The 15% Rule
Dear Chapter Presidents,
If you have not already let your members know, please inform them that on February 6th the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relation’s (DLR) Commonwealth Employment Relations Board (CERB) affirmed the Hearing Officer’s finding and order that the BHE immediately comply with what we refer to as the 15% rule. The 15% rule limits the number of three- and four-credit courses that can be taught by part-time faculty in departments with six or more full-time faculty (with numerous sections exempt from the cap).
The Hearing Officer’s ruling, the CERB ruling, a timeline of the 14 years leading up to this rulings, and the history of violations at each university are posted on the new MSCA website: https://mscaunion.org/contract-enforcement/.
The BHE and presidents have requested a stay in the Massachusetts Appeals Court and have indicated that they believe the contract language is void because hiring unlimited, non-benefited, lower-paid, part-time faculty is a “managerial prerogative.” The BHE and presidents have indicated that they are requesting the stay because they intend to appeal the CERB decision, requesting that the court overturn the DLR decision, rendering the contract language as moot.
MTA has been in touch with the DLR and is requesting that the DLR fight the request for a stay and the appeal when the appeal is filed.
This last round of negotiations the MSCA fought for subsidized health insurance for all part-time faculty; the BHE and presidents refused to reach agreement on that.
This last round of negotiations the MSCA fought for pro-rated full-time stipends for part-time faculty; the BHE and presidents refused to reach agreement on that.
The MSCA will continue to fight for good paying, benefited positions for its member despite the BHE’s and president’s desire to be able to place unfettered limits on such positions.
The MSCA has received requests to work with some universities to help them become compliant, which is somewhat confusing considering the president’s indication that they will be seeking to have the courts void the contract provision.
C. J. O’Donnell