MSCA Perspective - July 2001

State House Ceremony Caps Three Years of Bargaining

On May 10th, representatives of the Massachusetts State College Association and the Massachusetts Teachers Association gathered with representatives of the Board of Higher Education and Governor's Swift administration to execute the 2001-2003 MTA/BHE Agreement, which had been ratified by an 85% approval vote of the membership the previous week.

Governor Swift, who at the time was confined to bed rest at Brigham and Women's Hospital, signed the contract and the legislation necessary for its funding. This marks the first time a sitting governor has executed an agreement with the state college faculty and librarians, and the quickest turn-around time (four working days after ratification) in which contract funding legislation has been filed by the administration. Both actions represent positive changes from previous administrations' handling of contract funding legislation.

The signing ceremony took place in the governor's office in the State House in Boston. Secretary of Administration and Finance Stephen Crosby represented the governor. Brief remarks were given by MSCA President Patricia Markunas and BHE Chancellor Judith Gill.

The contract funding bill, HB 4148, will be considered only after the adoption of the final budget for fiscal year 2002. All indications are that this bill, a supplemental budget request to the FY 2002 budget, should be adopted without any problem once the overall budget has been adopted. MSCA President Markunas considers the passage of this bill to be our highest priority for the summer and has been in constant contact with MTA lobbyists and our representatives in the legislature. Members can follow the progress of HB 4148 on the MSCA webpage: