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April 2, 2024

FSU Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, April 2, 2024, 3:30-5:00 pm (Zoom)

Executive Committee Members Present: Caroline Coscia (President); Sana Haroon (Vice President); Suha Ballout; Chris Barcelos; Lynne Benson; Dana Commesso; Monique Fuguet; Jessica Holden; Patricia Krueger-Henney; Linda Liu; Jared Poole; Wei Zhang

Others Present: Maria Hegbloom (MTA Field Rep); Taylor Brennan (MTA); Karen Grayson; Heather LaPenn (MTA); Suzanne Morris


  1. Approval of Minutes: Motion to approve the minutes of the March 19, 2024, Executive Committee meeting. Motion seconded. Motion passes.

  2. FSU Budget: Monique introduces budget proposal spreadsheet, which includes proposed JCC budget for FY25. MSP pays 65% of JCC budget. Our share will be about $21,000, which is $3255 less than expected. Proposed dues increases for MTA are $33 per member, and $5 per member for NEA. Discussion about raising dues. If we make no dues increase at all, we will be in the red. Last year we increased dues from $308 to $309 – an increase of $1 per member. Proposed budget includes a 3.4% cost of living raise for Lorenzo. JCC Budget: $57,654.38 in FY24; $59,688.77 in FY25. Motion to approve JCC budget. Motion seconded. Motion passes. Dues increases of $0 and $35 will result in us being in the negative. $50 will get us to almost break even. $65 and $80 will get us into the positive. Discussion of potential impact of dues increase on membership. We need dues raises in order to be financially stable. An $80 increase per member would be an increase of $11.80 across each of the dues payments throughout the year. We need to draw members into union activities, provide food at events, etc. A dues increase could strengthen us as a union. We recently got the 8% raises; now is a good time to increase dues. Our reserves are $60K, but they should be closer to $120K. Motion to recommend $80 increase for membership dues. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

  3. Africana Studies: Discussion of last week’s The Point, authored by Tony Van Der Meer and Keith Jones, who filed a case with MCAD. The Point requested a statement of support from FSU. Discussion of releasing a statement. We are preparing for the arrival of three new faculty in Africana Studies. FSU could ask for a statement from the university administration. We could reissue our September statement regarding Africana Studies. This would iterate our ongoing support of Africana Studies faculty. Suha and Patricia will draft language for a new introduction to our previous statement and will share with the Executive Committee in the next few days.

  4. MTA Summer Organizing Program: Maria, Heather, and Taylor provide introduction to Summer Member Organizer Program. This is a program held at various campuses, and MTA wants to bring the program to UMB. The program focuses on increasing union membership. The program started after the Janus case, when unions lost agency fees. The program includes home visits to MTA members and signing up people who were agency fee payers. The pandemic altered the structures of locals. Zoom made relationship building difficult. Now that we’re back in person, we need to do work to reach out to people to join the union. We probably lost around 100 agency fee payers in the FSU, and those people are 100 potential members. Massachusetts is doing very well at maintaining membership compared to other states. Are there a couple of people interested in partnering with MTA on this? How many non-members do we have? For the summer program, MTA provides a full-day training on the basics of organizing. Caroline, Sana, Lorenzo, and Maria will discuss this program at their staff meeting tomorrow and will get back to the Executive Committee about this.

  5. Campus DEI Positions: Chief Diversity Officer – formerly Georgianna Melendez. This position is not being moved into Student Affairs. The job posting does not include information about staff – will this person have staff? We will discuss this at our next Executive Committee meeting as the first agenda item.