October 16, 2021
After more than seven hours at the mediation table yesterday, the DGCE Bargaining Committee settled on terms for a three-year collective bargaining agreement. The union was able to move the presidents from their previous offer of 0% – 0% – 0% for the duration of the contract to increases of 2.5% – 2% – 2% that were offered to every other bargaining unit at the state universities.
Key provisions of the tentative agreement that runs from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023 include:
- 2.5% stipend increase at the commencement of the spring 2021 instructional period
- 2.0% stipend increase at the commencement of the spring 2022 instructional period
- 2.0% stipend increase at the commencement of the spring 2023 instructional period
- Acknowledgement from the union that any payments above rank minima contractual stipends are discretionary and may be altered or discontinued by the University Presidents, though not prior to the summer 2022 instructional period
- Student evaluations given during the Fall 2020instructional period shall be expunged.
- Classroom observations conducted during the Fall 2020, Winter 2021 and Spring 2021 instructional periods shall be expunged
- Aligning grievance deadlines and language to that in the Day contract
- A vaccination mandate: DGCE faculty shall be required to receive a first dose by October 22, 2021 and a second dose, if required, by November 22, 2021. DGCE unit members who exclusively provide remote instruction and whose responsibilities do not require their presence on campus or in any university building will not be required to comply with this policy.
- Health and Safety provisions.
The stipend increases in the first year are retroactive to the start of the spring 2021 instructional period. As was the case in the Day contract, the 2.5% increase in the first year includes a 0.5% increase in exchange for the DGCE unit dropping our labor charge for their unilateral implementation of the 0.378% PMFL tax in October 2019. With regard to the discretionary language memorialized in the agreement, it was always the union’s understanding that the University Presidents could, at their will, discontinue any discretionary amounts they paid above the contractual minima. The union was, however, able to secure an agreement that any such discontinuation shall not be exercised prior to the summer 2022 instructional period.
The bargaining team would like to express our gratitude to all our MSCA members who stood in solidarity with our DGCE faculty and to all the silent representatives who were by our side over the course of 17 months of bargaining.
Finally, on a personal note as bargaining chair, I wanted to thank the members of our bargaining team, MSCA President CJ O’Donnell, Vice Chair Rala Diakite, and MTA field representatives Roberta James and Bret Seferian for their incredible work over the past 17 months.
We will follow up with members over the next few days with more information about the agreement and a date for ratification.
The DGCE Bargaining Team
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)