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Spring 15 Update From the FSU President

Dear Colleagues, 

Welcome to the Spring semester!  Here is an update on some important issues:  
Bargaining:  We completed bargaining on most issues in the fall.  The major elements of the new contract include:
•    Raises of 3.5% per year over three years (split between a 2.1% cost of living and 1.4% merit). 
•    Benefits for all half-time NTTs (there is no longer a waiting period). 
•    Promotions for NTTs by FTE, not calendar year accumulations.  
•    For details on this and the entire contract, go to the FSU website
► We did not finish bargaining for distance learning, CAPS, the research intensive semester for junior faculty (giving junior faculty a sabbatical or reduced teaching), among other issues.  If you are interested in being on the bargaining team to negotiate any of these issues, let us know.  
Contract Implementation
The legislature never validated our contracts before adjourning during the last session, before Charlie Baker took office.  But the university says it will honor everything negotiated in our contracts except our raises and additional contributions to our health and welfare fund unless a supplemental budget is passed by the legislature.  Yet under Deval Patrick, Administration and Finance claimed that enough was in Patrick’s budget for our negotiated raises and no additional money is needed.  
We will be working across unions statewide to get our negotiated raises.  This will entail an organizing campaign.  We will keep you posted on these actions.  
Other unions are still negotiating:  The Professional Staff Union at UMB is still in bargaining, and the administration still wants to eliminate model benefits they have.  Management is refusing to give them the same language that management gave us regarding seeing physicians if there is a question about fitness for duty.  We will keep you informed on how you can help in their efforts. 
Your Health Care Benefits at Risk:  Your deductibles, copays, or insurance premium for health care benefits may increase.  This is because the GIC is running at a loss due to not enough appropriation from the legislature and from higher expenses.  
If you have not already done so, click HERE to send a message to the Commissioners urging them to ask for a supplemental budget from the legislature to adequately fund the expenses and to not to close the deficit by increasing costs to workers.  They are meeting the end of this week, so do this NOW.  More information on the options the GIC is considering to close the deficit is HERE.  
Salary anomalies:  We were 3 years behind in salary anomalies but no longer! Salary anomalies for AY 2011/12 and 2012/13 have been completed.   Salary anomalies for 2013/14 will be performed this spring.  Those who were promoted or had PMYRs in these years were evaluated to see if their salaries were out of line with their peers for no apparent reason.  Those whose salaries were most out of line will be adjusted with back pay.  You will be receiving a letter if you were considered with the amount, if any, you will receive.  Thanks to FSU members Zsuzsa Kaldy and Lusa Lo for working on this committee to accomplish this for you.  
Parking:  We held off on our negotiations on impact bargaining in order to finish bargaining the main contract but will be returning to this once our fellow unions on campus can bargain with us.  In the meantime, let us know if you have any concerns, ideas, or solutions given the parking shortage and the trying conditions given the weather.  We are very aware that too many people waited for too long last week for shuttle buses to Bayside, only to be dropped off at the circle and having to walk in the slush to the parking lot.  I was one of these people.    
ORS to SERS:  For those of you who chose to elect the one-time switch in retirement systems to the state pension system, this process has been slower than anticipated.  Many have still not heard anything—but you will.  We have been informed that sometimes the calculations on the amount of money you have to contribute have been in error and too high.  So look over the calculations yourself, and if you think there is an error, the MTA can help.       
Got a problem, question, or want to help on any of these issues?  Contact us at
Marlene Kim
FSU President
Professor, Dept. of Economics