The faculty union, UUP, is currently negotiating a new contract with the state. Since July or something I've been working without a contract (don't expect a strike, like the autoworkers or the hollywood writers).
I am eager to see what is in the new contract. Specifically, is there an improved family leave policy? The cynic in me doubts we'll see any changes to the current unsatisfying leave policy. I just don't think it's enough of a priority for the union. I think they're inclined to just hold the reigns.
Susan Herbst, UAlbany's former "officer in charge" refused to act on the leave policy passed in the Senate two years ago on the grounds that she was not in a position to create such a dramatic policy change on the campus and that a more progressive policy would have to be up to the new president.
Our new "office in charge" George M. Phillip claims that he won't just be a caretaker while the university searches for a new president. There was talk among the Organization of Women Faculty (created by Susan Herbst -- I'll give her credit there) that the family leave proposal should be brought before him. I think that's a smashing idea. See if he's really going to steer this institution . . .