April 2015 – Potsdam Chapter UUP Newsletter

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April Newsletter

Executive Committee Meeting Notes 05/08/2015


UUP Potsdam Chapter

Executive Committee Meeting Notes

May 8, 2015


John Coté

Kathy Briggs

David Kistler

Jan Trybula

James Petercsak

Robert Vadas

Anjali Misra

Marianne Hebert

Susan Jones

Meeting Notes

Meeting Agenda was adopted.

March 27, 2015 Executive Committee meeting minutes were approved.

Release Time for Laura Rhoads, Chapter President, approved.

John’s updates: Professional Promotions/Salary Increase requests: Dr. Hefner’s proposal of once a year review at the end of summer is no long in effect. HR states that requests can be made at any time but review and effective dates go by the Reappointment calendar.

Evaluations are far below the required 100%. John will continue to monitor this. If employees’ Performance Program is not in place at the time of reappointment, they cannot be non-renewed since there is nothing to evaluate them on. The question was asked about whose responsibility it is to ensure that the PP is in place and the response is that it’s the immediate supervisor’s and that person’s supervisor’s responsibility.

Editing the Contract Articles: notices are being sent by HR that omit some contract articles; they’ve been advised that all info published must remain unchanged and include all articles (i.e., benefits)

Comp Time: all comp time must be in accordance with a written agreement between the employee and the supervisor. Supervisors should not ignore requests and approval must be in writing.

Discretionary Salary Awards (not on base): John will send out this information and/or post on the chapter webpage.

On Call/Recall: per Administration there are no such titles on campus. Concern was expressed re: job descriptions that describe the person being “on call” and UUP requested that this description no longer be used. John said caution should be used in pushing this fight since there are aspects that would be detrimental to our membership.

Scholarships: SUNY Potsdam may beat its own record by have three student winners; three students are being interviewed. Congratulations were extended to John for all of his hard work on this process.

Desperate need for officers:  John announced that we will soon be without a chapter treasurer as Kevin Hennessey is stepping down. David Kistler volunteered to take the position of Treasurer as long as the mandatory training will fit into his summer schedule. Susan Jones volunteered to take over David’s position as chapter Secretary. Vote on Treasurer was unanimous in favor of appointing David Kistler, members voting in favor David Kistler, James Petercsak, Robert Vadas, Anjali Misra and Marianne Hebert.  Approval in favor of appointing Susan Jones as Secretary was also unanimous.  James Petercsak, Robert Vadas, Anjali Misra, Marianne Hebert and David Kistler all voting in favor.

Jim Petercsak gave an update on the Delegate Assembly meeting.

UUP executives want more transparency with SUNY funds. Buffalo University Foundation funds were specifically mentioned as being in excess of $800 million, with some funds coming from donors such as the Koch brothers with possible political agendas that may include hiring of anti-union lobbyists.

Foundation funds are private and cannot be FOIL’d. Jim expressed concerns that the unrestricted funds may be used to pay down campus debt to SUNY Central when other campuses have had their debt forgiven.

John will ask the Statewide office to provide information from the Delegate Assembly to our Chapter office.

There was discussion about rights to intellectual property and that individual rights must be specifically waived in writing in order for SUNY to gain ownership.

Per Mary Dolan at the LM meeting on 4/23, the college owes an additional $1 million. John will send the budget notes to the Exec Committee –

Tuition revenue is down, there is a mandated 2% salary increase per the UUP contract, they are currently non-renewing some professional staff appointments.

President Esterberg said this budget reality is not a normal pendulum swing; other campuses have been forgiven loan debt but for some reason Potsdam is not.

There was significant discussion around the fact that the President wants faculty to teach new courses for minors that may not be within their knowledge specialty. That methods courses would be fused into generic methods courses. Kathy clarified that Higher Ed is not like K-12, where specialty certification is required; in HE instruction is based on qualifications and mastery of subject/skills, not certification. It is up to faculty governance to stop this issue.

The chapter office is working on an off-campus email database for UUP chapter members – this must be used for UUP business. Marianne asked if we could get a UUP email server/address for members.

The following items were approved

  • $125 for bottled water at commencement
  • Furniture purchase from a local, union-friendly vendor (UUP office desk)
  • Funds to provide for a summer meeting of Professional UUP members
  • Laura’s release time

UUP Executive Committee Meeting Agenda 05/08/2015

United University Professions Potsdam Chapter


May 8th, 2015 12:00-1:00PM Mac Vicar Hall Room 104 (Lunch available)


  1. Adoption of the Agenda 2. Approval of the Minutes of the March 27th, 2014 Executive Committee meeting
  2. President’s Report Report on the Labor-Management meeting April 23th at 11A.M.
  • Laura’s Release Time Approval
  • Approve funding to hold lunchtime Professionals meeting during the summer
  • Office Furniture
  • Request a meeting schedule regarding the system of promotions for professionals.
  • Evaluation Performance Program Update
  • Editing Contract Articles
  • Comp Time Agreements
  • Discretionary Increase Award
  • On Call / Re Call
  • Tobacco Use Policy
  1. Officer Reports
  • Vice President for Professionals/Scholarship Chair
  • Vice President for Academics
  • Treasurer
  • Publicity
  • Secretary
  • Membership
  • Grievance
  • Part-time Concerns
  • Affirmative Action
  1. Unfinished Business
  • Office Furniture
  • Area Rep. Meetings
  • Workshop S.W.O.T.  Analysis
  • Chapter Meeting
  • Newsletter
  • Web Page traffic
  1. New Business
  • Recruiting Activists / Appoint Chapter Officers
  • Chapter Assistant
  • Chapter Meeting
  • Summer Meeting for professionals                                                                                                                                                                                 

