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FSU Nuts & Bolts


Welcome to the first issue of Nuts & Bolts, a weekly Faculty Staff Union (FSU) member email focusing on our contract, policies, bargaining and to share campus information.   

We are calling this issue Union 101.  Many times, we use acronyms when talking with colleagues and friends. The FSU is no exception. This issue aims to provide insight on these, including information on the FSU’s structure, operations, and our relationships.   

What is the FSU?    

We are the exclusive bargaining agent for faculty and librarians pertaining to wages, hours, standards of productivity and performance and other terms or conditions of employment.    

Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)  

Commonly called ‘the contract’.   Officially, the CBA is an agreement between the FSU and the Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts. It is really the provost office and UMB Human Resources that negotiate the contract with us and implement the contract.  We commonly call these individuals/groups ‘admin’.    

FSU Member  

A faculty member and librarian who completed a membership form and pays dues through payroll deduction.  Only members vote on contract ratifications and in our elections.  

You are also a member of both the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) and the National Education Association (NEA).    

MTA (   

The MTA is a union that represents public K-12 educators and public higher education faculty and staff.  It is the Commonwealth’s largest union with more than 400 chapters and 115,000 members.   In addition to advocating for better working conditions, student success and a presence on Beacon Hill, there are several member discounts on a variety of products and services. One service you receive as a member is access to legal services.  Check out for a list of your benefits.   

NEA (   

The NEA is a nationwide union with over three million members focusing on federal level education policy.  Your membership includes NEA Today received via email ( NEA also has member discounts which can be found at   

What is the FSU Leadership Structure?  

Dues paying members elect a President, Vice President, and Executive Committee (aka Ex Comm).  The Ex Comm consists of four (4) Tenured representatives, two (2) Pre-Tenure representatives, four (4) Non-Tenure Track (NTT) representatives and one (1) Librarian.   Each holds a two (2) year term.  

Member meetings

Our bylaws require us to hold an annual meeting during Spring semester where you, the members, attend and vote to adopt the FSU budget and bylaw amendments. In addition, we provide updates on our activities, and you can ask us questions.   

For the past few years, we have included a fall meeting that we call a general assembly meeting.  This year we have scheduled the meeting for Wednesday, October 26th at 3PM.   This meeting is less structured yet important for sharing information and gathering your input.   


Member dues are via payroll deduction which occurs once a month over ten months, September to June.  Your dues rate is determined by your Full Time Equivalent (FTE).  For NTT faculty we sometimes use the number of classes taught rather than use FTEs. For example: A senior lecturer might teach 3/3 which is 75% FTE.   

Although you pay your dues to the FSU, we do not keep all your dues money.  Both the MTA and NEA take a portion.  

100% FTE faculty:  MTA receives 49%, NEA receives 20% leaving the FSU portion at 30%  

50% FTE faculty:  MTA receives 46%, NEA receives 25% leaving the FSU portion at 29%  

The MTA and NEA annual conventions vote on any due increase which is then passed onto us.   


At the annual meeting, you vote to adopt a budget for the next fiscal year (July 1st to June 30th).  The Treasurer and many times a group of Ex Comm members begins the budget process in January.  Reviewing the current financials along with anticipated costs is used in proposing a budget.  The Ex Comm discusses and then votes to recommend a budget for adoption to the annual meeting.  The annual meeting can make amendments and ultimately must vote to adopt a budget.    

Relationship with other UMB unions

We meet with and work with other UMB unions.  We are in an active coalition with DCU, CSU and PSU to bargain for a new parking agreement.   

The list of unions includes Classified Staff Union (CSU); Department Chair Union (DCU); Professional Staff Union (PSU); and Graduate Employee Organization (GEO).  All but GEO are affiliated with the MTA.   

Relationship to UMass Amherst faculty

The Massachusetts Society of Professors (MSP) is the name of UMass Amherst’s faculty union.  We are joined with MSP as one local union with two chapters.   

We formed the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) as the legal entity that connects us.  We pay one third of the JCC’s operating budget.  These costs include a bookkeeper, payroll services, auditor, and arbitration costs.   

The FSU is your union. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.   

From the Faculty Staff Union

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