades are concerned that the Director of OMB, Mick Mulvaney, and the other strongly anti-union figures in the Administration will move against them and their apprenticeship programs when the final rules come out.  At present, we are in the final weeks of a public comment period on the proposed IRAP regulations, which ends on August 25th.

 The anti-union forces in construction, led by the Associated Builders and Contractors, are behind this.  It’s all about getting more cheap labor in the construction industry and having the federal government (i.e., the taxpayers) pay for the training.  In the proposed regulations, IRAP’s would not have to pay progressive wages – only minimum wage, along with  minimal safety, equal opportunity, and disclosure requirements.

This is where YOU come in.  Please use the link below and submit a comment to the DOL requesting that the construction industry IRAP exemption be made permanent in the final rule. It’s easy to do; it took me barely 5 minutes! And please distribute to friends and family.

 As we seek to build stronger relationships with coalition partners, we need to be there for our colleagues in the private sector unions. This is a chance to help. Please take a couple minutes to use the link and provide the Department of Labor with a strong statement of solidarity with our colleagues.


In Solidarity,

Labor Day Parade Sign-Up

Dear Colleagues:

UUP will once again participate in Labor Day parades across the state.  Join us as we march proudly alongside our colleagues in labor showing off our solidarity and union pride.

Parades are being held in Albany, Buffalo, Massena, Syracuse and New York City.  Please visit https://uuphost.org/myuup/Registration/ADVOCACY/ParadeReg.php to find your nearest event and to register for the parade.  Please urge your colleagues, your families and your friends to join us!

Special note to Chapter Presidents: Kindly share this invitation as widely as possible at your chapter – we want all of your members engaged!  Please bring your chapter banner to show off your union spirit.

Please contact Rob Trimarchi (rtrimarc@uupmail.org/800-342-4206) with any questions about this year’s parades.

In Solidarity,

Raises, retro pay on the way

uupdate 6-27-19

Hey, UUP members: you’re getting a raise—thanks to the union’s tenacity at the negotiations table.

Members and SUNY employees represented by UUP are set to receive a 2 percent salary increase for 2019 effective July 1 or Sept. 1, based on whether they work full or part-time and if they are on a calendar or academic year work schedule.

But wait, there’s more.

Eligible UUPers and bargaining unit members will also receive the second half of the retroactive pay owed them by the state in their July 24 paychecks.

The raises and retro pay are guaranteed as part of UUP’s 2016-22 contract with the state—which was negotiated by UUP and approved in September 2018 by a majority of members who voted on the pact. UUP members and represented workers will see a 12.6 percent salary increase over the life of the contract.

“This is what we mean when we talk about being union strong,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “A strong union gives workers a unified voice at the negotiations table and on the job. Our members work hard for our students and our patients at SUNY, and they deserve the salary and back pay increases that are soon to appear in their paychecks.”

2 percent bump

UUP members who work on a calendar year schedule (pay basis codes ANN and CYF) will find a 2 percent salary increase in their July 24 paychecks.

Members who work and get paid on an academic schedule (pay codes 21P and CYP) will see the pay raise in their Sept. 18 paychecks. Employees who work on an academic schedule but elect to be paid over 12 months (pay code CAL) will see their 2 percent pay bump in their Oct. 2 paychecks.

And those employees who are paid hourly (pay code HRY), biweekly (pay code BIW) and through fees (pay code FEE) will get their raises based on their dates of obligation, according to the Payroll Bulletin issued by the state Comptroller’s Office.

Retro, on-call pay

The retroactive pay is due to elegible bargaining unit members (those who received the first half of retro pay in November 2018) and that worked without raises while the union negotiated its current six-year agreement with the state in 2016 and 2017. The back pay is for 2 percent raises negotiated by UUP for 2016 and 2017.

On-call pay rates will also increase effective July 1. On-call pay rates for upstate will rise to $6 per hour and to $8 for workers in New York City and on Long Island.

CLICK HERE to get detailed information about UUP’s 2016-22 contract with the state.

UUP-NYS Negotiations Over Salary Compression Adjustments

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, during the most recent round of contract negotiations, we reached an agreement with the State of New York which stipulates that salary compression and inversion – when found to be significant – are to be addressed in a mutually agreed upon process.

