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Messages - Danharms

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June 16, 2021 Council Meeting @ VIRTUAL (Annual) / UUP Liaison Report
« on: June 16, 2021, 09:17:13 AM »
UUP Liaison Report
Dan Harms

Don't forget to take the UUP Survey on Protected Time for Librarians:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UUPLibrarianTime

UUP Supports Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations for SUNY Students
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/210510.php

Talks continue about a continuation of the Telecommuting Agreement. Childcare during this summer is a key issue.

UUP announced the Negotiations Team for the next contract. Watch for opportunities to voice your concerns, and don't forget to advocate for yourselves and your colleagues.

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March 26, 2021 Council Meeting @ VIRTUAL / UUP Liaison Report
« on: March 26, 2021, 09:16:11 AM »
UUP Liaison’s Report
Dan Harms
March 26, 2021

UUP was instrumental in its advocacy for getting statewide workers vaccinations on a widespread basis.

The stimulus money from the federal government is most welcome, but statewide advocacy efforts are still important, and this is a critical time for reaching out.

We’re already prepping for the next round of contract negotiations. Please contribute your views when you get the opportunity.

I’ll give an update on my explorations of librarian salaries and compression money.

Statement by Fred Kowal on the March 16 Attacks
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/210319.php

Statement on the COVID-19 Vaccinations
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/210310.php

Call for Expanded Access and Diversity
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/210311.php

Get involved:
https://uupinfo.org/

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January 15, 2021 Council Meeting @ VIRTUAL / Re: UUP Liaison Report
« on: January 15, 2021, 09:31:42 AM »
More data for the meeting.

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January 15, 2021 Council Meeting @ VIRTUAL / UUP Liaison Report
« on: January 14, 2021, 11:55:51 AM »
UUP Liaison Report
Dan Harms

Contractual raises have been once again delayed, this time through March. UUP is taking appropriate measures to ensure the enforcement of our contracts.

I’m interested in getting feedback on vaccinations for librarians and library workers. At this time, “in-person college instructors” are eligible for vaccination on the first phase of Group 1b. This does not cover a number of roles for which our workers might need to be on campus. UUP is advocating the state for a broader definition of educational workers, as was done in K-12. (Update: As of 1/14, NYLA is advocating for the same.)

We could really use help with our advocacy efforts to raise state funding and head off massive cuts: https://uupinfo.org/resources/raisingrevenue/

I will be reporting on the distribution of the salary compression funds at the meeting.

In the news:

UUP President Kowal Calls for Removal of President Trump
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/210107.php

Kowal Speaks Out on Capitol Attack
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/210106A.php

Kowal on the Federal Coronavirus Relief Package
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/201222.php

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November 13, 2020 Council Meeting @ VIRTUAL / UUP Liaison Report
« on: November 13, 2020, 09:40:29 AM »
UUP Liaison Report
Dan Harms

Press Release on Student Testing
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/200906.php

Fred Kowal on Mandatory Employee Testing Agreement
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/200914.php

Fred Kowal Re-Elected as UUP President
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/201026.php

Rally on Stock Transfer Tax
https://www.news10.com/news/ny-news/activists-rallying-for-stock-transfer-tax/

Support the Millionaire's Tax
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/pass-a-new-covid-19-mitigation-package-that-provides-crucial-support-to-new-york-state

Sign Up to Volunteer in Georgia
https://www.aftvotes.org/volunteer-ga

Call Your Legislator
https://uupinfo.org/legislation/advocacy.php

Talk with your chapter officers about any increase in workload.

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September 18, 2020 Council Meeting @ VIRTUAL / UUP Liaison Report
« on: September 15, 2020, 02:29:16 PM »
UUP Liaison’s Report
Dan Harms

UUP will be conducting a virtual Delegate Assembly on September 25, in order to set up procedures to vote for officers.

UUP also conducted a Tele-Town Hall for librarians and library workers on July 13.

