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Bargaining Tomorrow (Friday) – please join us at 3:30pm


Dear FSU Members,

Please join us tomorrow (Friday), from 3:30-6:30, for our next bargaining session with the Administration.   (contact FSU or Steve Striffler for registration information).

And don’t forget about our next FSU bargaining action next Thursday!

Thursday, December 9, from 12:30-1:30: Please join all the campus unions on the first floor of Quinn for a rally; we will deliver a letter to the Administration demanding fair, serious, bargaining.

And for a quick bargaining review see below…..



The state-funded raises of 2.5%-2%-2% for each of the 3 years of the contract (with a 1.5% one-time bonus) are of course disgraceful and do not even keep pace with cost of living.  While our Administration does not control this, they do have the freedom to make salary proposals of their own – or seriously engage with our salary proposals – that address the declining financial situation of our faculty and librarians.   The Administration has yet to respond to most of our salary proposals, but early indications are not promising – see the next item on Librarian salary and raises.    


The FSU proposed that librarian promotional raises be increased by $1000 and that librarian salary floors be modestly increased so that, for example, new librarians’ starting salary would be $54,000 (the same as at UMass Amherst, where the cost of living is much lower). This proposal is the only one of the few CBT proposals the Administration has engaged with that involves any sort of financial commitment, but we suspect this is because it would affect only 14 people.   And yet, Administration wants to link these still-insufficient increases to a condition removing contract language limiting the number of hours librarians can work per week.  In other words, they will only accept poverty-rate raises for Librarians in exchange for removing the one workload protection guaranteed them in the contract; namely, that they cannot be required to work more than 37.5 hours/week. 

We would have thought Ebenezer Scrooge thought up this counter proposal if it hadn’t actually been stated aloud by our own administrators at the bargaining table.  Our library is woefully understaffed.  Our librarians routinely work more than their allotted 37.5 hours anyway, because there is too much work and not enough people to do it.  But our Administration wants to tie a meager increase in pay to the removal of the one workload protection the contract actually provides our librarians.  Seriously?


We have proposed the following:

  • that the per-course pay for summer/winter classes be raised to $6000.
  • that the Salary Floor for Associate Lecturers be increased from $40,000 to $46,200. 

    This would raise the minimum amount paid for a single course from $5000 to $5775. 
  • that promotional bumps for all faculty ranks be increased by $1000 (so, for example, the bump for promotion to Senior Lecturer would go from $5500 to $6500…and so on).
  • that NTT faculty who have been here for 20 years receive a longevity raise of $6500.

What do these FSU proposals have in common? 

  • They are obscenely modest, given inflation and the Boston area’s high cost of living. 
  • We have yet to hear from the Administration.


As you know, FSU members subsidize their jobs by paying costs that the university should.  One way we proposed to address this is to increase travel and research funds so that our members do not have to pay for their own conference travel, research expenses, or teaching-related costs.  

Months ago, we proposed that the FSU Travel Fund be expanded to include librarians, clinical faculty, and senior lecturers.  This was rejected.

We then proposed that the Travel Fund be expanded to include just librarians and clinical faculty (a total of 20 additional people) and increase the annual amount from $1000 to $1250 (since it is nearly impossible to go to a conference on $1000).  This was also rejected – with no explanation. 

RES FUNDS AND ANTI-RACISM TRAINING [you will not believe this one]

RES stands for “Research and Educational Support.”  This is the pittance amount faculty get each year from the Provost’s office to cover non-travel-related professional expenses.  The total RES Fund pool is  $200,000 annually.  However, each year, something like $70,000 of this pool goes unspent, largely because they are doled out to FSU members in small amounts and are difficult for faculty to access.  Historically, the FSU and the Administration have agreed that this “leftover” money goes to the library or for computers. 

Last Spring, however, the FSU proposed taking $50,000 of the RES pool out front and using it for anti-racism initiatives.  The crux of the agreement stated that the funds would

be allocated to and distributed by the Provost’s Office in consultation with the Restorative Justice Commission and the FSU to support anti-racism activities for faculty and librarians. At the conclusion of the fiscal year (6/30/2021) the Administration will provide the Union a summary of expenditures made pursuant to this paragraph.   

Administration agreed to this proposal and we co-signed it on March 8th, 2021.    

But get this:  When the FSU requested this summary of expenditures in the Summer/Fall of 2021, we assumed that none of the money could have been spent, since the FSU was never consulted in any way.  Much to our surprise, not only had the money indeed been spent, but it had somehow been spent on anti-racism initiatives that took place before our agreement was in place and that the Administration had said they were paying for out of the Provost’s budget as part of the Administration’s “commitment” to anti-racism.  Yes, you read that correctly:  the Administration took this bargaining agreement as permission to raid faculty RES Funds, spend them in violation of that very agreement, on events that were promoted as sponsored by the Administration and as evidence of its commitment to anti-racism, with no mention of the FSU or the faculty whose money it took to fund the programming. 

If the Administration’s inability to respond to email, show up prepared for bargaining sessions, or even schedule meetings in a timely manner feels disrespectful, and if their across-the-board non-response to any financial increases for faculty and librarians feels Scrooge-like, this deceitful appropriation of faculty funds to disingenuously and opportunistically present the administration as anti-racist takes these ugly behaviors to entirely new lows we had not even imagined possible.  We have asked Administration for an accounting of what money it has spent on anti-racism initiatives outside of the ones we unwittingly ended up funding for them with our RES money – but here, too, we have received no response.


  • We have proposed enshrining a 2-2 teaching load for all TT faculty in the contract along with a research-intensive semester for junior faculty.  We believe this is fundamental to the university’s expressed commitment to being a research university.  In typical fashion, the Administration is watering down this aspect of the proposal while proposing a series of unrelated concessions that would increase administrative control over course capacities, establish an additional mechanism for evaluating faculty research productivity, and require summer work.  Again, commonsense improvements in the contract that are aligned with the university’s ostensible mission continue to be thwarted by administrative interest in extracting an extra pound of flesh from faculty in return.
  • We have proposed enshrining a 3-3 teaching load for all NTT faculty in the contract.  This was rejected.  We countered with a proposal for a 3-4 teaching load for all Senior Lecturers and above.  We are awaiting administration’s response.   

Please join us and the other unions on December 9th (details above!) to demand the administration treat us and your union with the respect we deserve and to move these important proposals forward.