2019 Election Results

The official results of the 2019 Upstate Chapter Election can be found here (opens a PDF in a new window or tab). 

Your elected officers for the 2019-2021 term:

  • President & Delegate: TBD* either Colin Massulik (Professional) or Richard Veenstra (Academic)
  • Vice President for Academics & Delegate: Richard Veenstra
  • Vice President for Professionals & Delegate: Mindy Heath
  • Secretary: Debra Tafel
  • Treasurer: Deb Benware
  • Officer For Contingents: Joyce Freeman
  • Officer for Retirees: Carol Braund 

*No one candidate got enough votes to get the “majority” in the race for President. So now there are only TWO candidates running for the office of President in a runoff election. Not sure who to vote for? Click here to read their statements.

Runoff election…

The following are candidate statements written by members running for the office of Chapter President for the 2019-2021 term. A runoff election is currently in progress and a winner should be declared by June 1, 2019, when the new terms begin.

President and Delegate — Colin Massulik

Colin Massulik
Running for UUP President

I’ve been actively involved in UUP for over a decade since I started at Upstate in 2006. Serving in several capacities, including delegate, webmaster, and your elected Secretary for the past three terms, I also serve at the State level as a member of the Constitution and Governance Committee. In addition, I was appointed to serve in leadership roles such as co-chair of the New York State/UUP Joint Labor-Management Herbert N. Wright Safety and Health and the Campus Grants Committees, responsible for millions of dollars in grant money.

Leadership: My professional career started in the Army as combat soldier and I am now a veteran. These days I coach several youth and adult sports. That means I know good leadership when I see it. Good leadership inspires. Good leadership motivates. Good leadership gets people to stand up and join the fight for what we believe is right. My promise is to bring to our chapter a new kind of leadership that is ready to deal with the issues of today.

Communication: Some of you may recognize me as a technical support member of the Information Management & Technology department. With a Bachelors degree in Art and a Masters degree in Science, those that have worked with me know that I have a well-rounded approach to creatively solving problems. My goal is to bring to the union emerging technologies that allows us to communicate with all of our members, providing avenues of communication allowing us to respond quickly and appropriately.

I thank you for your support and look forward to continuing being of service to you, the member, the most important part of this organization.

— Colin Massulik

President & Delegate — Rich Veenstra

Richard Veenstra, PhD, Running for UUP President

I have served as your Vice President for Academics since 2013 when Mike Lyon first became our Chapter President. Now both Carl Pettengill and Mike Lyon have retired or are retiring at the end of the 2017-2019 term and it is time for new Chapter leadership to guide us forward by upholding the provisions of the new 2016-2022 collective bargaining agreement between New York State and United University Professions, i.e. the “UUP contract”, defend the terms and conditions of employment for our bargaining unit members provided by the contract, maintain the working relationships we have developed that have enabled us to accomplish the goals we’ve achieved thus far, and continue to build new relationships to ensure the viability of this Chapter beyond my years of service. I have served as a UUP Delegate since the mid-1990s, Vice President for Academics since 2013, and, most recently, as a UUP Statewide Executive Board member since 2017. My UUP activities now also include serving on the Statewide Joint Labor Management Professional Development Committee, as an Executive Liaison to the Academic Medical Programs Committee, Outreach Committee member and Chapter Political Coordinator, and Region 2 Political Coordinator since Fall 2018. I routinely attend the UUP Delegate Assemblies, participate in the UUP/Health Science Center Advocacy Day in Albany, monthly UUP Executive Board meetings, our local monthly Chapter Officers, Executive Board, and biweekly Labor-Management (L/M) meetings, and the Adopt-a-Highway cleanup every spring and fall. I also currently serve as the Basic Sciences Representative to the Clinical Practice Plan Governing Board and have served as Vice Chair of the Upstate Faculty Council the past 5 years where I provide UUP reports to the monthly Medical College Assembly Executive Committee and bi-monthly Faculty Council meetings. Maintaining a relationship with Shared Faculty Governance and the SUNY Faculty Senate is essential to having a collective voice in Albany and on campus here in Syracuse that affect our professional careers, our work life balance, and our future as educators, researchers, and health care providers. In these post-Janus years, we must constantly work to maintain our membership in UUP, increase our delegate/member representation in every College, Department, and Division of the SUNY Upstate Medical University and University Hospital so that all of the concerns of our members are listened and responded to in a timely and collegial manner. Most importantly, we need to develop new leadership in our UUP Upstate Medical Chapter to preserve the progress we’ve made and to achieve new and future goals to protect the working rights of our members and ensure their well-being beyond their working years on into retirement. 

So I am asking for your vote to serve as your next UUP Upstate Medical Chapter President for a two year term beginning this June 2019. If elected, my first major task will be to recruit a new Vice President for Academics to assist as needed in the performance of the above responsibilities. If I am not elected to be your next Chapter President, my goal will be to serve as your Vice President for Academics for another two year term to continue to achieve the goals and responsibilities of the Upstate Medical Chapter of UUP at the local and state level. I hope I can count on your vote. 

Thank you, Rich Veenstra