UUP President Fred Kowal’s Statement on SUNY/UUP Agreement on Mandatory COVID-19 Testing for Employees
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/200914.php

Fred Kowal’s Statement on SUNY Adopting Surveillance Testing
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/200906.php

Fred Kowal’s Statement on the Selection of a New SUNY Chancellor
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/200819.php

Fred Kowal’s Statement on the Jacob Blake Shooting
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/200826.php



Take action to advocate for SUNY Funding
https://uupinfo.org/legislation/agenda.php




UUP Librarians and Library Professionals Webinar
Monday, July 13 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

1.   Welcome and thank you from statewide UUP officers
•   UUP has goal to get telecommuting agreement extended through December. Builds on existing telecommuting agreement to use it to protect employees who are vulnerable or immunocompromised (including families)
o   Overarching goal is to reduce density on campus. This is key to keeping everyone safe and making reopening feasible. Childcare and elder care are also issues tied up with need for telecommuting
o   Some campuses have not been using the telecommuting agreement to the fullest. Chapter leaders and Labor Relations Specialists are working on that through Labor-Management discussions.
•   While UUP is advocating for members at the state level, it is important that individual issues be brought to chapter officers and Labor Relation Specialists.
•   UUP will take the position that public access to SUNY libraries is inappropriate and unsafe. President Kowal will discuss this with SUNY. Public access to Libraries should not be allowed during the pandemic, similar to how other campus functions will not be open to the public.
•   UUP has been on the record asking SUNY for baseline testing of all individuals students and employees before returning to prevent campus outbreaks.  Many private colleges are adopting this approach and public sector colleges should do it as well.
o   UUP needs your help: sign the UUP petition which calls on SUNY for public hearing for members and stakeholders to voice concerns.  Signers can be any campus employees.  This may push SUNY to require testing and other precautions
   So far, no SUNY campus is conducting baseline or surveillance testing
o   SUNY and legislators may be open to this hearing. But we need more signatures on the petition
•   On July 13 Governor Cuomo released guidance for K-12 schools. Each school must develop specific reopening plans by the end of July. This has big implications for childcare this fall, and parents’ ability to work on campus vs telecommuting. Stay tuned

