SUNY union looking for across-the-board pay hike

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The union representing SUNY faculty and other professionals is looking for a raise for its 32,000 active members as part of its contract proposal to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, according to an overview posted on the union’s website.

United University Professions’ initial proposal to Cuomo’s office seeks to establish “competitive and equitable salaries” for its full-time and part-time employees, and keeps health care rates where they were in the union’s previous contract, which was struck with former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s administration in 2007 and expired earlier this year. (Under the Triborough Amendment, the terms of the contract remain in effect until a new deal is struck.)

While the document doesn’t include specific figures, increasing compensation and keeping health care rates flat would be in contrast with the deals struck with leaders from the state’s two largest public employees unions. The state Civil Service Employees Association approved a five-year contract that froze pay for three years and increased employee health insurance contributions, while the rank-and-file members of the Public Employees Federation rejected the same deal last month.

It doesn’t contain a specific date (other than “2011”), but negotiators for UUP and Cuomo’s office began meeting in late August.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the contract overview was meant to be posted to UUP’s website. Spokesman Don Feldstein declined to discuss the specifics in the document because of the union’s policy of not negotiating in the press, but said it contained a general overview of the chapters in the union’s current contract that it wants to negotiate with the state.

Feldstein said the union’s negotiating team met with the Cuomo administration yesterday, and had meetings scheduled for next week, as well.

Also included in the PDF is an Aug. 26 document showing four areas of the union’s current contract the state wants to negotiate: compensation, health insurance, the duration of the deal, and “Deficit Reduction Leave” (read: furloughs).

That would put the negotiations in line with both CSEA and PEF. In addition to the pay freeze and health insurance hike, CSEA’s contract and PEF’s rejected deal spanned five years (instead of the traditional four) and included nine furlough days, though four days would be refunded by the end of the contract.

(Like the UUP proposal, the document doesn’t include specific figures being sought by the state.)

Here’s the document, which is still available on the UUP site:

UUPStateProposals091211-1

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6 Comments

  1. @ TDS

    Any clue about what you’re babbling about? SUNY is the nations largest public higher education network and still the best value around. Pay for a private or out of state degree if you don’t like the cost.

  2. The bottom line is professionals even in a tight job market do not have to take 0% raise for 3 years. They can get job offers in private industry or even other public systems. There is no possible way to recruit the best to work in SUNY with a 0% raise for three years. PEF rejected the three year raise as a majority of their members are professionals who can get other jobs, the nurses could get work in less then a week. Cuomo is trying to do somthing unrealistic to bolster his Presidential bid. Even Obama wants people making more to pay more in taxes, but Cuomo is trying to have it both ways. In the end Cuomo will loose his reputation trying to bully the professional state unions. If you want talented people you have to pay fair wages and offer fair raises, while offering a decent health coverage. The UUP is asking for fair wages or SUNY will be the big looser.

  3. SUNY should stop offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. We would have less students, and could reduce expenses.