Contract update January 29, 2019

Contract Update:

Dear MSCA Members,

In its letter to the MSCA on December 18, 2018 the Board of Higher Education (BHE) notified us that the State University Council of Presidents were delegated the authority to reenter negotiations.

On January 4, 2019 the MSCA Board of Directors accepted management’s offer to have an informal meeting regarding the governor’s rejection of the funding request for our contract.

On Friday, January 18, 2019, nine members of the MSCA Board were able to meet with the COP’s Executive Committee (Fran McDonald, Mass Maritime Academy; Fred Clark, Bridgewater State University; and Rich Lapidus, Fitchburg State University).

While they arrived with no ideas or plans, we persisted nonetheless.  The MSCA suggested ways the parties could implement the terms of the contract, while meeting the 2% cost parameter imposed by the governor.  Among the suggestions were that the universities just request the 2% for the across the board increases and fund the other cost items, offsetting the incremental costs through the savings achieved from changes in the 15% rule and librarian vacation leave.  The Executive Committee agreed to bring this option to the COP for consideration.

On January 24 the MSCA received the COP’s response.  The COP is not willing to fund the equivalencies locally “due to the overall financial impact to the system and the significant variance across the campuses.”  They agreed that each university would prepare a more accurate calculation of the cost of equivalencies.  In addition, they agreed to pursue a creative costing solution “at the bargaining table.The MSCA Board has not responded to the COP, but will soon, and post that response on the MSCA website.  Next steps will be considered at the February 1, 2019 Board of Directors meeting.  We will inform you of any decisions made at that meeting.  Please refer to the MSCA website for details of past communications.