2.   A review of the questions submitted by members along with a general information update
•   What are rights to decline campus work if we feel at risk? What are HR criteria for working at home?
o   If you are directed to work from your station, you are obligated to comply. Not doing so may result in disciplinary action. UUP is arguing that campuses should respect formal requests for working at home due to increased risk. Employees should be allowed to telecommute if they can do their job responsibilities from home. Also, personal high risk for COVID is covered by ADA, so there is formal request process with HR. Family members who are high risk or staff with kids needing care should also be able to make requests. But there will be some staff who have to work on campus.  That’s when we need to make sure campus safety plans are followed closely. If you feel at risk on campus, you can decline to work – but while this is a defense against disciplinary actions that could be taken for refusing to work on campus, it may not be accepted. You may lose in a disciplinary proceeding.  No easy, clear answers. 
•   What right do employees have not to report to campus when their campuses are not following their registered reopening plan? What support is the union able to provide
o   UUP needs to hear about this immediately. This will become an instant phone call to SUNY officials. Let LRSs and UUP officers know and they will act quickly.
•   Can I be required to work on campus and be assigned duties that I have not been required to do in past,  e.g. clean desks/public computers, shelve books, circulate materials, monitor user behavior?
o   Personal responsibility for everyone – do what you can to keep yourself and neighbors safe. You are expected clean up after yourself. Deep cleaning is not responsibility of staff. Let your chapter leaders know if you have been asked to do substantial cleaning. Students should also be given personal responsibility for cleaning their work areas. Staff should issue gentle reminders to students, but shouldn’t need to do more. Campuses should develop specific policies for enforcement
o   Cleaning guidelines for bathrooms should be developed by campuses to fit unique needs of each campus.
o   We can expect campuses to issue specific guidelines for cleaning and social distancing processes. If there are holes, talk to chapter officers or UUP’s Labor Relations Specialist.
o   At some campuses, library employees told that “additional cleaning throughout the day will be the responsibility of campus staff and patrons.” There doesn’t seem to be anyone else identified to clean these facilities.
o   Enforcement is a controversial subject right now, especially with lots of people saying they don’t want UPD on campus for any reason. Staff should just issue gentle reminders to colleagues and students. Administrators and leaders should reinforce with strict policies and clear lines of responsibility.
o   As for extension of duties – talk to chapter officers and Labor Relations Specialists to  and make sure individual issues are immediately addressed.  This also brings the issue to UUP state-wide attention to be included in next round of negotiation.
   Also, rules around extra work are different from rules around extension or changes to work schedule or hours. Offsetting time and responsibilities or extra service pay on temporary basis may be solutions.  Finally, for Professionals compensatory time may be granted. There should be a performance program that tracks all hours/schedules/responsibilities that can be reviewed to see if offsets are needed. Do not take on extra work without first raising the issue fully with UUP and campus leaders. Academic Librarians do not have Performance Programs, so their issues need to be handled differently. Consult with chapter leaders.
3.   An open exchange of thoughts, ideas, and concerns surrounding reopening
•   Comment: I just learned this morning that HR has us listed as "professionals" when we are clearly not professionals but academics. That affects our "required work hours" too, same as what REDACTED is struggling with.
o   There are both professionals and academics on this webinar, so our discussion is meant to cover all generally. Often reopening guidance and other materials refer to “professionals” but do so in general way. Not necessarily meant to separate out academics. This webinar is for all professionals and academics in UUP who work in libraries.
•   HVAC concerns. What to do with them?
o   This is campus level issue. Bring them to chapter leaders and administrators.
o   Importance of HVAC systems in asymptomatic transmission is growing. There may be more guidance from state coming. State is putting more attention into public building HVAC systems.
•   Can anxiety/depression count toward evidence that staff can work from home because of disability?
o   Depends on the case. You will need medical documentation. Also, if severe enough, it could require use of sick leave. But you also risk seeming like you are unable to complete functions of your job, and therefore be deemed unfit for duty by employer.
•   ADA waivers for wearing masks - some people on campus may have these and therefore be exempted from requirements
o   It is false that there is widespread exemption from wearing masks. Those cards saying people don’t have to use them are fake
o   But small subset of exemptions for real health issues do exist.
o   Even if someone doesn’t have to wear a mask because of a waiver, they can be provided ALTERNATE accommodations, and do not need to be allowed into all facilities. May be told not to go some places and go elsewhere instead
•   Notification of positive cases: campuses have to work with local public health officials on every new case. There is no requirement that anyone other than the people with direct contact get contacted with name of person infected. Lots of privacy concerns.
•   What about library employees that are considered “essential”?
o   Being deemed an “essential employee” by your campus doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t telecommute, at least partially. Some jobs can be given flexibility
o   There is section of contract that covers this
o   There is broadening of term “essential” as we go into fall. Campuses need new types of staff to reopen. But some essential staff may be able to still telecommute
•   How does use of sick leave play into testing and quarantining?
UUP’s COVID-19 Q&A at the link below answers a series of questions about using leave accruals for COVID-related circumstances. It covers use of our contractual accruals and provisions under the new federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and federal emergency measures under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
https://uupinfo.org/resources/covid19/pdf/UUP_COVID19_QA.pdf


