The Massachusetts State College Association (MSCA) represents you in all matters related to the Day and DGCE collective bargaining agreements regardless of whether you join the MSCA or not.
Research has shown that people in industries with union representation benefit from higher wages regardless of their membership. For example, see articles by Lawrence Mishel and Matthew Walters, 2003 and Lawrence Mishel, 2012.
Unions improve and seek to protect working conditions for all. This is at the same time unions are attacked by politicians openly and university administration surreptitiously. See remarks by MIT Professor Noam Chomsky – “How America’s Great University System Is Being Destroyed.”
You can choose to join the MSCA (the union), which is affiliated with the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) and the National Education Association (NEA), or to pay an agency service fee, which covers the costs of collective bargaining and contract enforcement rights for all members.
MSCA membership includes benefits that are covered by your union dues. Here are your benefits as a member of the MSCA union:
Union Member: You are protected by a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy that protects against lawsuits connected to your employment, such as from disgruntled students.
(Agency Fee Payer: You are personally liable for judgment against you.)
Union Member: You are eligible to receive free legal advice and free legal representation in such areas as employment discrimination, civil rights violations, privacy issues, workers compensation, unemployment, retirement, and violations of the new earned sick leave law for part-time workers.
(Agency Fee Payer: You have to represent yourself or hire and pay for your own attorney.)
Union Member: You are entitled to assistance in defraying legal costs incurred in defending against charges of crimes alleged to have occurred in the course of your employment.
(Agency Fee Payer: You would need to negotiate with your attorney regarding how to pay for their services.)
Leadership and Voice
Union Member: You are eligible to vote in all MSCA Elections such as those for chapter and statewide union officers.
(Agency Fee Payer: You have no say in who the union leaders are.)
Union Member: You can run for office within the MSCA, MTA and NEA offices; serve on committees within the MSCA, MTA and NEA; and become a delegate to the policy-making bodies within the MSCA, MTA and NEA.
(Agency Fee Payer: You have no ability to affect the union’s position on policy matters or internal governance.)
Union Member: You are eligible for thousands of discounts through MTA Benefits. There are discounts on auto, home and life insurance; mortgage financing; vision care and tax preparation – browse the discounts here. See their flyer or visit their website. You also have access to free or reduced admissions to museums, theaters, recreation areas and more. This includes a monthly payroll deduction option for high-cost items such as electronics and furniture.
(Agency Fee Payer: You are not eligible for these benefits through MTA.)
What you pay in Union Dues vs. Agency Fee
When you support your union through your membership and your union dues, the annual difference in the cost of union dues versus agency service fee ranges from $0.68 per week to 4.53 per week, depending upon how many credits you teach.
Specifically, here are the differences in cost for the 2016-2017 academic year:
Full-time: $292.67 ($5.63 per week)
Part-time (teaching 7 to 11 credits): $100.70 ($1.94 per week)
Part-time (teaching 4 to 6 credits): $82.37 ($1.58 per week)
Part-time (teaching up to 3 credits): $57.52 ($1.11 per week)
Click to view the 2016-2017 dues and agency fee rates.