Top Social Menu


Get Involved with the Higher Ed Labor United Coalition


Dear FSU members,

At the first FSU Executive Committee meeting of the semester, Ex Com voted to endorse the Vision Platform statement of the nation-wide coalition, Higher Ed Labor United (HELU).   This makes FSU one of 84 union locals in over 30 states (representing over 400,000 higher ed workers) to have joined this coalition.

Attached is a pdf of the HELU Vision Platform, which can also be found online here: . The list of endorsing organizations is here:

We encourage members to read, discuss, and share thoughts about this Vision Platform and possible ways of putting it into practice, at UMass Boston and beyond.  You can write to or to HELU directly at

Also below and attached is a helpful "What is HELU" statement and "Toolkit," which includes links to supporting documents, and upcoming actions. 

What is HELU (Higher Education Labor United)?

HELU is a nationwide coalition of higher ed unions and related organizations working to win structural transformation of higher ed.

● More than 470,000 higher ed workers across rank and job categories from more than 80 union locals belonging to a dozen national or international unions have endorsed HELU’s Vision Platform.

● HELU is fighting for a publicly financed system of higher education that serves the needs of students, workers, and communities.

What are HELU's demands?

*Invest in Higher Ed for All: Free access to both two- and four-year public institutions. 

*Guarantee Job Security, a Living Wage, and the Right to Unionize: For all campus workers.

*Close the Pay Gap: Pay workers the same wage for performing the same job. 

*Expand Tenure to End the Adjunct Crisis. All faculty deserve job security and academic freedom.

*Cancel Student Debt: Release students and institutions from crippling debt burdens. 

Why is HELU important for our union and our campus?

Because colleges and universities need more robust and stable revenue to fulfill higher ed’s mission, relieve the burden of rising tuition on students, and ensure a living wage and job stability for all higher ed workers. Too often, at the bargaining table, at trustees’ meetings, and even when lobbying state legislators, we hit the problem of limited revenues. HELU is fighting for robust federal funding of public higher education.

Because more funding by itself won’t relieve the burden of rising tuition on students or ensure living wages and job stability for higher ed workers. We need to create the political pressure to win specific mandates in federal legislation and hold our campus administrators responsible for fulfilling those mandates.

Because our parent unions often need a push to prioritize higher ed workers and to fight hard for our interests. HELU provides a mechanism for pushing our state and national unions to fight on higher ed issues more actively and encourages them to work with each other. The pressure created by HELU has already begun to move national labor unions to demand more when lobbying policymakers.

Because we need to come together across ranks and job categories and across campuses and states to win the restructuring of higher education that we so desperately need. HELU offers a framework for us to meet, engage, align with, and develop bonds with other unions - on our campuses, across our cities, states, regions, and nationwide.

Why now? Why is HELU organizing this “Fall of Action” in 2021?

Now is a crucial political moment. Congress is currently working on budget reconciliation, which will determine the specifics of Biden’s American Families Plan (see Legislative Guide in the HELU Tool Kit). And Democrats are likely to bring forward a reauthorization of the federal Higher Education Act before November 2022. With slim majorities in both houses and a Democrat in the White House, this is an opportunity to win substantial federal funding for higher education and long-needed structural transformations.

It is also a chance to build a nationwide higher ed labor movement that can produce the kind of grassroots action that we need moving forward.

HELU can be reached directly at

From the FSU Executive Committee

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