Contract Enforcement


MSCA President CJ O’Donnell talks with Higher Education Commission Richard Freeland at a conference.


Enforcement of the Day and DGCE collective bargaining agreements is as important as their negotiation.  If you have questions or concerned about a possible violation, please contact the grievance officer at your university or the MSCA President’s office.

Grievance Flowchart

Unpaid Leaves of Absence for Full-time Faculty:

Faculty work from September 1st through May 31st (except at Mass Maritime), but are paid over twelve months, which means that days while out on an unpaid leave of absence cost more than a day’s pay.  See this Memorandum of Understanding on how the cost of an unpaid leave of absence should be computed.

15% Limitation on the Teaching of Certain Courses:

The MSCA has reached an agreement with the Board of Higher Education regarding their appeal of the Commonwealth Employee Relations Board’s ruling that the state universities had repudiated the 15% Rule.  The BHE will not pursue its order to stay the CERB’s decision and the MSCA will not insist on immediate compliance.  The state universities will make good faith efforts to become compliant by the 2017-2018 academic year.

In December 1986 day part-time faculty (teaching in their third or more consecutive semester) were added to the MSCA day bargaining unit.  In April 1987 the MSCA and the Massachusetts Board of Regents (now the Board of Higher Education) executed the first collective bargaining agreement that included part-time faculty.  That collective bargaining agreement contained a provision (now Article XX, Section C(10)) that limited the number of three-credit courses that part-time faculty could teach to 15% (20% at MassArt).  The provision allows a number of exceptions to the provision.

Despite inclusion in every collective bargaining agreement since 1987, the college, now universities, have been violating that provision since at least 2000 when the MSCA did an audit of the institutions.

You can view the timeline of actions that led up to Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations (DLR) ruling that universities must abide by that provision.

You can also see what has transpired since the DLR’s original ruling in January 2014 below:

DLR and Court actions:

Appeals Court Denies BHE’s/Presidents’ Stay Request

MSCA Opposition to Motion to Stay Enforcement

MSCA Motion to Intervene

Memo in Support of MSCA Opposition to Stay

CERB Response to Stay Motion

15% DLR Hearing Officer Decision

SUP-08-5396 CERB Decision Issued

University-reported Data on Violations:

Bridgewater Violations

Fitchburg Violations

Framingham Violations

MassArt Violations

MCLA Violations

Mass Maritime Violations

Salem Violations

Westfield Violations

Worcester Violations

Excess Workload Credits:

In 2005 the MSCA filed a consolidated grievance regarding the large number of full-time faculty who had “excess workload credits” (having taught on average the equivalent of more than 12 semester hours of credit of instruction each semester).

On December 16, 2005 Chair of the State College Council of Presidents, Dana Mohler-Faria, ruled that the colleges had to begin to reduce the excess workload credits.  See the ruling here.