United University Professions - Albany Chapter

Albany UUP Chapter Membership FAQ

WHAT IS UUP?

UUP is the acronym for United University Professions, the academic and professional faculty union of the four-year SUNY System colleges and universities.  UUP represents some 35,000 members across the state.  It is an affiliate of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). See www.uupinfo.org.


WHAT IS THE ALBANY CHAPTER?


The Albany Chapter is the UUP organizational body on the campus of UAlbany.  We have about 2100 members in our bargaining unit here at UAlbany.  Our Officers and Delegates (Academic and Professional) are elected by UAlbany bargaining unit members, as the campus representatives to the statewide union, and as the institution that represents UAlbany members in certain kinds of labor disputes with the UAlbany administration.


HOW DO I JOIN UUP?

Applications are available online at www.uupinfo.org/membership/welcome.php.  Print the form, sign, and mail it to UUP (or send by campus mail to UUP Albany, CS B21.)


HOW CAN I TELL IF I AM A MEMBER?

Check your paystub in the “After Tax Deductions” section (bottom right). If it says “UUP Member 26P, ” you are a member.  If it says “UUP Agency Fee,” that means that you are in the bargaining unit but not a member.

To become a member complete a Membership Application, sign, and mail it to UUP (or send by campus mail to UUP Albany, CS B21.)


WHERE IS THE ALBANY CHAPTER OFFICE LOCATED?

Room B 21, Computer Services; phone 518-442-4951; E-mail: uupalb@gmail.com
Hours: Mon-Thurs 8:30-4:30
United University Professions Albany Chapter

University at Albany, Rm CSB21
1400 Washington Ave

Albany, NY 12222



WHAT DOES UUP DO FOR ME?

•    Negotiates your contract via collective bargaining with NY State, and enforces the contractual provisions for all bargaining unit members.
•    Represents you to UAlbany Administration and to statewide UUP.
•    Offers grants, scholarships and professional development support (Individual Development Award grants, Drescher leaves, Undergraduate and Graduate scholarships.)
•    Advocates in the State Legislature for SUNY funding and other UUP legislative initiatives.
•    Advocates publicly and privately for members’ needs.  Counsels and supports members with work questions. Assists in resolving work issues.
•    Offers workshops on tenure and promotion, steps to permanent appointment; bullying; health & safety, evaluations, and other topics that matter to our members.
•    Keeps members informed through regular communication with bargaining unit members about campus, statewide, and national issues of interest or concern.
•    Uses statewide and chapter committees to pursue policy initiatives.


HOW DO I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MY BENEFITS?

Most health benefits are administered through the UAlbany Human Resources Office (PH:518-437-4700).  Dental and Vision benefits are administered through UUP.  UUP’s benefits pages have most of the information you need, or you can call UUP at 518-640-6600 and ask to speak with someone in Member Benefits.


WHAT RESOURCES DOES UUP HAVE FOR ACADEMIC FACULTY?

Many.  A good place to start, however, is with the UUP Guide for Academics at SUNY.


WHAT RESOURCES DOES UUP HAVE FOR PROFESSIONAL FACULTY?

Many.  A good place to start, however, is with the UUP Guide for Professional Employees.


WHAT IS A CONTINGENT EMPLOYEE?  HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT THAN AN ADJUNCT?

UUP defines Contingent Employees as those members of our bargaining unit who have no pathway to tenure in their current position.  This includes part-time and full-time employees, academics and professionals.  “Adjunct” is a common term to describe a part-time academic faculty member.  At UAlbany, most of these employees hold the job title of “Lecturer.”  However UAlbany has full-time “Lecturers” in addition to its part-timers.  The term “Contingent” includes both groups, stressing that all such employees work without the possibility of permanent, tenured positions. 


WHAT IS UUP DOING FOR CONTINGENTS?

