The following message was sent to Negotiations Team Members, Executive Board members and Chapter Presidents on Wednesday when the contract ratification vote tally was completed. I wanted to share this as widely as possible and so I am sending you information regarding the vote. As you will see, we have together exceeded all expectations in terms of participation in the vote and support of the tentative agreement.
I am pleased to announce that UUP’s 2016-2022 contract has been ratified. The American Arbitration Association reported the following after its September 5 ballot count:
Final ballot count:
Total ballots returned: 14,935
14,582 For; 334 Against; 19 Invalid
98% of eligible voters who returned ballots voted to ratify
Member participation in this ratification vote was far greater than voter response for the previous three contracts. In fact, this is the highest total vote in recent UUP history. A total of 10,681 members cast votes for the 2011-16 contract (with 77% voting in favor), a total of 10,546 members cast votes for the 2007-11 contract (with 97.5% voting in favor), and a total of 10,357 cast votes for the 2003-07 contract (with 96.6% voting in favor).
We owe our thanks to the entire Negotiations Team for their years of hard work to bring us to this point. We should especially thank Chief Negotiator Mike Smiles, Assistant Chief Negotiator Pamela Malone, Assistant Chief Negotiator Jason Torre, and NYSUT’s Secretary-Treasurer J. Philippe Abraham, who served as chief negotiator for the first half of this contract negotiations round before leaving for NYSUT in 2017, for their strong and tireless work on behalf of all UUP members. I would also like to personally thank Elizbeth Hough, UUP’s Counsel to the President, for her tremendous work on getting the contract completed.
Highlights of the contract include:
- 2 percent salary increases each year of the contract, retroactive to July 2016;
- Coverage under the state’s Paid Family Leave Law—making UUP New York’s first state employee union to negotiate into the statutory benefit;
- Starting in 2019, a minimum salary for part-time academics who are compensated on a per-course basis. After years of effort, this is an historic gain for part-time academics on SUNY’s state-operated campuses;
- Dedicated on-base funds to address salary compression at campuses statewide;
- The reestablishment of on-base discretionary salary increases (DSI);
- Provisions to address hospital needs regarding on-call and holiday pay; and
- Professional development and other grants to address the professional needs of UUP members and SUNY.
The final contract will be printed and made available to members as soon as possible. An electronic copy will be posted on the UUP website.
UUP will provide chapters with information as soon as possible about implementation of contract items such as:
- Pay dates for salary provisions coming to us this fall (pending NYS Comptroller’s Office directives). These will include pay dates for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 2% salary increases, the first ½ of the retro pay owed due to these raises, the $600 lump sum payment (pro-rated for part time employees), and the 2018 discretionary salary award.
- Open Enrollment period for the 2018 Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP), which allows eligible employees who accrue vacation leave to exchange days for a credit toward their 2018 health insurance premium costs. Enrollment for the 2019 PEP program will occur during the regular NYSHIP open enrollment period later in the fall.
- Payment of the 2018 employer contribution to the accounts of employees currently enrolled in the Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAA). Enrollment for the 2019 DCAA and employer contribution will occur later in the fall.
- Plans for Executive Level discussions involving UUP, SUNY, and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations on such things as implementation of the salary compression adjustments.
- Information about distribution of Joint Labor management funding, including funding for Individual Development Awards, Drescher Awards and Campus Grants.
- Information regarding the dependent scholarship program.
UUP officers and Labor Relations Specialists will work with each chapter to ensure that new contract provisions are understood and appropriately implemented at each campus.
In Solidarity, Fred