The following open letter was written jointly by UUP Presidential candidates, Frederick Kowal and Wes Kennison to explain the reasons they support ratification of the tentative contract:
We write to you today as two long-term activists in UUP and as the two candidates in the recent UUP Presidential Election. During the past three months, we both sought to conduct our campaigns with mutual respect. We committed to this with a view towards building a stronger UUP after the election concluded, no matter who won. That is why we have chosen to write this joint letter to you, our colleagues in UUP.
Though we disagreed on some matters during our campaign, we were in total agreement on one issue: The tentative agreement presently being considered by the membership MUST be ratified. We understand the legitimate concerns some have about parts of the agreement. It is not perfect. However, we both believe its ratification is in the best long-term interests of UUP.
Our union faces many grave challenges, including the drive to privatize our university’s hospitals, the threats posed by OpenSUNY and shared services, and the continuously poor budgets we have been facing as a university. We must turn our attention to building a much more vibrant and inclusive union to take on these issues. A successful ratification of this contract will allow us to move forward immediately in vigorous pursuit of our mission to protect one another and the future of our university.
Full and open debate on the contract is necessary and welcome. A great diversity of questions, concerns and opinions have emerged, as they should in a democratic union. And to those who see the contract as flawed, we simply state that we understand these criticisms, whether we agree with them or not. Our hope is that the energetic discussions on the contract will translate to a renewed dedication to our union and our common interest in its long-term strength in dealing with the challenges we face.
We urge you to vote yes on the contract. And let’s get to work building UUP into a more powerful, vibrant union for our future. There is no time to lose.
Frederick Kowal, Wes Kennison,
President-Elect, UUP UUP-Geneseo