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Bargaining Update and 2020 Review!


Dear FSU Members,

We have now finished well over a semester of bargaining, including impact bargaining due to COVID-19 as well as main table bargaining around the successor agreement (2017-20).   The state of Massachusetts has not provided its annual budget parameters, which are necessary for us to begin salary negotiations – although this did not prevent Admin from pre-emptively offering us 0% raises for the next three years.   We turned that down and await information from the state.

Bargaining so far has been frustrating. The Administration’s proposals have all focused on increasing administrative control at the expense of faculty/librarians and shared governance – all the while looking for new ways to increase workloads, limit academic freedom, and otherwise discipline and control faculty and librarians.  

Perhaps most telling, Admin has offered no proposals designed to improve the university, let alone the working conditions or productivity for faculty and librarians.  No proposals were offered that might  enhance teaching or research.  In this case, the lone exception proves the rule:  when Admin did throw out the “carrot” of research-intensive semesters (RIS) for junior TT faculty, their “package proposal” was so full of “sticks” that it was effectively a non-starter.  To be sure, this is part of the bargaining process.  But one can’t help but wonder: if Admin recognizes that a research-intensive semester would be beneficial for junior faculty, as well as the research profile of the university, why not just make it happen?  

We are hopeful that we will find more common ground in 2021.  Faculty, librarians, and the core bargaining team will review priorities, tactics, and strategies over the winter break, although we will prioritize efforts to negotiate the time-sensitive proposals on RES and Travel Funds.   We will stay in touch with you about all these developments.   And we will likely ask you to join the FSU to pressure our Administration to bargain with the well-being of the university in mind – including not just its faculty and librarians, but also its staff and students. 

For a specific update on the most recent and final bargaining session of the semester, please see below.

Please share your thoughts.  This is your union.


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

Bargaining Update (for previous bargaining updates see here): 

During our bargaining session on December 9th, the FSU presented proposals to more clearly define “additional work” for NTT faculty and the process by which it is assigned.   We also proposed that continuing appointments percentages for NTT faculty be correlated with the actual percentage of time they work.  Finally, we proposed to expand the use of FSU Travel Funds during Covid, when faculty travel is restricted. 

This was not our first shot at Travel Funds – we started that conversation in the summer, but have not heard much from Admin in response. And we’re still waiting for their promised proposal to use our RES funds to fund antiracist university initiatives.  The only proposal we received from Admin was a slightly modified proposal regarding “fitness for duty” – Admin’s effort to make it easier to dismiss faculty who are deemed medically unfit.

We are pleased to end on a positive note:  we reached agreement on a number of minor, contract “clean up” items related to dues check off, the agency fee, and timelines for grievance hearings.  Importantly, Admin agreed to our proposal to use gender-neutral language for the successor agreement.  The CBT is thrilled about this agreement.

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

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