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Bargaining Update and Invitation


Dear FSU Members,

Update:   During our bargaining session on October 28th, the FSU received two proposals from the Administration (attached), including one on course caps, a 2-2 teaching load, and a research intensive semester for junior faculty. Please note:  This is a ‘package proposal,’ meaning the Administration will not provide any one part of it without us agreeing to all of it.  This means, for example, that if we want a research-intensive semester for our pre-tenure faculty (which we do), we have to agree also to giving up faculty approval of increasing course caps and 2-2 teaching load for TT faculty awarded on the basis of a punitive system of “accountability” conducted by department personnel committees (essentially, everyone’s AFR would be evaluated as to whether or not they are adequately “research active”; if you are determined not to be, you will be demoted to a 3-3 teaching load).

The entire “package” proposal for Article 15 is attached.  Please pay careful attention to all of the additions and remember that they are being proposed in tandem and we that have been told that Admin would not be open to having the FSU pick and choose which parts we like.

The Administration’s other proposal (see attached) is also a “package proposal” wherein faculty may be allowed to retire immediately after a sabbatical without providing the otherwise requisite service year, in exchange for faculty also being subject to medical evaluations of their “fitness for duty” if Admin learns they might be falling down on the job.   

Meanwhile, The FSU presented two proposals.  The first suggested a small committee of faculty of color be formed to provide mentorship around teaching, research, service, personnel reviews, and promotion for other faculty of color on campus.  The second proposed that NTT faculty should be integrated into their academic departments as voting members.

The Administration also responded to a few of our previous proposals (see here for previous bargaining updates):

Regarding Associate Lecturers, Administration indicated that they were not favorable to our changes and that any reduction in administrative flexibility regarding their ability to hire and not re-hire Associate Lecturers would jeopardize their ability to grant continuing appointments to Lecturers (in their view, the tradeoff for the long term employment status accorded to Lecturers with continuing appointments is to have a sizable pool of temporary NTT). They said they will be conducting an analysis of hiring practices to determine whether or not there has been a misuse of the Associate Lecturer title. (the FSU has gathered its own data on AL hiring and un-hiring practices across the university; see attached).

Regarding our proposal that librarian salaries be equitable with those at UMass Amherst, Administration indicated that they are not yet in a position to formally engage with salary proposals until the UMB and state budget situation is clarified.

Finally, with regard to academic freedom, Admin rejected our counter-proposal and stated that they stand by their original proposal. Given how important this issue is on our campus, it is a good idea to take a look at Admin’s original proposal and see what they have in mind when they talk about “academic freedom.”

Invite:  As part of the FSU’s commitment to expanded bargaining (see the FSU policy here), we invite you – as members of the FSU bargaining team – to our next bargaining session on November 13th from 1pm to 3pm, where the Core Bargaining Team will receive proposals from Admin while presenting some new proposals of our own. 

Please register in advance for this webinar (contact the FSU or Steve Striffler for Zoom info).


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

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