Contingent employees are the most exploited, marginalized, and vulnerable employees on campus.  Their pay is pitifully low, and they have almost no job security.  UUP Albany recognizes both the deplorable working conditions of these employees and that they represent a large and growing portion of our total membership.  UUP has, in our most recent contract, negotiated some significant benefits for contingents.  In addition to the negotiated raises in the form of a percentage of salary, this contract included lump-sum raises, which benefit low-paid contingents more than higher-paid employees.  The Discretionary Salary Awards now include a designated portion specifically for contingents.  Likewise, the Individual Development Awards set money aside for contingents.  We now have an Officer for Contingents on our campus, and designated contingent representation on the state-wide Executive Board.  The Albany Chapter has made contingent issues a priority, pushing for changes in compensation, duration of appointment, evaluation, and more.  We urge contingents to contact our Officer for Contingents to get involved.


WHAT RESOURCES DOES UUP HAVE REGARDING FAMILY LEAVE?

For starters see, UUP’s Family Leave/Work-Life Services Guide.


WHO ARE MY CHAPTER OFFICERS?

Elected Officers for Albany UUP include: President, Vice President for Academics, Vice President for Professionals, Assistant Vice President for Academics, Assistant Vice President for Professionals, Secretary, Treasurer, and Officer for Contingents. Appointed officers include an Affirmative Action Designee, and Grievance Chairperson.

Current Chapter Officer List.


DOES UUP ALBANY MEET WITH UALBANY ADMINISTRATION?

Each month, officers from the Albany Chapter of UUP hold a Labor Management Meeting with the University President or the President's representatives to "provide a forum to discuss, consider and attempt to resolve, where appropriate and consistent...matters of interest" to UUP members and the university administration. Chapter officers typically prepare and submit a proposed agenda 10 days prior to the scheduled meeting. This is the Chapter's opportunity to ask a range of questions of the administration. According to the Contract, the Campus President is required to attend one meeting per semester. Notes from these meetings are posted to the Chapter website: http://uupalbany.org/documents/labor.shtml.  Typically representing the Albany Chapter at Labor Management meetings are the elected President, Vice Presidents (Academic and Professional), Officer for Contingents, and Secretary.


WHO ARE MY CHAPTER DELEGATES?

Current Academic Delegates
Current Professional Delegates


WHAT IS A DELEGATE?

Delegate: For every 75 members at a chapter, one delegate is elected to represent members at the statewide UUP Delegate Assemblies, which are currently held three times a year. The Delegate Assembly is the policy-making body of UUP. Delegates serve two-year terms, and elections take place in odd-numbered years. Anyone who is a member can run for delegate. Each chapter has both Professional and Academic delegates, who are elected by their particular constituencies. Delegates also become members of the Albany UUP Executive Committee. Any member who receives one or more vote as an Academic or Professional delegate is eligible to become a member of the Albany UUP Executive Committee.


WHAT IS THE ALBANY UUP EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE?

The Albany UUP Executive Committee is the governing body of the Albany chapter of UUP.  Members of the Albany UUP Executive Committee attend monthly meetings and typically also serve on Chapter committees. They serve as a steering committee for the Chapter, helping to set its agenda and determine where its resources will be spent.


WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF THE ALBANY CHAPTER EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE?

The current Executive Committee includes all Academic and Professional Delegates as well as officers and other members elected to the Executive Committee.


CAN I BECOME A DELEGATE?

Yes.  Delegates are elected for two-year terms.  Academic employees can stand for positions as Academic Delegates; Professional employees can stand as Professional Delegates. Election information from UUP statewide includes specifics about the timeline and process.  Currently the Albany Chapter sends 13 Academic and 13 Professional Delegates as representatives to the statewide Delegate Assemblies.  Please note that standing for an elected Delegate position has advantages, even if you are not among the top vote-getters.  Anyone who receives one or more votes as an Academic or Professional Delegate is automatically eligible to sit on the Chapter’s Executive Committee, which determines Chapter policy and initiatives.


