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Welcome to Spring 2021


Dear Members,

Goodbye 2020….and hello 2021!  The Fall semester was exhausting, but through your hard work UMass Boston successfully held classes, educated thousands of students, and otherwise carried on.  We hope you got a well-deserved break and are ready for what is hopefully our last virtual semester (if you need to come to campus this Spring contact your department chair).

It remains a challenging time for UMass Boston and higher education in general.  The overall outlook is relatively good when compared to initial predications, but it is still very uncertain.  The MTA has been fighting for higher ed in general ( while working to get our employees the vaccine (petition here).  But the future of the pandemic remains uncertain.  So too is the fiscal future.  Enrollment is good, state support remains strong, but it will be a rocky road in the coming year.

For these reasons, it is important that we continue to build a strong union for faculty and librarians – one that allows us to collectively fight for health and safety at work while pushing for better salaries, working conditions, and job security.  A strong union is what gives us a collective voice to advance not only our interests, but those of our students and public higher education more broadly.

This Spring will be an active one for the FSU and there are numerous ways for members to get involved:

  • Elections – Please consider running for the FSU Executive Committee.  Positions up for election include the Vice President as well as NTT, TT, and Pre-Tenure reps.  Get more information here and watch for follow-up email.
  • Bargaining – Expanded bargaining allows rank and file members to participate in bargaining sessions throughout the Spring semester (see here for current and previous updates on bargaining).  The university still does not have fiscal parameters from the state (which largely determine pay raises), but we continue to bargain over class sizes, health and safety, racial justice, academic freedom, and other important issues.  We hope to ratify a new contract this semester – you have to be a member in good standing to attend bargaining sessions and to vote on the contract!
  • General Meeting – Please attend our Annual Meeting this Spring – April 28th from 2 to 4pm. This is open to members in good standing only.
  • FSU Forums - The FSU will also be holding or co-sponsoring a number of “Forums” throughout the semester on topics ranging from academic freedom to bargaining and organizing.
  • FSU Executive Committee Meetings – The FSU Executive Committee meets every two weeks during the academic year – meetings are open to all members.  We meet this semester from 2:00-3:30 on the following dates:  2/5, 2/17, 3/3, 3/24, 4/9, 4/21, 5/7. Attendance is open to members in good standing only.
  • FSU Committees- Besides the Executive Committee, the FSU has numerous other committees that focus on different areas of importance for our members, from the Salary Anomaly Committee to the Anti-Racism Committee to the Grievance Committee (see the committees list here). If you would like to get involved in any of these committees- or feel that there are additional committees that the FSU should create- please let us know.
  • MTA Unions Skills Training – Want to learn more about bargaining, organizing, or other union skills?  Sign up here:

Also, please encourage your students to participate in: Homegoing: A Restorative Justice Initiative And for anyone who missed The Sankofa Conversation Series on Structural Racism, you can check it out here:

This is your union, and our ability to shape UMass Boston and public higher education as a whole depends on your participation. If you have not yet joined the FSU we encourage you to do so (contact the FSU for membership information; we’ll also be following up with additional information for faculty members and librarians who have not yet joined).

Steve Striffler                                                                                               Caroline Coscia

President                                                                                                      Vice President

For information on the FSU, links to our contract and bargaining updates, and a calendar of events, see the FSU webpage

Check out the FSU Blog

Please “like” the  FSU Facebook Page

Follow us on Twitter at @FSU_UMB