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FSU Nuts & Bolts: Your Healey Library, seeking feedback. A proposed MTA Dues Increase


Dear FSU member,   

This issue of Nuts & Bolts invites you to an April 6th FSU Forum to tell us about your thoughts on the Healey Library. We are also sharing information about an MTA dues increase.    


Part of a library’s function has always been to guide users to information—to provide members of an academic community with tools for thoughtful inquiry. Libraries and librarians have exemplified the ideal of a higher education that combines knowledge in depth with contextualized understanding of different fields and domains. Faculty have understood well- built collections as a means to enhance their own productivity in teaching and research. The conceptual tools libraries provided could lead seekers of knowledge to resources both within and beyond the library’s own walls. (Changing Roles of Academic and Research Libraries, American Library Association.'s%20fundamental%20purpose%20has,information%20and%20ascertain%20its%20value. )   

Over the past few years, we have seen the number of librarians and staff decrease to levels substantially below our peer institutions.  The annual operating budget limits the ability to add to collections. The physical building, with some days being too hot and some too cold, harms the collections but more importantly impacts staff working in the building and library users.   

The FSU wants to know your thoughts on our library.  Join us for a virtual FSU Forum on Thursday, April 6th 12:30 to 2:00PM  (contact FSU or Caroline Coscia for Zoom information).


Our parent union, Massachusetts Teachers Association, has proposed a FY24 budget that includes dues increase of $20.    

How does this impact you?  The FSU will be billed an additional $20 for each FSU dues paying member.   

Your Dues Deduction:  Ten months a year dues are taken from your paycheck.  The UMass system office transmits the withheld due monies into the FSU account. Then, from our account, we send dues money monthly to the MTA for the MTA and NEA portion of your dues.  When MTA and NEA dues rates change, we are obligated to pay the dues rate per member.  For more information on dues and dues rates see the September 12th Nuts & Bolts at  

Do we have any say in the MTA dues increase?  Yes.  The MTA budget is discussed and voted on at the annual meeting of delegates on Saturday, April 29th.   As an FSU member you can attend the meeting (in person or virtually) as an FSU delegate (see below how to be a delegate) where you can participate in the budget discussion. The budget discussion will begin about 10:30AM.    

Why is there a dues increase?   

MTA led the fight for the Fair Share amendment. The MTA is making sure that the additional tax money we voted for will be appropriated for education. The MTA is leading the fight for the Cherish Act which establishes minimum funding for public higher education and no tuition increases through 2026.  The MTA has committed resources and staff for a Higher Ed for All campaign which benefits us and our students.    

More importantly, the MTA is at the table. We have met and continue to meet with the Governor, Lt Governor and their respective staff to push for better wages for higher education faculty staff and librarians.   

All these activities require resources, including staff.  The dues increase covers these activities.   


The FSU has been allotted 13 delegates. We still have a few available spots.  If you wish to fill a spot, please send an email to by 5PM Tuesday, April 4th.   The FSU must send our delegate list to MTA on April 5th.   

What am I required to do as a delegate?  

Attend all or as much of the meeting as you can on Friday, April 28th (12 – 6PM) and/or April 29th (9AM to 2PM).  Meeting details can be found at:  

In person: you can go to the meeting which is being held in Springfield.  

Virtually: you can log into the meeting from wherever you are.   


Caroline Coscia                                 

FSU President                                   

Senior Lecturer II                               

Political Science Department