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UMB budget and other news from the FSU


Dear Colleague,

We hope you are doing well and know that there is a lot going on.  We wanted to update you on the latest we have heard and know about. 

Update on the UMB budget:  In a meeting with the Administration, the FSU was told that the UMB administration is planning for an anticipated budget shortfall for the 2020-21 academic year.  There is reason to believe that the state appropriation will be significantly reduced as a result of already declining state revenue, and preparations also are being made to address a possible negative impact on enrollment as a result of the COVID situation. Specific decisions as to how to respond to this evolving situation have not yet been made. The FSU and the Administration are in discussion about establishing a joint committee that will meet throughout the summer comprised of the administration, faculty and librarians to discuss adjustments if remote learning must continue.  The administration has committed to consult with the FSU and faculty governance around these issues.

System-wide, we are hearing about a demand for furloughs for staff during this fiscal year (that ends June 30, 2020), including at UMass Lowell, Dartmouth, Amherst, and at the Medical School.  UMass Boston staff have not been asked for furloughs.  As I reported earlier, we are the one campus without significant revenue losses during this fiscal year.  

FSU and Union Actions

  • A coalition of fifty unions across UMass (including the FSU) are fighting against budget cuts and are about to launch an organizing campaign against these austerity measures.  
  • The UMB unions will be holding a union town hall to launch our campaign against these austerity measures and to organize against them.  Stay tuned for the time and date.     
  • The FSU Core Bargaining Team anticipates returning to bargaining on Friday May 8 and has informed the Administration that the FSU plans on allowing all FSU members to observe bargaining via Zoom.  
  • The Higher Education Union Presidents (including FSU President Marlene Kim) will be meeting on Friday May 8 and discussing the State budget and what is happening at universities across the state. 
  • Members who are interested in becoming involved in these organizing campaigns should contact the FSU.  Sharing and gathering information, reaching out to faculty peers, helping to develop demands and possible courses of concerted action, crafting narratives and statements that can help influence the media and public support--we're going to need all of it and will build an FSU Emergency Organizing Committee within the broader unions’ coalition efforts.

FSU Annual Meeting Recap: Thanks to all the members who attended the meeting. The FSU FY21 budget was passed and the proposed FSU bylaws changes were adopted (contact the FSU office for details on both).

Need to go to your office?  Contact your Dean to contact the relevant people to schedule a day and timeframe when you want access.  Bring your ID and you will be on the list for the police to let you on campus. 

Research and Educational Support (RES) Funds:  Be sure to submit for reimbursement by 9 am on May 11 (if electronic submission; see here for more information). 

Retirement counseling from the MTA.  Sessions are available by phone or online to help members decide the best time to retire, determine if you have buy-back opportunities, provide information on retiree health insurance, Medicare and Social Security benefits, and answer many other questions. Please see here for more information and to schedule an appointment (please have online access during the call).  In addition, those moving from ORP to MSRB should consider making liquid TIAA annuity assets pay off service purchased and related costs.  Contact Ed McCourt directly for this information (see his contact information on the link above).   

Stopping your parking pass and reimbursements:  To get reimbursed for and to stop your semester, monthly, etc. parking passes, go to:  Under the  FSU section, check ‘Discontinue Pass.’  Email your completed form to  Cancellation requests received in HR by Thursday, May 7 will be processed retroactive to March 15.  

Concerned? Problems?  Want to get involved?  Email


Marlene Kim

FSU President

Professor, Economics

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