Monday December 18, 2000
I would like to thank everyone who
participated in the MSCA presidential election. I am especially grateful for
the strong vote of confidence that I received from the membership. It is an
honor and a privilege to serve as your MSCA president and to represent your
interests and concerns. I look forward to hearing from you and working together
as we face the challenges ahead.
This is the first in what I hope
will be a regular series of communications with the membership. I learned
during the campaigns that an increasing number of members rely on the MSCA
webpage for information about the activities of the Association. I hope to
improve its currency as well as that of the MSCA Perspective to stay in touch
with members throughout the state.
Since I assumed office on December
8th, I have represented you at several meetings, the bargaining table, the
Board of Higher Education, and the State House. This transition is particularly
challenging, given my continued responsibilities for a full-time teaching
load and the lead time necessary to prepare office space at Salem and move
equipment and furniture from both the Worcester and Bridgewater campuses.
As soon as I have established a permanent mailing address and telephone, I
will get that information out to you.
In the interim, I have voice mail
at 978-542-6921 and email at Pmarkunas@aol.com.
Ms. Kathleen Ell will begin her employment as Secretary to the MSCA President
on December 18th. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have concerns
Status of the 3% Pay Raise
On December 8th, I learned that the 3% pay increase, negotiated as part of
the one-year contract extension, was in danger of not being acted upon by
the Legislature before the adjournment of this session. In response to a request
transmitted to the chapters, many members phoned/emailed their representatives
and senators to urge action on our bill. On December 12th, MTA lobbyist Arline
Isaacson and I met with staff of both the House and Senate Ways & Means Committees
at the State House. I also had been in touch with the state college Council
of Presidents, who were carrying out their own lobbying efforts for the bill.
Our pay raise has been incorporated as a line-item into a supplemental budget,
S2323. This budget has been engrossed by the Senate and will be considered
by the House this week. Although there are points of contention in the supplemental
budgets proposed by each side of the Legislature, our pay increases are not
one of those. The MTA lobbyists will monitor the status of our line-item and
keep us informed.
Thanks to all the chapter presidents
who put out the request for calls to the State House and to the members who
made those calls. The response was immediate and noted by your representatives
DGCE contract bargaining will be held at Worcester State College on Wednesday,
December 20th. Progress has been made this semester and we are optimistic
about a settlement soon of this three-year contract for members who teach
in the continuing education and graduate programs at state colleges.
Day contract bargaining was held
at Worcester State College on Friday, December 15th. As has been the practice,
a detailed report on the status of day negotiations is being prepared and
will be distributed to the membership. Several points of discrepancy between
the MSCA and the BHE proposals on post-tenure review were resolved.
However, major problems still exist,
particularly around the frequency of evaluations (the BHE proposal includes
the possibility of evaluations of tenured members more frequently than every
seven years) and the quality of the evaluations conducted (the BHE wants a
replication of the amount of materials produced for an original tenure application).
The BHE proposal essentially is for seven-year term contracts to replace tenure,
with the possibility of more frequent evaluations for targeted tenured faculty
BHE negotiator Jay LaPorte stated
that the BHE will not alter its post-tenure evaluation proposals any further.
The MSCA remains committed to bargaining in good faith. Given exam schedules
and the holidays, the sides agreed to meet next in early January.
The Massachusetts Congressional Delegation
has written and signed a letter to Governor Cellucci, urging action on our
contract and supporting our need to be paid equitably with colleagues nationwide.
We will get that letter posted on the webpage soon.
Board of Higher Education
On December 5th, nearly 100 MSCA members staged an informational picketing
demonstration at the BHE meeting held on the Salem State College campus. As
MSCA President-elect, I addressed the Board about the importance of settling
the contract as soon as possible. These remarks can be found on the MSCA
Thanks to the many members of the
Salem Chapter who participated in the picketing and to members from the Fitchburg,
Bridgewater and Worcester chapters who traveled to Salem on a very cold morning
to join the demonstration.
MSCA Board of Directors Meeting
The MSCA Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Friday, December
29th, at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Natick, beginning at 10:00 am. The holiday
shutdown of college dining services across the state precluded holding this
meeting on a state college campus, but this meeting, as is true with all Board
meetings, is open to the general membership. Please contact 978-542-6921 if
you would like to receive driving directions.
My husband and I wish you and your
family a happy holiday and a restful semester break. Best wishes for 2001.
to the Membership