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Farmingdale State Teachers Union, State Reach Deal

United University Professions and state tentatively agree on pact through 2015.

Story by Jason Molinet

The teachers union that represents Farmingdale State College’s 710 members, including 200 full-time professors, announced Tuesday it reached a tentative contract agreement with the state.

United University Professions, whose members have been working without a contract since 2011, will put a deal up for ratification that includes 2 percent wage hikes in 2014-15.

"This contract agreement continues the state's commitment to fiscal discipline while recognizing the vital role our university employees play in a strong SUNY system," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "I am pleased that through collaboration and working together the state has been able to reach a fair agreement with United University Professions."

Farmingdale State said it wouldn’t comment until the deal is ratified.

"This contract meets the unique needs of our members and meets the state's need to achieve savings in these difficult economic times,” said UUP President Phillip H. Smith, who serves 35,000 SUNY employees statewide. “It's a fair contract for our union and the state."

The State Budget Office said the agreement will save an estimated $87 million in wages through a deficit reduction program over the contract period in the form of nine furlough days. Changes to health benefits will save $99 million.

The tentative contract, which runs through July 1, 2016, includes:
  • Zero percent wage increases for the three years 2011-2013, and 2% increases in 2014 and 2015.
  • Deficit Reduction Program involving nine days.
  • A two percentage point increase in health insurance premium contributions for employees earning less than $40,137, making the share 12% for individuals and 27% for family premiums.
  • A six percentage point increase for employees earning $40,137 and above, making the share 16% for individuals and 31% for family premiums.
  • Benefit design changes for use of out of network services in the Empire Plan, including deductible and coinsurance increases for out of network medical benefits.
  • A health plan opt-out provision so employees can opt-out through a spouse/partner to a non-State health plan.
  • Payments of $500, $500, and $250 to be awarded to employees at the discretion of the Chancellor. UUP members receive no "step" increases or longevity payments but campus presidents may make performance incentive lump sum payments of 0.5% annually (1% at end of the contract term).
UUP also represents teachers at Stony Brook University, SUNY-Old Westbury, Nassau Community Collage in Garden City and Suffolk Community College.

Editor's note: Jason Molinet is an adjunct professor at Farmingdale State College.

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