I write today to inform you of an important step that your union has taken to push back against the state university presidents’ narrative used over the most recent bargaining cycles for day and DGCE.
On August 27, 2021, the MSCA Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the creation of an Investigative Budget Committee with the charge of collecting and analyzing relevant financial information about the nine state universities.
The committee will work with chapter presidents to inform and educate members of the universities’ financial status.
Why has your union taken this step?
As you know, day contract negotiations concluded on August 20, 2021. Among the proposals the presidents proffered were:
- eliminating the advance notice provision for retrenchment and allowing for immediate layoff;
- effectively eliminating seniority and tenure as consideration in layoffs;
- creating a new, non-tenure-track category of faculty; and
- increasing the limit on section taught by part-time faculty in larger departments from 15% to 25%.
The presidents stated at the table that these changes were necessary “to save the state universities.”
Although the day contract was settled without these draconian changes included, the DGCE unit has been told – after 15 months at the table – that the presidents cannot afford a single penny increase for three years!
The presidents’ comments and proposals shook us, as they should you.
The union cannot assume the presidents are simply posturing during contract negotiations, particularly since Salem State University implemented furloughs last year (that were clearly unnecessary), and Fitchburg State University and Westfield State University considered including furloughs in their FY 2021 budgets.
We need to know if the state universities are being financially and academically mismanaged, and what changes we need to act to stop the mismanagement.
Please contact your chapter president if you are interested in serving on this important new statewide committee. Over the next few months, we will need your help and support as we create a counternarrative to push back against the presidents’ austerity narrative.