July 12, 2021
Dear DGCE Faculty,
Today, our DGCE bargaining team met with representatives of the nine state university’s presidents for the 13th time. We have been bargaining for over a year and our contract expired more than 6 months ago.
Since almost every other union in the Commonwealth has received financial parameters (other than no raise), we anticipated that a fair financial offer from the presidents would be introduced today at the table. No such offer was made.
This comes as:
- the state experienced a surplus of more than $3 Billion, the largest in the history of the Commonwealth and nearly double the largest previous surplus;
- our institutions have received $200 Million in direct federal aid relief to cover pandemic-related costs;
- most of the state universities experienced growth in gross DGCE revenue over the past 2 years, for example 20% at Fitchburg, 16.5% at Bridgewater, 14.5% at Westfield and 7.5% at Salem.
In light of this, it is unacceptable that the presidents refuse to authorize more than 0% – 0% – 0% stipend increases. Their offer is insulting and disrespectful to our members considering all the sacrifices we made for our students during the pandemic and in keeping our institutions afloat.
The presidents’ representatives at the table routinely express “appreciation” of our efforts during the pandemic. However, given the presidents’ refusal to offer you even a single penny, at today’s session, bargaining committee member Robert Donohue gave voice to the team’s outrage at the presidents’ empty expressions of appreciation. We believe that the presidents can show genuine appreciation by offering our members a fair stipend increase.
While the union was prepared to discuss changes to several of our proposals in anticipation of a fair financial offer, the team determined that with 0% – 0% – 0% still on the table, it would not be in our members’ best interest to make concessions at this point. After 45 minutes of the meeting, the union believed no further progress could be made today given the presidents’ egregious disregard for our DGCE faculty, who remain among the lowest paid employees at the state universities.
In view of the lack of progress at the table, we hope that you will share your outrage with your colleagues, and we ask that you attend the next DGCE bargaining session on August 18th from 1:00-5:00 pm to support our bargaining efforts. Interested members can sign up here by August 17th at 5 pm.
Irina Seceleanu (Bridgewater), Chair
Rala Diakite (Fitchburg), Vice Chair
Robert Donohue (Framingham)
Ben Ryterband (MassArt)
Graziana Ramsden (MCLA)
Todd Hibbert (Mass Maritime)
David Goodof (Salem)
Chris Masi (Westfield)|
Sam O’Connell (Worcester)
CJ O’Donnell (MSCA President)
Roberta James (MTA Field Representative)