The Taylor Law, passed in 1967, gave public employees in New York State the right to bargain collectively to establish their terms and conditions of employment. In 1968, the State University Federation of Teachers (SUFT) filed a petition with PERB, seeking collective bargaining rights at five SUNY campuses. PERB ordered hearings to determine the composition of the unit; after more than a year of hearings and court appeals, a SUNY-wide, single-unit election was ordered in the fall of 1970.
On the ballot were SUFT, AAUP, CSEA, “no agent,” and a new organization, the Senate Professional Association (SPA), formed during the spring of 1970. After an intensive campaign, including a run-off election between SPA and SUFT, SPA was certified by PERB in early 1971 as the exclusive representative of the State University professional staff.
Negotiations began soon thereafter, and SPA moved to affiliate with NEA and its state organization, NYSTA. In August, 1971, a three-year contract was signed by SPA and the OER, representing the State of New York.
Ezra B.W. Zubrow
Ka Yuet Kwan