Appendix A-41 to the 2016-22 Agreement provides that the guidelines and methodology for analyzing the extent of salary compression and inversion at each campus will be developed in executive-level discussions between UUP, SUNY and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER). The results of these analyses will be utilized in distributing these funds to address identified compression and inversion.

Salary compression occurs when there is little or no difference in pay – but significant differences in skill level, responsibility, qualifications, or seniority.  Salary inversion occurs when salary compression, left unadjusted, results in new hires and less senior employees receiving salaries that are greater than more senior co-workers. Salary compression and inversion arises generally from a combination of factors including market forces disproportionately impacting starting salaries and insufficient pay increases tied to promotion and years of service.

As a result of continuous work since October 2018, state-level negotiations over the final methodology for analyzing salary compression and inversion at each campus and the process for distributing salary adjustments as a result of that analysis, are progressing well. Work will continue through the summer months and we expect to be able to report more details early in the fall semester.  While this work continues, campuses have been instructed by SUNY to begin collecting the employee data (for both academics and professionals) needed to prepare for the salary analysis. They have not been given final instructions for completion of the analysis or for disbursement of the salary adjustments that will follow from that analysis. The state-level Executive Committee will finalize those instructions over the summer.

The 2016-2022 State/UUP Agreement earmarks one-half of the discretionary salary pools (or 0.5% of total UUP bargaining unit basic annual salaries at each campus) in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 for distribution to address salary compression and inversion.  The first of these distributions must occur by December 31, 2019.  (Article 20.8, 20.10, 20.12 and 20.13). This new contract provision covers full-time and part-time Professionals and Academics.

We will keep you posted, to the greatest extent possible, as the process is finalized over the next several months. Lastly – Chapter Presidents – please distribute this message through your chapter membership email distribution lists.

In Solidarity,

Fred Kowal

UUP seeks online ed. input from members

To prepare for discussions with the state UUP seeks input from Academics and Professionals on SUNY’s new initiative to expand online education. Our objective is to accurately represent concerns about the impacts of online education on terms and conditions of employment, including workload, compensation, intellectual property protection, the need for resources and support systems, involvement of private companies, etc. Please direct colleagues to the following link, which provides background information and access to a new web portal members can use to submit comments and suggestions.


UUP will discuss online education with SUNY and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations pursuant to Appendix A-13 in our 2016-22 contract, which states the following: “As soon as practicable after a fully executed agreement, appropriate GOER, SUNY, and UUP designees shall meet to discuss and review issues of mutual concern related to the impact of online education initiatives on bargaining unit employees.”

In Solidarity,

Frederick E. Kowal

UUP President Fred Kowal – WAMC Commentary Update

We just received an update that the commentary will air at 3:50 pm today. Tune in now!

You can listen live as it airs at https://www.wamc.org/, or find a list of stations that carry WAMC at https://www.wamc.org/coverage-map.

You can find a link to the commentary after it airs here: https://www.wamc.org/term/fred-kowal.

Thank you,

Amy Sheldon

Member Communications and Policy Associate

United University Professions


UUP Family Leave and Work-Life Services Guide

Dear Chapter Leaders,

Please inform your colleagues that the new UUP Family Leave and Work-Life Services Guide is posted at the link below.


UUP’s 2016-22 contract with NYS contains new family leave provisions, providing members with many options for fully paid, partially paid, and unpaid leave for family care. It covers leave for birth, adoption, foster care placement, sick relative care (including elders), the death of family members, and assisting family members on active military duty.

The Guide also includes information about the following:

  • UUP’s newly negotiated “tenure” clock stop provisions for Professionals and Academics following birth, adoption, or foster care placement;
  • NYS Work-Life Services programs negotiated by UUP;
  • Possibilities for flexible work arrangements;
  • Support services and member benefits programs provided by UUP and our affiliates (New York State United Teachers, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association).

UUP has begun conducting Family Leave Workshops at our chapters and will continue to work with chapter leaders to provide information and assistance to our members across the state. Please contact your LRS to schedule a workshop for your chapter’s members.

In Solidarity,