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Update on CAPS compensation, course caps, and grievances

Dear Colleague,

Below is an update on compensation and course caps for CAPS distance learning courses (please see here for a general update on grievances, including the issue below). 

  •          In December, the Administration changed the additional compensation formula for distance learning (DL) courses.  Previously DL instructors were paid additional compensation for any students admitted to the class above the 25 person limit.  The new compensation formula would only provide additional compensation for any students admitted to the class above 35 students. The FSU notified them that they could not change the compensation for CAPS courses during bargaining.
  •          We have reached a tentative agreement: the previous policy of paying additional compensation for more than 25 students will be applied for Spring 2017 distance learning courses, although compensation will now be $100 per student rather than the previous policy of paying $500 total for additional students in 1 to 5 person increments (i.e. $500 lump sum for between 26 and 30 students, another $500 lump sum for between 31 and 35 students, etc.). For courses capped at 25, anyone who accepted between 26 and 35 for the Winter term will be (re)paid according to the previous policy. 
  •          This agreement is only for winter and spring 2017 courses.  We continue to negotiate this issue in the terms of the new agreement. 
  •          The administration has also (re)affirmed that departments, not the administration, determine class sizes, including caps for Distance Learning sections. If you are such an instructor and your cap has been recently increased, check with your chair. We have also heard rumors that, in some departments, the cap for Distance Learning sections was increased from 25 to 35 without the consent of the chair. If this did occur and resulted in any of you teaching over 25 students without additional compensation during the Winter term, then we should be able to recover this payment under the agreement, or possibly with a grievance. Anyone who believes they are in this situation should immediately contact their chair. If the cap was changed without the department’s approval, ask your chair to inform both management and the FSU.  We will be notifying chairs about this and will inform them that class caps cannot be changed without their consent and that they have the right to change class caps back to 25.

Marlene Kim

Faculty Staff Union President, and


Department of Economics

University of Massachusetts Boston

100 Morrissey Blvd.

Boston, MA  02125


Voice: 617/287-6954

Fax:     617/287-6976