WEBSITES REFERENCED:
UUP Website:  uupinfo.org
UUP COVID-19 Q&A: https://uupinfo.org/resources/covid19/pdf/UUP_COVID19_QA.pdf
Telecommuting Pilot Program: https://uupinfo.org/resources/covid19/COVID19TelecommutingPilot.pdf
UUP Guidelines for Reopening:  https://uupinfo.org/resources/covid19/pdf/UUPReopeningPrinciples.pdf
UUP "Toolkit" for reopening: https://uuphost.org/myuup/MembersOnly/check.php
Petition: Call for SUNY to Convene a Virtual Public Hearing: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdOBbSQg9cpSE2NSK9f70iHybUu1gYV7ojQbbJrXeEu3w8_7g/viewform
Chapter leaders: https://uupinfo.org/directory/chapters.php
Information about Librarians and library professional staff salaries and benefits: https://uupinfo.org/contract/pdf/20162022NYSUUPAgreement.pdf
CDC information:  https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0625-update-expands-covid-19.html
EEO information about ADA:  https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws
COVID-19 related mental health: https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/covid-19-resources.html
Campus Employee Assistance Programs (EAP):  https://goer.ny.gov/employee-assistance-program
New York Forward:  https://forward.ny.gov/
NY Forward Guidelines for Higher Education:  https://uupinfo.org/resources/covid19/
NY Forward guidance for professional office spaces: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/OfficesSummaryGuidelines.pdf
DOL Complaint Process information:  https://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/coronavirus-complaints.shtm
ADA fraudulent waiver notices alert:  https://www.ada.gov/covid-19_flyer_alert.html
Dept of Health testing information: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing

PRESENTER CONTACT INFORMATION:

Jamie Dangler: jdangler@uupmail.org
Jeri O’Bryan-Losee: jobryan@uupmail.org
Tom Tucker: ttucker@uupmail.org



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June 17, 2020 Council Meeting @ VIRTUAL (Annual) / UUP Liaison Report
« on: June 16, 2020, 03:38:08 PM »
UUP Liaison Report
Dan Harms, Liaison to UUP

UUP Releases Guidelines to Re-Open SUNY Campuses
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/200601.php

Statement from Fred Kowal on the Resignation of Chancellor Johnson
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/200602.php

Statement from Fred Kowal on Supreme Court Ruling Protecting Gay and Transgender Workers
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/200615.php

Fighting Racial Injustice
https://uupinfo.org/resources/fightracism/

If our members lack PPEs that the college cannot or will not provide, please get in touch with us to see if any can be purchased.

UUP is encouraging any temporary employees who have not received an appointment letter for the coming year to apply for unemployment, so they can be ready for swift budgetary changes.

Advocacy, to both state and federal legislators, will be very important in this upcoming year. Go to http://uupinfo.org to learn about our legislative agenda and how you can help.

UUP is keeping an eye on a few situations regarding intellectual property from faculty, with administrations insisting that people sign over rights for online summer courses.

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March 27, 2020 Council Meeting (VIRTUAL) / UUP Liaison Report
« on: March 27, 2020, 10:11:42 AM »
UUP Liaison Report
Dan Harms, UUP Liaison to SUNYLA

UUP COVID-19 Resources, including Links to Health Organization
https://uupinfo.org/resources/covid19/

NYSUT Seeks Donations of Personal Protective Equipment
https://www.nysut.org/news/2020/march/coronavirus-donations

Tell Albany: Protect SUNY during the Coronavirus Crisis
https://uupinfo.org/communications/uupdate/200325.php

UUP, SUNY Agree to Pilot Telecommuting Program
https://uupinfo.org/communications/uupdate/200316.php

Kowal: Poor Federal Leadership Has Led to Hospital Shortages
https://uupinfo.org/communications/releases/200321.php

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Here is the revised Academic Freedom Statement for librarians.

Dan

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UUP Liaison's Update
Dan Harms, UUP Liaison

Delegates - check your email for UUP's survey on protected time (sent May 20)!

Union protections in new state budget
http://uupinfo.org/communications/uupdate/2019/190405A.php

Statement from UUP President Frederick E. Kowal on the 2019-20 state budget
http://uupinfo.org/communications/2019releases/190401.php

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March 15, 2019 Council Meeting @ Onondaga / UUP Liaison's Update
« on: March 14, 2019, 12:08:37 PM »
UUP Liaison's Update
Dan Harms

We are collecting data in preparation for the reforming of the A-48 Committee! We will be approaching some of you for your campus policies for promotion/tenure, as well as protected time for research.

