Legislation and Your Legislators

MSCA member Walter Harper (center) and MSCA Vice President Robert Donohue testify on a bill that would provide health insurance and pensions to adjunct faculty.

MSCA Legislative Initiatives:

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds:  The conference committee has released and filed its consensus bill. The line item agreements of the conference committee are here.

MSCA’s Action Network alert was able to generate hundreds of letters in our effort to urge the conference committee to agree to the higher amounts between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

For the state universities, we were able to help get the Legislature to secure $30,000,000 for financial impacts of the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic and maintenance projects, $5,000,000 for public higher education students’ mental health needs, $1,000,000 for department of higher education food security grants and $5,000,000 in an endowment matching fund.

Fair Working Conditions for Adjunct Faculty:  Two bills (H2723 and S1732) have been filed that would provide pension eligibility for part-time and DGCE faculty teaching a minimal number of courses (among all public higher education in Massachusetts). The bills would also encourage stipends prorated to those of full-time faculty, afford adjunct faculty timely notice and priority consideration for courses being offered with “full and fair” consideration in attaining tenure-track positions, ensure the accumulation of seniority, advance notice of posting and requiring that they receive an interview during the search process.
Testimony of MTA President Merrie Najimy
Testimony of BSU faculty member Nicole Williams
Testimony of BHCC faculty member Eric Parkison

Tuition Waiver:  Two bills (H2724 and S1733) have been filed that would provide for waiver of 100% of tuition and mandatory fees for full-time and part-time faculty and staff, their spouses and their dependent children attending a Massachusetts public higher education institution. This would greatly enhance the BHE policy that was adopted in 1984, and which now only covers roughly 10% of those costs.

Streamlining Contract Funding:  A number of bills have been filed this legislative session that would improve Chapter 150E, the collective bargaining law in Massachusetts.  Among them are H2724 and S1733.  These bills would, in part, streamline the funding of a settled contract, and prevent the governor from refusing the submit a request for funding a settled contract, as happened with the previous day contract.  The funding request would be submitted directly from our employer to the Legislature rather than being submitted to the governor and hoping the governor submits the funding request.

Additional Pension BenefitACTION NETWORK ALERT!
A bill (H2808) has been filed that would grant to essential workers who continued to report to a worksite outside of their personal residence during the COVID-19 emergency up to three years of age, creditable service, or a combination thereof. This is not an early retirement bill. The extra years would be available to you for the rest of your career.  Faculty and librarians who reported to campus would be included.


Important Laws:
Freedom to Join Act

Massachusetts Legislation of Interest:
MTA’s current Higher Education Legislative Action
MTA’s current Legislative Action
Fund our Future
Raise Up Massachusetts
Search bills submitted this session

Federal Legislation of Interest:

Massachusetts Elected Officials
General Court of Massachusetts
Governor’s Office
House of Representatives – members by name
Senate – members by name
Senators and Representatives by City/Town

Federal Elected Officials
US House of Representatives – Member List
US Senate – Member List

Note:  When sending email to legislators through the MTA Website, members should know that copies will be sent to the MTA Governmental Relations Division as well.