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Tell The State To Support Debt Relief for UMB!


Dear Colleagues:

Happy New Year, and hope you had a well-deserved rest.  Please call your State Senator below: 

Budget Cuts:  Call your State Senator now! 

As you know, faculty and staff have been let go because of the deficit. But UMass Boston has self-funded most of the reconstruction of the campus’s substructure, which serves as the foundation of all of our buildings and houses their utilities (electricity, HVAC, telecommunications, sewage, etc.). This reconstruction is needed because of the failure to address the shoddy and corrupt original construction of the campus in the 1970s. See the FSU blog for more information at

UMB borrowed $510 million, while the state contributed only about $200 million, for this construction. The campus has paid back over 20% ($110 million) of the borrowed amount through its own savings and budgeting, but this outstanding debt is driving the current deficit at UMB and the budget cuts we are facing.  UMB will continue to face deficits and budget cutting if the state doesn’t take on this debt.

We are asking for your help to shift this debt to the state, where it belongs. UMB union leaders have been working with the MTA to build support to include debt relief for the campus in the Senate capital bond bill. If successful, this would be the first step toward reversing the state’s disinvestment in UMass Boston.

Take action

Call your State Senator today, asking her/him to support including funding for UMass Boston in the Senate capital bond bill. Click here ( to find the name and contact information for your State Senator.  Here is a script:

Hello, may I speak with Senator _____ (if the Senator is not available, ask to speak with his/her staff person who handles legislative issues).

My name is _____ and I live in _____.  I am a constituent.  (If you have a connection to UMass Boston—as an employee, student, alum, parent of a student, etc.—mention that as well.)  I am calling to ask the Senator to support including funding for UMass Boston in the Senate Capital Bond Bill (S.2244), by transferring debt related to UMass Boston’s infrastructure to the state. The campus is being forced to pay for mistakes made in the state’s management of the original construction of the campus decades ago, and this is now resulting in cuts to faculty and layoffs of long-term employees.

Please let Senator Spilka (Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means) know that you and your constituents support including funding for UMass Boston in the bond bill (S.2244).

► The Group Insurance Commission (GIC) which governs your health care benefits, is having a series of public hearings to “collect your feedback in advance of our official decision making” because of the acrimony they faced last year after holding these hearings after they decided to increase our premiums and deductibles.  This is your chance to tell them about the type of health care benefits that you want and need.  They start this Friday, January 16 in Worcester.  Boston hearings are on Thursday January 25 and Monday January 29.  For time and location and to RSVP to these, see

The union is only as strong as members are involved.  Let us know if you want to be involved in the union, serve on our membership drive, a committee, or help with any of these issues. If you have not yet joined as a full member we urge you to do so now! (contact the FSU office for membership materials).

Marlene Kim

FSU President

Professor, Economics

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