UUP Connect

Vol. 34, No. 18June 9, 2020
 UUP responds to the killing of George FloydUUP members joined millions of others in the United States in reacting with grief, outrage and horror to the deliberate killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by Minneapolis police.UUP President Fred Kowal issued a statement affirming that reaction, and the union has joined with other organizations in several events that will work toward changing police practices and societal conditions that have tolerated such killings throughout much of the country’s history. People are calling for dramatic change, and UUP is joining that call.UUP has also created a Fighting Racial Injustice webpage, which has a list of upcoming events and links to solidarity actions members can take.Access it HERE.
Read President Kowal’s statement HERE. How to get involvedUUP will take part in the digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington June 20. The event will be one of the largest-ever digital gatherings of poor, dispossessed and underrepresented people, along with faith leaders and people of conscience.The virtual march is free, and UUP urges members to participate.Click HERE to sign up and for more information.Here are other ways that you can help fight racial injustice:·   Volunteer for phone banks and text storms with the Poor People’s Campaign. CLICK HERE to sign up for a 30-minute training session.·   CLICK HERE to sign the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers’ online petition demanding justice.·   CLICK HERE to sign the Color of Change petition to end violent policing against black people.Email Amy Sheldon at asheldon@uupmail.org about actions on your campus and in your community that UUP can help amplify. UUP welcomes suggestions for additional organizations members should consider supporting. Guidelines for the fall semesterUUP has issued guidelines for reopening SUNY campuses in the fall. Read about it HERE.
UUP’s news release announcing the guidelines can be foundHERE. Chancellor resigns, leaving unanswered questions and issuesSUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson has resigned, just as hundreds of thousands of SUNY students, and the faculty and staff members who work with them, await guidance on how, or even if, SUNY will conduct classes on campus this fall.Dozens of news outlets around the country, including the Wall Street Journal and Inside Higher Ed, quoted UUP President Kowal on Johnson’s abrupt departure. While Kowal wished Johnson well, he also noted that UUP members are still waiting for direction from SUNY leaders on how to prepare for the fall semester, and Johnson’s resignation is not likely to speed that response.Read a selection of stories quoting Fred Kowal here:.
Wall Street Journal
Spectrum News
Daily News
Inside Higher Ed Have a question? Ask a lawmaker at a virtual Town HallUUP is hosting a series of virtual town halls featuring conversations with state Assembly members from across New York. The events are open to all UUP members.Watch the UUP website for announcements. UUP stands with other unions on new state revenueUUP President Fred Kowal was one of many labor leaders around the state who spoke at a May 27 news conference to highlight the need for emergency state revenue. The unions are advocating for lawmakers to support a millionaires’tax through any of several bills now before the Legislature.UUP is also asking members to speak up personally by contacting lawmakers in a letter-writing effort sponsored by the union.With the state facing a $13 billion budget deficit, and some two million New Yorkers out of work, New York needs help now.Read the story about the news conference HERE.
Click HEREfor an overview of the union’s legislative agenda, updates on the federal and state budgets, and several ways to advocate for SUNY. You can contact federal lawmakers to take action on the HEROES Act, which would provide desperately needed aid to states in the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. You can also tell state lawmakers to take action to adequately fund SUNY’s hospitals and to close the TAP Gap. UUP, Kowal recognized during AFT Telephone Town HallUUP President Kowal, an AFT vice president and chair of AFT’s Higher Education Program and Policy Council, was one of a select number of union leaders tapped by AFT President Randi Weingarten to speak about their efforts to aid members, especially those on the front lines of the pandemic, at a national Telephone Town Hall May 26.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi participated in the event.Read it HERE. Special Voice issue pays tribute to members during pandemicUUP members have responded to the coronavirus pandemic with courage and compassion.Read about them in the latest issue of The Voice, which pays tribute to their efforts, HERE.
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