WHAT IS THE UUP STATE-WIDE DELEGATE ASSEMBLY?

The UUP Delegate Assembly is a statewide gathering that brings together delegates from each of the 29 UUP campuses.  Currently there are three Delegate Assemblies each year.  These gatherings function akin to a parliamentary body for UUP; the Delegates are the policy-making body of the union.  This means that they elect officers and executive board members, determine changes to the constitution, bylaws, or procedures, debate organizational matters, vote on resolutions, and much more.  The Assemblies are also used as a space to hold joint meetings of statewide committees and various other groups, enabling coordination among the 29 chapters.


WHAT ARE THE CHAPTER COMMITTEES?

Current Chapter Committee List


CAN I SERVE ON A CHAPTER COMMITTEE?

Absolutely! All members of the bargaining unit are welcome to join committees.  Please send a note to the Chapter President or the appropriate Committee Chair and ask to join.  Current Chapter Committee List.


WHAT DOES A DEPARTMENTAL REPRESENTATIVE DO?

•    Acts as liaison between the department or unit and the Albany Chapter of UUP.
•    Provides colleagues with information about UUP activities.
•    Puts colleagues in touch with appropriate UUP officers when concerns arise.
•    Alerts UUP to needs and concerns within a department or unit.
•    Attends the UUP Departmental Representative meeting each semester.


WHO IS MY DEPARTMENTAL REPRESENTATIVE?

Current Departmental Reps List


WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE WORKLOAD INCREASES?

Tenured and tenure-track faculty's professional obligation is divided among research, teaching, and service. Contingent faculty's workload expectations must be defined in their contract appointment letter. Professional staff's obligation is determined after consultation between the supervisor and the professional and is stipulated in a performance program.

In all instances, employees should have a clear understanding of their chair’s or supervisor's expectations. If those expectations increase in a significant way, members should first try to achieve an equivalent reduction in another piece of the workload to offset the increase. If this is unsuccessful, members should discuss this matter with the appropriate Vice-President (Academic or Professional) for guidance on how best to respond.  Past Practice may establish a set of expectations.


WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN ISSUES ARISE WITH REVIEW, TENURE AND PROMOTION?

Procedures for review, promotion, and tenure are dictated by University policy as well as the Agreement between UUP and the State of New York, in particular Article 33. Professionals have the opportunity to apply for promotion or salary increases via the procedures in Appendix 28 of the Contract.  At the earliest sign of concern, we urge members to be in touch with the appropriate Vice-President (Academic or Professional) for guidance on how best to respond; some of the possible actions are time-sensitive.


WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE TURNOVER IN A DEPARTMENT OR UNIT?

UUP is concerned about turnover primarily for two reasons: workload shifts, and resulting changes in our bargaining unit composition. 

Considerable turnover in a unit can lead to job descriptions being changed on the fly.  Employees are often expected to pick up additional work, shift their responsibilities, and oversee organizational changes.  If you have concerns about turnover in your department for these reasons, contact the Chapter officers.  We can help discuss workload matters, performance programs, salary requests, and other strategies for handling such situations.

Turnover can also lead to the erosion of UUP positions on campus.  If you see positions that had been filled by UUP members replaced by jobs that are posted as non-UUP (e.g., as another bargaining unit or organization, such as CSEA, PEF, Research Foundation, Management Confidential), please notify the Chapter immediately.


WHY ARE PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE PROGRAMS / EVALUATIONS IMPORTANT?

Up to date programs and evaluations are necessary for members seeking permanent appointment and for members trying to get a raise using the A-28 procedure in our contact. Performance programs specify the major aspects of a professional employee’s work expectations. They are developed annually through a consultative process between supervisor and supervisee, identifying concrete, measurable job duties.  If you do not have a performance program, or if your program has not been updated in more than a year, contact the Vice President for Professionals.


WHAT ARE DISCRETIONARY SALARY AWARDS (DSA)?

