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November 20, 2013


Members Present: Heike Schotten   Catherine Lynde   Amy Todd   Philip Chassler   Peggy Walsh   Linda Dumas   Steven Levine

Others Present: Al Leisinger, FSU NTT Grievance Officer   Lorenzo Nencioli, FSU Membership Coordinator


MTA Candidate Recommendation Committee- the Committee, open to MTA members, reviews candidates for municipal and state offices and makes recommendations to MTA leadership re endorsements. Phil Chassler is currently a member but his term expires in February. The FSU will send an email to members to see if anyone might be interested in serving.

H59 Hearing at State House 10/31/13- An article from the hearing on this bill (the retiree health insurance bill) will be published shortly in the FSU website.

Parking and Transportation- a union coalition proposal was made a number of months ago but there has been no response from Admin to date.

Academic Analytics¬- there was a report about this company that has been hired by UMass Amhersts and is going to be hired by   UMass Boston. The company  tracks  data on faculty accomplishments and performance metrics and can be used to compare departments in different universities.   Catherine will investigate further.

The Joint Coordinating Committee met in Sturbridge on November 12th to discuss bargaining, among other issues. There was a discussion of the MSP drafted bargaining principles at that meeting. It was also reported that the UMB Librarians met with Mickey Gallagher to discuss proposed contract language (a follow up meeting is in the works). Catherine will also send proposed language re the Clinical Track in Nursing to FSU Clinical Track bargaining liaison and FSU member JoAnn Mulready Shick.

Implications of Overpayments to NTT
It was reported that many NTT are often overpaid due to Admin difficulties in tracking changes in their FTE. When this happens, HR requires payback of the overpayment and will typically ask the NTT member to do so according to a schedule they put forth. This has created many economic hardships for the effected NTT. It was noted that the FSU has challenged this practice in one case already, noting that the practice amounts to an illegal salary negotiation directly with the individual instead of through the FSU. It was decided that the FSU should send a request for information to HR asking for a list of all NTT who have had this happen. The FSU would also request that this practice only be done if the FSU is notified and if the effected NTT is simultaneously notified of their right to have the FSU negotiate the terms and conditions of the payback in conjunction with the NTT.

UMB HR ‘Receivership’
There was discussion of Mickey’s plan to notify the UMass President’s Office of the inability of the  UMB admin  to implement the contract and effectively operate UMB’s employee relations. It was noted that the FSU has for years sought remedy to various basic contract implementation problems but to no avail. As a result, further measures need to be taken. Mickey will draft a document outlining the problems and will present them to CSU and PSU to see if they also would endorse this measure. Once that is done the document will be sent to the President’s Office and will ask the latter to intervene and solve the problems.

Stipend for Newsletter Articles?
There was discussion of whether or not to pay FSU members a fee/honorarium for writing articles for the FSU newsletter. There was a general sense that members should not be paid for what is otherwise voluntary work and that paying for writing a newsletter article may lead to requests for payment for all other FSU work.

ORP-SERS Legislation Update
An email was recently sent to all unit members with information on the implementation of legislation that would allow higher ed faculty who are ORP members a one-time opportunity to switch to SERS.  The DHE also sent a letter to every eligible ORP member, announcing the change.   The FSU will keep members apprised of any updates. (It was also reiterated that this legislative effort is separate from the ORP-SERS class action involving 50 or so UMB NTT. That class action is pending.)

FSU Dues Assessment Policy
There was discussion of the FSU dues assessment procedures (i.e. at what rate FSU unit members are or should be assessed for dues). It was noted that the current MTA dues structure is regressive in regards to part-time and non-tenure track faculty; (the MTA dues structure is based on percentage of time, not income, so that part-time members generally pay a higher percentage of their income in dues than full-time members). It was suggested that the FSU seek to maintain/adopt a dues assessment process that would mitigate the negative impact on part-time members should such a process be a possibility.  (Lorenzo will investigate further and present some recommendations to the excom.)

Grievance Committee Report
It was reported that the FSU has 4 class action grievances in regard to NTT issues that have been filed at the MA Labor Relations Board as unfair labor practice charges. Hearings for those charges will occur in early December.  There was an update on a number of pending grievances. There was discussion of the need to have a formal Grievance Committee as called for by the FSU bylaws (Grievance Committee members would be approved by the Ex Com).

New Business

Union Organizing- Department Chairs- Catherine gave an update. 

MTA Presidential Election-It was reported that Barbara Madeloni, MSP member and member of the Educators for a Democratic Union (an unofficial caucus of MTA members), will be running for the office of MTA President.. The CSU, FSU, and PSU have agreed to hold an informational meeting in the next few months and invite Barbara to speak.