[ OUR SRPs ]

Getting to know … Brendan McGovern

A portrait headshot photograph of Brendan McGovern grinning in a white suit and dark burgundy tie

Brendan McGovern, United University Professions–Binghamton Chapter, is the program coordinator for the Department of Geography at SUNY Binghamton. He was interviewed by Andre L. Mathis, a member of UUP–Binghamton and NYSUT’s SRP Advisory Committee.

Tell me about your job and why you love what you do.

My responsibilities range from recruiting graduate students and managing our online summer and winter intersession programs to addressing the various unforeseen situations that arise on any given day. My favorite part of my job is helping and interacting with students. I have an open-door policy in my office, and students know that they can come to me at any time for help, for guidance and to just say “hi” after a long day.

How did you get involved with your union?

My grandfather was a union organizer for the Erne River Hydroelectric Scheme back in Ireland, and my father, an Irish immigrant, is also a proud union member so I fully understand the benefits to a good quality of life that a union can provide. It was instilled in me at a very young age that joining together in unions enables workers to negotiate for higher wages and benefits and improve conditions.

I have been involved with UUP for as long as I have been working at Binghamton University. I became a delegate, was elected to the executive board, and appointed membership development officer and political coordinator. I now serve as the vice president for professionals.

How do you make a difference?

I am active in my union because we need people who will speak on behalf of and represent others. My main purpose is to ensure the fair and equal treatment of every member of our bargaining unit, to ensure that the contract is followed and, beyond that, our members are provided a safe, healthy and professional work environment and treated and compensated fairly for the professional obligations we fulfill. We will ensure we continue to make progress toward a better life and toward a better organization. Together, in solidarity, we will fight the good fight.

What about your community engagement; any hobbies?

I am the city chairperson for the Democratic Party in Cortland where I work to recruit labor-friendly candidates. I am very involved in the Irish-American community of New York, including the Donegal Association, the United Irish Counties and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. I coached Little League for many years while my children played ball, and I very much enjoy cheering on my daughter as she competes at gymnastics meets throughout the state. I like to travel, and I’m also a huge sports fan. Let’s Go Mets!