You can itemize your union dues on your state taxes. Here's how:
http://uupinfo.org/communications/uupdate/2019/190116.php

UUP President Fred Kowal's Statement on Chancellor's State of the University System Address
http://uupinfo.org/communications/2019releases/190131.php

Fighting for Intellectual Property Rights
http://uupinfo.org/communications/uupdate/2019/190215.php


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January 18, 2019 Council Meeting @ FIT / UUP Update
« on: January 17, 2019, 11:42:10 AM »
UUP Update
Dan Harms, UUP Liaison

Higher Ed Advocacy Day in Albany is February 12! Can't make it? Check with your local chapter about in-district advocacy.
https://uuphost.org/myuup/Registration/ADVOCACY/RegForm.php

Kowal calls for enhanced MOE at Assembly Higher Ed hearing
http://uupinfo.org/communications/2018releases/181204.php

PSC, UUP Call on State Assembly to Peg College Funding to Inflation Rate
http://thechiefleader.com/news/news_of_the_week/psc-uup-call-on-state-assembly-to-peg-college-funding/article_117f2bd4-fa35-11e8-9a19-635653794210.html

The new wording for the contract is still in draft form.

Discussion: Academic freedom - contact danharms@earthlink.net if you want to help me draft a statement.

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January 18, 2019 Council Meeting @ FIT / Re: Campus Updates
« on: January 17, 2019, 11:27:22 AM »
Cortland Update
Jim Fitzgerald

Students in Dr. Szilvia Kadas' graphic design class created a wonderful, modern map of Memorial Library.  Dr. Kadas, an Assistant Professor of the Art & Art History department, collaborated with Jennifer Kronenbitter (Director of Libraries), Maaike Oldemans (Interim Associate Director of Libraries), and Lauren Stern (Information Literacy/Instruction Coordinator) to design this applied learning project for SUNY Cortland students.

South Central Regional Library Council (SCRLC) has awarded a $4583 Technology and Digitization Grant to the SUNY Cortland Library to digitize SUNY Cortland student newspapers. These include The Co-No Press (1925-1942), and The Dragon Chronicle (2013-2017). The newspapers will be added to New York State Historic Newspapers and made freely available to everyone at nyshistoricnewspapers.org. SCRLC's Technology and Digitization Grants are funded as part of the Regional Bibliographic Data Bases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing (RBDB) Program.

Brian Zoll comes to The Help Center of the Memorial Library with 17 years of experience working in academic libraries. As a recent graduate from SUNY Cortland with a BA in Biology, he was grateful for the educational opportunity provided to him as a veteran of the Army National Guard. While a student here on campus he developed fond regard for the Library as a welcoming and supportive place on campus where he conducted the majority of his studies and collaborations with colleagues. Due to his recent experience as a student, he has an intimate understanding of the importance of the services a library can provide to the campus community.

Hilary D. Wong has joined the Library staff at SUNY Cortland's Library, as an Instructional Services Librarian. She was at Cornell University Library in Special Collections for 8 years, and previously worked in Interlibrary Loan at the libraries of Ithaca College and Wells College. At Cortland, she is liaison to Biology, Geology and Physics.

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November 2, 2018 Council Meeting @ Delhi / UUP Liaison Report
« on: November 01, 2018, 01:03:51 PM »
UUP Liaison Report
Dan Harms

I will be attending remotely.

Important Dates for Paychecks:

     October 31 - $600 lump sum (prorated for part-time employees)

     November 28 - 2% increases for 2016 and 2017 applied, half of the retroactive pay for both of these increases (rest in July 2019)

     December 12 - 2% increases for 2018 and all of retroactive payments for 2018 increase

Check your paychecks, especially if you have part-time staffers.

I'm interesting in how your campuses are handling the Discretionary Salary Awards (DSA) money. This should be paid by December 26.

I'm still waiting for more news on A-48. If you wish to serve, please contact your chapter officers.


