October 10, 2014 Message to the Membership

Dear MSCA Faculty and Librarians,

In July Governor Patrick submitted a funding bill (H 4301) to fund certain FY 2014 deficiencies. Included in that bill was language to ratify a number of collective bargaining agreements that had been settled at that point, which did not included ours since we did not finally settle until August 25th.

Yesterday the House amended the bill, included the MSCA contract in the ratification section, and pass the bill. The Senate may take the bill up as early as Tuesday. The bill number has changed to H 4504 (APA and AFSCME contracts are also included).

The Governor is taking the position that sufficient funds have already been appropriated to fund the contracts in the reserve account created in the FY 2015 budget ($5,551,224, line item 1599-4440) and, as a result, he has recommended this legislation declaring the contracts “valid and enforceable” for the purposes of M.G.L. Ch. 150E, §7(c). Such legislation, if enacted, would mean that the General Court has ratified the contracts and the funds from the reserve account could then be expended.

The universities requested that the DHE submit a request for an additional $2.33 million since they compute the FY 2015 cost to be $7.88 million. I have been told that the DHE requested the additional funding, but since the governor claims that sufficient funds have been appropriated, he has not requested supplemental funds.

This does not necessarily mean that the increases would be paid if the bill is enacted.
The DHE or the presidents may claim that there are insufficient funds to pay the increase and not implement them, in which case the MSCA will take steps to see that the increases are paid as soon as possible, with interest at the statutory rate. If there are any bumps along the way I will be back and touch. If it is necessary to have member email and make phone calls, I will be back in touch. However, for now I ask that you wait and let the process continue to move forward.

C. J. O’Donnell
MSCA President