Upcoming Events:

  • June 10th 2015 – Professionals Retreat @ the Valcour, Peru NY

RSVP by 05/15/2015 to Potsdam Chapter Office if interested in attending

May 1st 2015 Agenda Scholarship Luncheon/Chapter Meeting


United University Professions

POTSDAM UUP Chapter Meeting

May 1st, 2015 12noon-1pm Thatcher Hall 2nd Floor (Lunch Buffett Served)


1) Welcoming UUP Members and Guest by John Cote’ 12noon   


  • Olivia Broersma -Anthropology/Journalism
  • Amjad Hussain- Political Science/Speech Communication
  • Caitlin Jones -French Education/Arabic Criminal Justice
  • Sage Keefer -Computer Science
  • Brandon Keough- Geology
  • Alexis Michael- Anthropology/Asian Studies
  • Alison Thompson- Art History
  • Katelyn Legacy- History/Mathematics (unable to attend)
  • Thomas Telesca- Community Health (unable to attend)
  • Robert Cameron- Mathematics major (unable to attend)
  • Leesa Isereau- Mathematics (unable to attend)
  • Kathleen Kane- Music Performance Voice (unable to attend)


Post Baccalaureate

  • Thomas Alzo- Childhood Education (unable to attend)
  • Grace Cady- M.S. ED /Literacy Specialist (unable to attend)

2) Introduce Scholarship Applicants

3) Lunch

4) Start of Chapter Business 12:30pm

5) Presidents report

  • election results, expenditures, summer Professionals meeting Regional Retreat at the Valcour, Peru, NY

6) Officers Reports 12:45pm

7) Closing by John Cote’ 1pm


Upcoming UUP Events:

  • May 8th – Executive Committee Meeting
  • June 10th – Professionals Regional Retreat @ the Valcour, Peru NY





L.M. Notes 04/23/2015

Labor Management Meeting

Date: Thursday April 23, 2015

Location: Raymond Hall, 7th floor boardroom

Time: 11:00am



  • John Cote, Acting President UUP
  • David Kistler, Secretary UUP
  • Kathy Briggs, LRS
  • Melissa Proulx, HR SUNY Potsdam
  • Mary Dolan, HR SUNY Potsdam


Items for Discussion:

1) Safety Issues in the PAC

  • Inspection by Homeland Security on 3/10/15 showed no violations.
  • Dr. Davidson’s risk assessment has been provided.
  • The question presented is what is the leadership to look like in taking responsibility for problems?   This has been tabled until the September.

2) State Budget

  • There was a slight increase in overall funding of 1.2% from the 2013/2014 academic year to the 2014/2015 academic year.
  • Contractual increases were $1.3 million, state allocations was $.2 million, leaving a deficit of $1.1 million in addition to the existing deficit.
  • There was a $.4 million expense increase.
  • Tuition revenue was $1 million less than anticipated.

3) Non Renewals

  • These are done on a case by case basis.
  • Any non-renewed person is eligible to apply for any position they are qualified for.

4) On Call

  • A concern was expressed with the terminology. Mary Dolan has agreed to change the term.
  • Pay is $4,000 for a summer appointment plus free housing.
  • There is no on call pay by itself.

5) Department By-Laws

  • There is a plan in process to address the by-law conflicts.
  • First priority will be medical leave and the second priority will be discipline.

6) Administrative priorities for the 2015-2016 academic year

  • The budget is the first priority.

L.M. Agenda 04/23/2015

Labor Management Meeting Agenda

Date: Thursday April 23, 2015

Location: Raymond Hall, 7th floor boardroom

Time: 11:00am

Members of our chapter Executive Committee will be attending.  We look forward to your input and attendance for this meeting.

We propose the following items for discussion:


  • Safety Issues in the PAC – Members want to know what progress has been made on the safety issues identified in Dr. Davidson’s risk assessment.
  • State Budget –
  • Non Renewals – Our members being told about vacant position at the college that they qualify for and encouraged to apply.
  • On Call – There is a posting for a staff assistant online with on-call mandatory responsibility.
  • Department By-Laws  – The chapter requests and agreement that any element which is contrary to the agreement, labor laws, or SUNY Potsdam policies be unenforceable at any and all levels.
  • Administrative Priorities for the 2015-2016 academic year




John Cote, Chapter President UUP
David Kistler, Secretary UUP
James Petercsak, VP of Academics
Kathy Briggs, LRS
Jennifer Hernandez, Chapter Assistant
Fred Kowal, Statewide President
Philippe Abraham, Statewide VP of Prof.
Eileen Landy, Statewide Secretary
Anjali Misra
Jan Trybula
Sue Jones
Kyle Fennell
Azad Islam
Linghong Li
Cynthia Morin
Karla Fennell
Lynn Hall
Marianne Herbert
Robert Vadas

Items for Discussion:

1. Asked that the Agenda be amended
• To replace VP Danglers with reports from Eileen Landy and Phillippe Abraham, due to VP Dangler could not be present.
2. Vote on Chapter Budget
• Vote passed unanimously
3. President Kowal Report
• Open the floor for questions
4. Eileen Landy
• Open the floor for questions
5. Philippe Abraham
• Open the floor for questions
6. Chapter President John Cote’s Closing Meeting


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