Mask Mandate Agreement

Dear Members,

On August 23, 2021, the Day and DGCE Bargaining teams reached an agreement with management on a mandatory mask requirement for unit members at states universities instituting a mask mandate. You can find the signed Memorandum of Agreement here. The agreement requires faculty and librarians to wear a mask whenever in public, indoor settings. This does not apply to outdoor spaces or to private office spaces without visitors.

The agreement also includes language that should provide some direction to faculty and librarians if faced with a student who refuses to follow the mask policy. If a student fails to mask up even after the member has requested, the faculty member may dismiss the student from class, and upon refusal of the student to leave, the faculty may dismiss the class and report the student to the student conduct officer. Faculty will also receive prior notice of students in their classes who may have a mask exemption which will be issued through the disability resource office.

The union recognizes that many of our members have concerns about teaching while wearing a mask and how this might disrupt the teaching and learning environment. To that end, language was included that directs unit members to work with their Department Chair, Library Director or Library Program Area Chair, should they need resources to overcome challenges relative to providing instruction while wearing a mask and, for those who felt their teaching was negatively impacted by these experiences to note this in their personnel action narrative with respect to future evaluations.

Refusal to comply with the mandate, which will include a review and determination of non-compliance, will be subject to progressive discipline beginning with an oral warning for a first violation and leading to a two-day suspension or further discipline for a fourth and fifth violation, respectively.

Unit members seeking an exemption for the mask mandate due to medical reasons should do so through Human Resources, ADA process.

Our union understands that masks, along with vaccines, testing, social distancing and proper ventilation are key tools in fighting the spread of this virus and contributing to the safety of our members, students and the larger communities.

In solidarity,
The Day Bargaining Committee
Maria Hegbloom (Chair), Bridgewater State University 
Aruna Krishnamurthy (Vice Chair), Fitchburg State University 
Sarah Pilkenton, Framingham State University 
Katie Riel, MassArt 
David Eve, MCLA 
Todd Hibbert, Mass Maritime 
Dan Mulcare, Salem State University 
Margo Hennessy, Westfield State University 
Sam O’Connell, Worcester State University 
C.J. O’Donnell (MSCA President), Mass Maritime 
Roberta James (MTA Representative)

The DGCE Bargaining Committee
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)