The Council of Presidents (COP) and the MSCA Board of Directors agreed to an informal meeting regarding the stalemate of funding our contract. On Friday, January 18, nine members of the MSCA board met with the Presidents of Bridgewater, Mass. Maritime, and Fitchburg State.
At the January 18 meeting, the MSCA offered options to maintain the agreed upon terms of our contract, while meeting the 2% parameters imposed by the Governor. The first option requested that the COP fund equivalencies locally so that these need not be included in the state funding request (an option currently possible in our contract that allows the president’s to pay equivalencies at higher than minimum rates). The other option suggested offsetting the incremental costs (equivalencies, promotion increases, chair’s stipends) through the savings gained by changes in the 15% rule and changes to librarian vacation benefits. The Presidents in attendance agreed to bring these options to the COP for consideration.
Late yesterday, January 24, we received the COP’s response. The COP is not willing to fund the equivalencies locally “due to the overall financial impact to the system and the significant variance across the campuses”. They “agreed” to prepare more accurate calculations regarding the cost of equivalencies and to pursue a creative costing solution –but only at the bargaining table.
The MSCA board will prepare a more detailed response to the COP and will consider next steps at the February 1 Board of Director’s meeting. We will keep you updated with any additional information. Please refer to the MSCA website for details of past communications.