This week, NYSUT released its 2018 legislative wrap-up, which we encourage you to read through, as it provides a detailed overview of the legislative work NYSUT does on behalf of public educators and their students throughout New York State. Some items that are of particular interest to us as college faculty include:
Legislation Supported by NYSUT that Passed Both Houses
Enhanced Maintenance of Effort (MOE)
S.7259-A (LaValle)/A.10620 (Glick)
NYSUT advocated for the passage of this legislation, which will provide our public higher education institutions with an enhanced state maintenance of effort (MOE). This bill will require the state to cover critical mandatory costs such as building rentals, utility costs and other inflationary costs for CUNY, SUNY and the SUNY hospitals.
Unused Sick Time for Community College Employees to Offset Retiree Healthcare Costs
S.7933 (Benjamin)/A.10735 (Abbate)
NYSUT strongly supported the passage of legislation to add Community Colleges to the list of public entities that allow their employees to bank sick leave to offset the cost of healthcare coverage upon retirement. This common practice had previously been limited to employees of state agencies, independently elected offices and certain state academic bodies, including four-year campuses.
Five-Year Capital Planning for SUNY AND CUNY
S.7236 (LaValle)/A.10631 (Glick)
NYSUT supported this legislation, which requires the governor to include, as part of the executive budget proposal, a five-year capital plan for SUNY state operated campuses and CUNY senior colleges. The plan must cover one hundred percent of the annual critical maintenance costs for needs identified by each system.
UUP Pay Bill
S.9101 (LaValle)/A.11227 (Rules/Abbate)
NYSUT supported this legislation, which is required to authorize and implement the collective bargaining agreement with the state. The prior collective bargaining agreement expired on July 2, 2016, and the terms of the new agreement are for the period of July 2, 2016, thru July 1, 2022. Faculty and professional staff employed by the State University of New York have been working without a contract for nearly two years. This legislation would enact the provisions of the agreement, including retroactive salary and benefit increases, and would further appropriate funds to pay for these costs.
Legislation that NYSUT Opposed and that was Defeated
Education Tax Credits
S.7783-A (Golden)/A.10115 (Castorina)
NYSUT and its allies defeated several versions of the Education Affordability Act, a version of the Education Investment Tax Credit (ETC), as well as legislation that would convert the College Choice Savings Account to a primary and secondary educational voucher.
Permanent Tax Cap
NYSUT’s legislative team worked diligently to defeat legislation that sought to make permanent the tax cap for municipalities and school districts.
NYSUT was successful in our efforts to stop several bills that would have negatively impacted our members. Throughout the legislative session, NYSUT helped block bills that would have placed time limits on contract negotiations under the Triborough amendment to the Taylor Law, bills that would have placed newly hired employees in 401(k) style retirement plans instead of the public pension system and several other anti-labor bills put forward by unfriendly legislators.