|UUP President Phillip Smith|
February 19, 2013Gov. Andrew Cuomo and United University Professions President Phillip Smith announced Tuesday a tentative agreement between the state and the union that represents more than 35,000 State University of New York employees.
The agreement, pending ratification by UUP members, is projected to save the state a total of $186 million over the contract period — $87 million in wages through a deficit reduction program and $99 million in savings through lower contributions to employee's health benefits.
The state and the UUP agreed on a zero-percent wage increase for the three years 2011-2013, and a 2 percent increases in 2014 and 2015. It also includes a 2 percentage point increase in health insurance premium contributions for employees earning less than $40,137, making the share 12 percent for individuals and 27 percent for family premiums. For those earning more than that, they will pay an additional 6 percentage points, bringing their share of health insurance premiums to 16 percent for individuals and 31 percent for families.
"This contract meets the unique needs of our members and meets the state's need to achieve savings in these difficult economic times," Smith said. "It's a fair contract for our union and the state."
The UUP has been without a state contract since 2011. The governor issued a statement on the agreement noting the state's commitment to fiscal responsibility.
"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," Cuomo said in a press release.
"I am pleased that through collaboration and working together the state has been able to reach a fair agreement with the United University Professions."