Top Social Menu


February 11, 2022

FSU Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

February 11, 2022 (Zoom)

Executive Committee Members Present: Lynne Benson; Dana Commesso; Caroline Coscia; Sana Haroon; Jessica Holden; Monique Fuguet; Travis Johnston; Meghan Kallman; Linda Liu; José Martinez-Reyes; Jeff Melnick; Tim Sieber; Steve Striffler

Others Present: Lorenzo Nencioli (FSU Senior Staff Member); Katie D’Urso (MTA field rep); Anna Beckwith; Jonathan Chu; Ann Evans; Joel Fish; Priscilla Gazarian; Thomas Pyke Johnson; Keith Jones; Kibibi Mack-Shelton; Anna Mester; Suzanne Morris; Segi Stafanos; Amy Todd; Tony Van Der Meer

  1. Approve Minutes and Agenda: Motion to approve agenda. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously. Motion to approve minutes of the December 10 and January 20 Executive Committee meetings. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

  2. Bargaining Update —We are close!: FSU and Admin exchanging drafts and implementing contract language. Some outstanding issues: Research Intensive Semester (will faculty owe courses or will courses be forgiven?), new Senior Lecturer III rank (can Senior Lecturer IIs start applying in May?). Expecting supplemental budget bill to be filed within the next two weeks, which will include our contract.

  3. Elections Update: Nomination period ends TODAY. Elections Committee meeting next Tuesday.

  4. Budget Update: FSU will need to decide how CLRs are assigned to people. Five floating CLRs, additional two for grievance committee. We don’t yet know who the next FSU president and vice president will be (due to current election).

  5. Update —Air Ventilation Report and Presentation: Consultants did study of UMass Boston’s HVAC system; report almost done. FSU, PSU, and Health and Safety Committee are trying to schedule time with the Administration to do a campus-wide reveal or presentation of the report.

  6. GEO/Grad Student Letter from FSU and DCU (see last page): Motion to send letter. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

  7. Proposal to RJC for Undoing Racism Training: Looking to submit proposal with FSU, CIT, and Office of Faculty Development to fund antiracism training for this semester. Two three-day trainings to be led by The People’s Institute.

  8. FSU Anti-Racism Funds: New contract includes $25,000 for next two of years of contract; we are currently in the middle of year 2. FSU circulated a call for proposals from members for antiracism activities. Proposals due February 18. Antiracism Committee will evaluate proposals and make recommendations to the Provost, who will decide which proposals are selected. Need to appropriate funds before end of fiscal year, June 30. Motion to assign this evaluation to the Antiracism Committee. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

  9. FSU-Provost Committee on NTT Inclusion and Compensation for Independent Studies and Grad Student Advising: Two new committees as a result of bargaining: one will address NTT inclusion in department life and governance, and the other will deal with faculty compensation for independent studies and grad student advising. Colleges and departments are currently dealing with these issues in vastly different ways. The Provost would like some uniformity on these issues. There will be six people on each committee: the Provost picks 3 and faculty pick 3 (one from FSU, one from Faculty Council, one from college senates). Discussion of whom to appointment to each committee. Meghan Kallman can serve on the faculty compensation committee. Dana Commesso can serve on the NTT inclusion committee. Motion to approve Meghan and Dana for the two committees. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

  10. Letter from Chancellor and Provost: Discussion of February 10 letter.

  11. Covid —Faculty Productivity/Evaluations: Discussion of how to build power and influence among faculty regarding issues related to covid, including the burden on women faculty regarding childcare; equity issues related to associate lecturers, lecturers, senior lecturers; and pushing for an antiracist and health promoting university.

  12. Issues Beyond Bargaining: DID NOT DISCUSS


  14. Arbitration Update and Discussion (Executive Session): EXECUTIVE SESSION


Dear Chancellor Suárez-Orozco and Provost Berger,

The Department Chairs Union, the Faculty Council Executive Committee, and the Faculty Staff Union are reaching out to advocate on behalf of UMB graduate students as GEO negotiates decent pay for the next three-year contract.   UMB currently pays our graduate students $18,000 a year (that is, for the lucky few who are “fully” funded).   This not only makes them the lowest paid graduate students in the Boston area; it makes them the lowest paid graduate students among our “peer” institutions (virtually all of which are in cheaper locales).  

More to the point, no one can live decently and attend school on $18,000 a year in Boston.   This means that not only is UMB failing to live up to its “anti-racist and health promoting” standards.  It means that UMB graduate students are forced to work multiple jobs and still end up with crippling debt.   And it makes potential students increasingly difficult to attract to the university at all (apparently, word is out that Boston is an expensive place to live).  We know this as faculty who are responsible for mentoring/advising UMB graduate students while also recruiting prospective students (it’s hard to sell a university that does not pay enough to live on).

Given this, we are extremely disappointed to learn that the Administration first offered to increase graduate student pay by only 1.5% -- or less than $300 in gross pay.  This is clearly unacceptable and not a respectable place to even start the discussion.

GEO is currently asking for a $1000 bump plus 4% increases over the course of the contract -- putting graduate student pay at just over $20,000 by the end of the contract. Although far too little, it is at least a start.   But what we really need is a health promoting vision and plan to get graduate student pay over $25,000 within the next few years.  A fair and just bargaining process should advance such a goal for the sake of our graduate students and the broader university.

Paying our graduate students a living wage is not only the decent and moral thing to do.  It is good for the university.  It will help build our graduate programs, drive research, allow working and middle class students to access graduate education, and improve the overall quality of the university. 


Department Chairs Union

Faculty Council – Executive Committee

Faculty Staff Union