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September 21, 2018 Council Meeting @ UAlbany / Re: UUP Liaison Report
« on: September 19, 2018, 11:10:21 PM »
Report for SUNYLA: September 2018
Jason Torre, UUP

On September 5, 2018 UUP members ratified a new contract between UUP and New York State. During negotiations both parties agreed that certain issues were of such import that they warranted further review and discussion in post-contract Executive Level Committees comprised of state-level representatives from UUP, SUNY, and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations. Librarian issues and distribution of negotiated money to address salary compression are among the matters to be discussed at the state level. As soon as possible this fall, UUP will begin preparations for meetings with the state. UUP cannot predict the timeline for each Executive Level Committee at this point, but the salary compression work is the first priority.

Salary Compression

The new contract mandates that one-half of the on-base discretionary pool at each campus in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 be used to address salary compression. UUP and NYS are obligated to meet at the Executive Level to develop the guidelines and methodology that will be used at each campus. There must be an objective analysis of bargaining unit member salaries to determine where salary compression exists.

This new provision is meant to address UUP members’ concerns, voiced across campuses for many years, related to salary disparities within departments, units, academic disciplines and professional fields.

Here’s the key language from the Appendix A-41 in the 2016-22 contract:

“The executive-level committee shall develop guidelines and methodology for analyzing salary compression and/or inversion at each campus utilizing multiple regression analysis and/or other appropriate methods. The campuses shall apply the developed guidelines and methodology to determine the extent to which salary compression and/or inversion exists at each campus. The results of each campus analysis shall be reviewed and considered by each College President in distributing discretionary salary increases for 2019-2022 to full-time and part-time employees to remedy identified compression and/or inversion. The adopted guidelines and methodology shall be applied to address equity issues at each campus separately, and base salary adjustments shall be made from available funding allocated to each campus.”

The first step in the process will be a statewide Executive Level Committee meeting to reach agreement on process, timetable, and other procedural matters.  UUP will develop avenues for member involvement for input and monitoring at the chapter level.

Librarians’ Issues

The Appendix A-48 (Executive Level Committee on Librarians’ Issues) language from the last contract was preserved in the new one, which notes that Librarian titles, obligation, protected time, and compensation will be discussed at the Executive Level. In addition, A-48 was expanded to hone in on specific issues. 

Below is an outline of the individual items UUP has put forth to the state in response to questions that arose during the contract ratification campus visits made by Negotiations Team members this past summer. These issues and related responses are general understandings and proposals we have not yet reached agreement on with the state, though discussions occurred in the context of contract negotiations.
 
Existing protected time policies will be reviewed. This will include reviewing:

•   How the Joint L-M Committee Calendar Year Employee Leave Program could be better promoted for use by Librarians for research and scholarship leaves.

•   Data collected by both parties on protected time, including but not limited to campus’ promotion and tenure requirements for librarians and previous survey data.
 
SUNY will also issue a letter to all campuses clarifying the following:

•   That individual campus administrations have the option to appoint librarians to either academic year or a calendar year appointments.  This would be the first time we have a clear statement about that in writing from SUNY.

o   During contract ratification visits, members raised clarifying questions regarding the nature and timing of appointments. UUP will investigate and discuss these questions with SUNY.

•   That individual campuses administrations have the option to appoint librarians to either librarian titles or to corresponding general professor titles for academics.

o   During contract ratification visits and at the SUNYLA spring meeting, concerns were raised over potential abuse of the above understanding and the potential to further divide employees or create different librarian systems.  It is UUP’s position that librarians are academics and will remain so under this provision, however, we will investigate and discuss these concerns with SUNY.

Contract negotiations are a two-way street and both sides need to agree on particular steps to resolve each matter of concern. Because of discussions during contract negotiations, both sides agreed, as reflected in Appendix A-48, that more work needs to be done to resolve concerns and different positions taken by UUP and the State.  Members who are interested in serving in an advisory capacity to assist UUP officers in their preparation for upcoming state level discussions are encouraged to contact their campus UUP Chapter President. Members can also send questions, comments and suggestions to UUP at contract@uupmail.org.  The negotiations process doesn’t end with ratification of a new contract. Implementation is just as important, and we encourage all members to actively participate in advocating for our rights and for the SUNY system we are all so committed to.

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