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SUNY union and Cuomo sign tentative contract deal

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- The union representing 35,000 state university employees has struck a tentative deal with Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a new five-year labor contract.

The deal with the United University Professions calls for zero percent wage hikes in the first three years going back retroactively to 2011 until 2013. In the final two years of the proposed contract, UUP members would get 2 percent raises each year.

The tentative deal, which the state estimates will save $87 million in workforce expenses, still needs approval by the UUP membership in voting to occur later this spring. "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 Smith.

Here are the other terms of the proposed deal from a release today:

-Deficit Reduction Program involving nine furlough days, seven of which are paid back to the employee at the end of the contract. Only two of the days end up being straight furlough days, for which the employee receives no pay.

-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 percent for individuals and 31 percent 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 percent annually (1 percent at end of the contract term).


Andrew Cuomo
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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri |

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski |