Union Strong in Spring 2022
As COVID rates continue to reach record-breaking highs, we are faced with yet another challenging semester ahead. UUP continues to advocate for faculty autonomy for remote instruction and extending and expanding remote work accessibility for staff. It is essential that telecommuting accommodations and flexible schedules be available for those who need it. This pandemic has made clear that whether we are academics or professionals, we are all workers and our union solidarity remains strong.
All of us have a role to play, and we have had major wins for our members led by our Grievance and Workplace Concerns Committee (see below). Together, we continue to push back against toxic work environments, top-down restructuring, and a lack of respect. We should be able to look to the future with hope and a sense of security, not fear. United, we can continue to build union power to win the respectful, safe, and dignified work environment we all deserve and that will improve our working lives. 
I call on you to think about what role you can play, and encourage you to consider giving back to strengthen our union. Even an hour of your time can make all of a difference. We have members in hundreds of departments across campus, and it is our goal to have department representatives in every single oneWith the help of our department reps, we increase chapter visibility, communication, and can proactively address members' concerns.

Our collective bargaining agreement expires on July 1st this year. Let's not return to what was considered normal, but reach towards something better.

I want to hear your concerns and make demands together. Please contact me directly as I would love to speak with you about this pivotal moment we are in, and how you may be able to give back to your union. 

In Solidarity,

Andrew Solar-Greco
Chapter President
Free N95 Masks for UUP Members
Earlier this month our chapter leadership called on the administration to provide N95 or KN95 masks due to the Omicron surge and the CDC's suggestion to wear stronger masks.

Management has stated to UUP they have no plans to distribute more effective masks to protect our campus community.

With assistance from UUP Statewide, our chapter has procured 3,200 N95 masks for distribution to our members for free.

Please click here to request an N95 mask for yourself and your colleagues. You can request up to 2 for yourself, and 2 per person for members in your area, if you are willing to aid in their dissemination to your colleagues.
COVID-19 Health & Safety Updates
  • Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are completely free. Click here to request your free tests. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days.

  • New community COVID testing site opened in the RSS Parking Lot in the Innovation and Discovery Center of SBU’s R&D Park, 1500 Development Drive (near the mass vaccination site). The site performs PCR testing, nasal swab; 250 appointments are available a day, with limited walk-ins. Schedule an appointment here.
Grievance & Workplace Concerns Committee (GWCC) Report:
Since June 2021, the GWCC has handled well over 100 cases (approximately 5% of our membership). We believe that there are several reasons for this high case load. First, our reputation as an engaged chapter is growing; we currently have an active committee and a grievance process that is confidential, empathetic, kind, and that gives unwavering support. We also have had a few important wins for our members and this has had a significant impact. Our committee handles both “grievances” (specific violations of the UUP contract language) as well as “workplace concerns.” We regularly bring both individual member cases and global issues to management.
For academics, top issues are tenure delay at the provost’s office, and course inequity and pay inequity for non-tenure track and part-time lecturers.

For professionals, we have heard numerous cases of toxic workplaces and bullying by supervisors.

In some areas, there appear to be high level reorganizations happening, with almost no advance communication to members whose jobs are impacted. Many professional staff also report inflexibility regarding care work and remote work throughout this pandemic. Finally, we have many staff whose promotions are not moved along in a timely manner.
GWCC Accomplishments:

Met with at least twelve professional members to advise them of their rights and potential courses of action when they received counseling memos or performance programs/evaluations with which they did not agree.

A member who was not paid at a promised rate for a past course was properly compensated after we brought the information to labor relations.  

A member whose duties were outside of their performance program and SL level was promoted to the correct level and title including a commensurate pay increase.

We asked that the Provost's Office website include having a new child as a reason for tenure clock extension.
Case Statistics At-A-Glance:

78% of cases were brought by professional members. About half of the members who brought forth cases did not have permanent appointment.

22% of cases were brought by academic members, of which 67% were tenured or tenure track and the other 33% were non-tenure track appointments.

The top five types of cases the committee has handled this past term involve:

  • Compensation/equity (17%)
  • Health and safety concerns (10%)
  • Permanent appointment and tenure review issues (7.5%)
  • Telework issues/concerns (7.5%)
  • Interrogation or investigation notices (7.5%)
If you have a grievance or workplace concern that you need help with,
please click here and fill out the intake form.
A committee representative will respond as soon as they can!
Individual Development Awards (IDA)
The 2022 Individual Development Awards (IDA) Program application opens today, January 19th!

This funding is intended to assist eligible UUP-represented employees (full and part-time) in developing their full professional potential and in preparing for advancement. The activities period covered by this award is July 2, 2021 - July 1, 2022.

Access the award application portal here. Deadline to submit completed applications is close of business, Friday, April 1st, 2022.
Professional Council Meeting
Our chapter has scheduled monthly meetings for elected Professional Delegates, and all professional UUP staff members on campus - to gather, discuss, and work together to enact change that positively impacts working conditions and opportunities for professionals.

The first Spring 2022 meeting of the Professional Council has been scheduled via Zoom for Monday, January 31st @ 1pm. Click here to RSVP via the UUP calendar.

We hope to see you there!
State of the State
UUP President Fred Kowal applauded Gov. Kathy Hochul for her support of SUNY’s campuses and public teaching hospitals in her Jan. 5 State of the State Address and said UUP is ready to work with her to make her initiatives reality.

Kowal responded positively to Hochul’s tone and words in a Jan. 5 press statement, noting that “… we have a governor who recognizes the value of public higher education to our students, our patients and the citizens of New York state … we welcome the governor’s agenda and are eager to work with her to break the pattern of 11 years of underfunding for SUNY.”
Spring 2022 Chapter Meetings
Community Announcements
Ombuds Online Workshops

Differences often arise from a lack of communication. We tend to focus more on our own point of view, particularly during difficult conversations. We forget to try to fully understand the other person’s perspective. This workshop is designed to: help us understand why we may avoid difficult conversations, define what a difficult conversation is and prepare for a conversation that is based on mutual respect and trust. We will review the importance of active listening skills as a foundation to effective conversations.

January 20, 2022, Thursday, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm - Sign Up Here
Contact Us
General Inquiries?
Phone and Zoom appointments are available with Chapter leadership by request. Please call or email the Chapter Assistant, Diana Tischler to set one up @ 631-632-6570 or westchapter@uupsbu.org

Problems on the Job?
Questions, concerns or just general inquiries related to problems on the job happen year round. Call or send an email with any questions or concerns you may have.

Jennifer Jokinen, Professional Grievance Officer

Josh Dubnau, Academic Grievance Officer

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Questions?
For assistance with diversity, equity & inclusion issues or questions, and/or if you are interested in celebrating the vast diversity of our campus community, contact our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer or the chapter office, 631-632-6570.

Joseph Pierce, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
Do you have an announcement that you would like us to add??
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Contact the UUP Office: 631-632-6570

Questions, Concerns, Comments?
Contact the Communications Committee at communications.committee@uupsbu.org
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