October 8, 2021
Dear DGCE Faculty,
At our last DGCE bargaining session on September 10th, the union recognized that no further progress was possible given the significant differences in the financial bottom lines of the two sides. As a result, the union filed a petition with the Department of Labor Relations (DLR) to enter mediation. The DLR assigned a mediator and the two sides will meet for mediation on Friday, October 15th at 10:00 am. Unfortunately, given the nature of the mediation process, only the DGCE bargaining representatives (and their alternates) will be able to attend mediation sessions.
Throughout this 15-month long process, our team has greatly appreciated the support of our silent representatives at the table, and we look forward to engaging together with our members in specific actions in support of our efforts. An update will be sent to you shortly after the mediation session on October 15th.
What is at stake?
DGCE faculty have been singled out as the only employees at the state universities who will not receive the 2.5% – 2% – 2% salary increase over three years that has been offered to all other unionized employees in the state. Despite DGCE faculty generating $118 million in revenue for our state universities last year and DGCE stipends costing only $29 million (25% of the gross revenue), the presidents are not willing to offer DGCE faculty the meager increases requested by the union, the same increases everyone else will be receiving.
You should know that the union’s proposal would amount to only $600,000 in the first year. The union believes our DGCE faculty, who are the lowest paid MSCA members, deserve this increase that amounts to only 50 cents for every $100 of revenue we generate.
We know our Day faculty and librarians will stand in solidarity with our lowest paid MSCA members and demand that the presidents offer DGCE faculty the same increases every other state university employee will receive.
Can the universities really afford this?
Yes. While the presidents point to a decline in student enrollment in the Day programs as the reason for not being able to afford these stipend increases in DGCE, the gross revenue in DGCE has increased more than $13 million from AY 2019-20 to AY 2020-21. Our proposed increase totaling $600,000 in the first year is certainly covered by that significant increase in revenue.
Moreover, in contrast to our administration at the state universities, the presidents at the 15 community colleges have offered their faculty in the Division of Continuing Education (DCE) stipend increases of 2.5% – 2% – 2%, despite their having suffered significantly larger declines in enrollment than the state universities. The community college presidents have offered additional financial incentives to their DGE faculty as well. Given that the community colleges can afford these stipend increases (and more!) for their DCE members, we hope the state university presidents eventually show that they value the contributions of DGCE faculty and offer the same increases to us as they have to all other employees.
What can you do to help?
In case the mediation process fails next week, our team has prepared an action plan that was approved by the MSCA Board of Directors on October 1st. Over the next few weeks, we will be asking all MSCA members to engage in specific actions as we fight for equity in pay for DGCE faculty and as always, we are very grateful for your support.
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)