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Reject the PFML notice


Dear Colleague,

We need your help with Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) impact bargaining! Recall that last fall, Massachusetts voters passed the Paid Family Medical Leave Law (PFML), which allows most Massachusetts workers up to 26 weeks of paid family and/or medical leave per year.  It is funded through a new payroll tax of 0.75% of payroll.  The law establishes minimum proportions of the tax that must be paid by employers and employees respectively: 49.5% at a minimum must be paid by all employers, and 50.5% maximum must be paid by employees. 

A coalition of unions has been bargaining with the UMass President’s Office over how this tax will be paid: the unions have proposed that the employer pays the entire tax.  UMass is insisting that it will pay only the minimum required by law. While we continue to impact bargain, the law is going into effect:  starting Sunday, September 15, 2019, UMass will begin withholding an additional 0.379% of your pay in the tax portion of your pay advice. 

The State Lottery workers, through SEIU, got the State to pay the entire portion of this payroll tax, so they will pay nothing.  The State allocated a reserve in the budget to pay part of the employer portion of this tax. 


This weekend or next week, UMass will send you a notice stating that you will have a new tax deducted from your check to help pay for this new PFML benefit. You will be asked to confirm receipt of the notice. DON’T!  (It’s not mandatory).  Instead, here’s what we are asking you to do in support of our push at the table for a fair deal:


  • Write “Rejected by UMass Unions United" or put a "Rejected by UMass Unions United" sticker (available at the FSU office) on the front of a paper copy of the notice next to your name and bring it to the FSU office (2nd floor, Quinn) or to a union officer to be delivered to the Chancellor. 

Our coalition partners here and at every UMass campus and across the State will be participating in this action to send a message to President Meehan.  Please stay alert for further action as the semester, and bargaining over this issue, continues.  Want to help with organizing or bargaining on this issue?  Contact the FSU at


Marlene Kim

Faculty Staff Union President, and


Department of Economics

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