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Bargaining Update- 20-21 Recap


Dear FSU Members,

We thought the end of the semester would be a good time to provide an outline of where things stand in the bargaining process.  For previous bargaining updates see here, but for a broad re-cap continue reading!

Raises: Now that the state has released their economic parameters (see here), we are expecting to see another proposal from Admin with a revised raise that will be better than their first offer of 0%-0%-0%. The FSU, in coalition with other UMass unions, presented the following proposal: 4.5% raise for each year of contract; one-time $1000 increase to base pay for increased cost of benefits and working conditions.

Non-Tenure Track Faculty: The FSU made a number of proposals designed to address NTT issues. These include: mandating that NTT be allowed to attend department meetings; clarifying the additional work clause of Article 21 to make it clearer how such work will be assigned; ensuring that continuing appointment percentages of time are reflective of actual work history; enhancing the status of Associate Lecturers by reducing the number of semesters needed to convert to Lecturer along with other significant changes; ensuring access to office space; extending Travel Funds eligibility to NTT; and, perhaps most significantly, proposing that full-time NTT should be on a standard 3-3 workload with 25% time allotted to service and/or research. Admin has said no to virtually all of these proposals (they accepted a version of the NTT office space proposal). We are preparing a subsequent counter proposal.

Tenure Track Faculty Workload: The FSU made a comprehensive counter proposal to Admin on Article 15 which included the following tenure-track (TT) specific items: enshrining a 2/2 TT course load in the contract and a Research-Intensive Semester for junior faculty. Admin has shown some openness to the 2/2 and RIS, but with a series of problematic strings attached. We are preparing a subsequent counter proposal.

Librarians: We proposed some administrative, ‘clean up’ language for Article 20, that Librarians must be allowed to do service and scholarship during their assigned work hours, that salary floors and promotional raises match those of our UMA Librarian colleagues’, and that Librarians be eligible for Travel Funds. Admin has not yet responded to salary/financial aspects of the proposal but has countered with some acceptance of our other proposals.  We submitted a counter proposal.

Scholarship of Practice Nursing Faculty (SOP): We have proposed that SOP be eligible for Travel Funds and are working on a more comprehensive proposal to address workload concerns.

Course Caps and Cancellations:   Admin has tried throughout bargaining to increase administrative control over course caps – to allow them to increase caps without instructor permission.  The FSU has resisted this while proposing that courses cannot be cancelled due to low enrollments. 

Travel and RES Funds:  The Administration has resisted expanding the Travel Fund either in the sense of allowing more faculty/librarians access to it, or in allowing expanded uses of the Fund itself (when travel was restricted).  We intend to make another comprehensive proposal that will include: increase in the overall amount in the pool, expansion of eligibility for Travel funds to NTT, Librarians, and SOP, and the allocation of leftover funds to racial justice initiatives as well as the library (for info on our separate agreement on RES Funds for 20-21 see here).  We will also push to make access to RES Funds easier.


Core Bargaining Team

Caroline Coscia, Senior Lecturer II, Political Science, FSU Vice President

Katie D’Urso, MTA Field Representative

Jessica Holden, Librarian III, Healey Library

Maria Mellone, Non-Reappointed (i.e., laid off) Associate Lecturer, Math

Alex Mueller, Associate Professor, English

Lorenzo Nencioli, FSU Membership Coordinator

Jason Rodriquez, Associate Professor, Sociology

Heike Schotten, Associate Professor, Political Science

Steve Striffler, Director of the Labor Resource Center and Professor, Anthropology, FSU President

Tony Vandermeer, Senior Lecturer II, Africana Studies

For information on the FSU, links to our contract and bargaining updates, and a calendar of events, see the FSU webpage