The state and the United University Professions union have reached a tentative contract, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and UUP President Phillip H. Smith (in photo below) announced this afternoon. The union, which represents more than 35,000 State University of New York employees, has been without a contract since 2011. The agreement — which covers the period 2011 to 2015 — is tentative pending a vote by UUP membership this spring.
The pact would save roughly $87 million in wages through nine furlough days over the contract period, according to the governor’s Division of the Budget. Changes to health-care benefits would save $99 million.
— No wage hikes for 2011 through 2013, with 2 percent increases in both 2014 and 2015.
— Boosting health-insurance contribution rates by 2 percentage points for employees who make less than $40,137 a year and 6 percentage points for employees who earn $40,137 and above.
— Payments of $500, $500 and $250 (in a year) to be awarded at the discretion of the SUNY chancellor. UUP members don’t receive “step” increases or longevity pay, but campus presidents can make performance-incentive lump-sum payments of 0.5 percent a year (1 percent at the end of the contract term).
Cuomo said in a statement that the tentative agreement “continues the state’s commitment to fiscal discipline while recognizing the vital role our university employees play in a strong SUNY system.”
Smith said the deal is fair for the union and the state. “This contract meets the unique needs of our members and meets the state’s need to achieve savings in these difficult economic times.”
(UUP photo of Phillip Smith.)