Budget and Dues Proposal

April 17, 2001

Dear MSCA Member:

At its meeting of April 6th, the MSCA Board of Directors voted to adopt the budget and dues proposal for the FY 2002 that is presented on the reverse side. Final action on this budget and dues proposal will take place at the 2001 MSCA Delegate Assembly, to be held on April 28th at Bridgewater State College, beginning at 10:00 am.

Members should note that the proposed FY 2002 MSCA budget is quite a bit different from budgets adopted in recent years, and that the proposed annual dues will increase by $30 for full-time members. The proposed increased dues amounts for part-time members are proportionate to a $25 increase. This proposed dues increase represents the first one for the MSCA in eleven years.

In her presentation to the Board on April 6th, MSCA Treasurer Gail Price noted that budgets adopted in recent years have not realistically reflected actual expenditures in certain significant accounts. Cost overruns in the Office Maintenance Account, the Negotiations Account and the GrievanceArbitration Account were covered through withdrawals from MSCA reserve funds, without appropriate corrections or additional funding being provided. The protracted bargaining, in particular, cost over $118,765 during the three and one-half years of negotiations. Treasurer Price recommended, and the Board concurred, that the budget for FY 2002 should reflect actual projected expenditures in each account, rather than unrealistic lower figures that could not be adhered to.

Drawing down the reserves to cover the approximately 25% budget overrun that has occurred in each of the past four years made sense when the membership was without settled contracts and the reserves continued to grow. However, the stock market downturn over the past 14 months has cost the MSCA an additional $90,000 in the reserve account. Treasurer Price projected that, without a dues increase, the balance of the reserves would be completely depleted by the end of FY 2002.

In addition to the dues increase, the Board adopted several motions to cut spending on Board meetings and national conference attendance, accounts which also have increased in recent years. The Board will remain vigilant in its oversight of the final budget as it is adopted by the delegates on April 28th, without compromising the level of services that the membership deserves for their dues dollars.

Members should know that attendance at the Delegate Assembly in Bridgewater is open to all members in good standing. Please contact my office if you wish to receive directions and an agenda for the Assembly. Treasurer Price also welcomes your comments and questions about the proposed budget, past expenditures, and the proposed dues increase. Please contact her at the Treasurer's office in care of Westfield State College (413-562-1807) or by email (price@bridgew.edu).

Thank you for your support of the MSCA as we take action to resolve this financial crisis and put the union back on the road to financial stability.

For the Board,

Patricia V. Markunas

MSCA President