Discretionary Salary Awards (DSA): A contractually negotiated pool of money distributed to each campus, which are awarded at the discretion of the President.  These are one-time bonuses, not additions to base-salary.  The money is divided into two portions: 28% to Contingent employees and 72% to those with Permanent or Continuing Appointment.  The current contract marks the first time that contingent employees have been assured a representative portion of the discretionary money.


HOW DO I FILE A GRIEVANCE?

If you are considering filing a grievance, you must have experienced some workplace difficulties. We are here to help.

We urge you to contact the Grievance Chair as soon as an incident occurs. Acting quickly is crucial: an Article 7 Grievance must be filed within 45 days.

Everything you tell us will be kept in the strictest confidence, and we will not act on your behalf without your permission.  Typically we schedule a confidential meeting with our Grievance Chair, who will then work with you and the Chapter to determine the correct course of action. 

If we determine that there has been a contract violation, we may be able to file a Grievance, or an Improper Practice Charge if the case warrants that.  In other cases we may be able to provide advice, suggest resources for assistance (both on-campus and off-campus), and work with you to resolve your problems.


I’VE BEEN CALLED IN FOR AN INTERROGATION.  CAN THE UNION HELP?

An Interrogation is a formal meeting called in response to an alleged disciplinary infraction. According to the Contract (Article 19): "An employee shall be provided the opportunity to have representation at an interrogation if at the time such interrogation is commenced it is contemplated by management that such employee will be served a Notice of Discipline pursuant to Article 19 of this Agreement."  Employees who are uncertain about the nature of a request for job-related questioning by a supervisor should ask two questions: 1) Is the employee being interrogated under Article 19; 2) Is the employee being required to answer the supervisor’s questions or face being referred for discipline or non-compliance.  If the answer to either question is yes, the employee is entitled to and should request union representation.

If you receive a notice directing you to attend an interrogation we urge you to notify our Grievance Chair or the appropriate Vice President as soon as possible for consultation and advice.


WHERE DO MY UNION DUES GO?

Every member of the UUP bargaining unit, whether a member of the Union or a fee-payer, pays union dues. Not everyone is a member of UUP, only those who have signed the UUP membership form. Dues for all full-time employees are 1% of your salary; part-time employees pay 0.9%.  Dues are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. The dues fund most of the union’s non-political activities.  First and foremost, they are used to help the UUP bargain a contract with New York State, enforce that contract, and educate members about the terms and conditions of their employment.  They are used to help fund the organizational structure of both the statewide union and the campus chapter.


WHAT IS VOTE-COPE?

VOTE-COPE is NYSUT’s voluntary political action fund.  Since there are severe legal restrictions on how union dues money can be spent, VOTE-COPE donations allow the union to pursue its political agenda at the state and national level.  VOTE-COPE funds help pay for legislative research staff, advertising, advocacy efforts on behalf of issues or endorsed candidates, and political organizing efforts by UUP.

In recent years, UUP has advocated for more SUNY funding to hire full-time academic and professional staff (including initiatives to move contingents into tenure-line appointments), full TAP and EOP funding, transparency of Research Foundation funds, accountability and oversight of initiatives such as StartUpNY, OpenSUNY, and EdTPA, maintaining SUNY hospitals as public institutions, student-debt forgiveness, and much more.  Given the enormous influence of money in politics today, VOTE-COPE is one of the few things standing between our state and the anti-union, right-to-work initiatives that have been passed throughout the country.   Even $1 per paycheck will go a long way.  All union members should donate to VOTE-COPE.   We urge members to donate today: http://uupinfo.org/legislation/pdf/votecope2014.pdf.


HOW CAN I GET THE FORUM, UUP ALBANY’S CHAPTER NEWSLETTER?

The Forum is typically published four times per year.  Current and past editions are available on our chapter website.


CAN I CONTRIBUTE TO THE FORUM?

Any member of the bargaining unit can contribute an article or other items of interest to the newsletter editor for consideration.