Dear MSCA Faculty and Librarians,
The Massachusetts Senate has passed its version of the FY 2018 budget which differs slightly from the Massachusetts House version. The budget will now to considered behind closed doors in a conference committee.
The MSCA is asking you to send a message to members of the conference committee regarding items we wish to see included in the final budget and one item we wish NOT to see in the final budget.
This message can be sent through the MTA website.
You can edit the message through MTA’s system and send it by email automatically or print paper copies to mail.
If you prefer you can edit the message which I have included below:
The members of the conference committee are:
Rep. Todd Smola, State House – Room 124, Todd.Smola@mahouse.gov
Sen. Karen Spilka, State House – Room 212, Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov
Sen. Vinny deMacedo, State House – Room 313C, Vinny.deMacedo@masenate.gov
Sen. Sal DiDomenico, State House – Room 208, Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov
Rep. Stephen Kulik, State House – Room 238, Stephen.Kulik@mahouse.gov
Rep. Brian Dempsey, State House – Room 243, Brian.Dempsey@mahouse.gov
24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02133
I am writing to urge the Conference Committee to support the following items in the Fiscal Year 2018 state budget. They are all critically important to public education:
– Senate-approved funding levels for the University of Massachusetts, state universities and community colleges.
– Senate-approved funding level of $4,755,814,886 for Chapter 70 aid.
Please OPPOSE the following policy provision in the Senate budget:
– Sick Leave Accrual Cap (Sections 37, 234-238 and 255). These sections place a cap on state employee sick time. In many cases, sick time cap policies have been bargained in lieu of other pay and benefit increases. This issue most appropriately belongs at the collective bargaining table.
Please SUPPORT the following policy provisions in the Senate budget:
– Group Insurance Commission Composition (Section 48): This section makes important changes to the Group Insurance Commission by creating two additional labor seats. The language also clarifies the appointment process and adds a requirement that the GIC hold at least two public hearings prior to a commission vote related to any plan design changes, such as increasing co-pays and deductibles.
– Line-of-Duty Benefit (Section 46): This section grants in-the-line-of-duty benefits to all public-sector employees, making their families eligible for a $300,000 benefit if the employee is killed in the course of work duties.
– Foundation Budget (Sections 75-83 and 36): These sections implement the findings of the Foundation Budget Review Commission. The language would update the foundation budget, codify in M.G.L. the broader Chapter 70 funding formula that has been in effect over the past decade, and require the state to develop a schedule (subject to appropriation) for funding the commission’s monetary recommendations.
– DDMs (Sections 72 and 84): These sections eliminate the use of student test data in educator evaluations. School districts will not sacrifice quality or lose any resources if this language is adopted. In fact, many districts would see cost savings because of a substantial reduction in the tremendous amount of time required to conceptualize, create and implement these measures.
– Recess (Section 73): This section mandates 20 minutes of recess as part of the existing school day for students in grades K-5.