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Spring 15 Executive Committee Elections Are Underway

Dear FSU Member,

Spring 2015 elections for the FSU Executive Committee will be getting underway shortly. Look for emails from Ballotbin, our electronic voting service, sometime in the next 24 hours (you should be getting 2 notices from them: 1 to vote for FSU Vice President and 1 to vote for candidates in your specific constituency: pre-tenure, tenured, or non-tenure track).  The last day of voting will be on Monday, April 13, 2015 (polls will close at 3PM). 
If you do not receive your emails from ballotbin in the next 24 hours contact the FSU office at or 617.287.6295.
Candidates were asked to provide statements for the FSU membership prior to the start of the election. The statements of the candidates who responded to the request are below.
From the FSU
Non-Tenure Track (2 seats open)
Deborah Metzel, School for the Environment- I have been a member of FSU since I was hired and in the past several years I have been a more active member of the NTT caucus and I was on the Negotiating Committee in 2014. I greatly appreciate all the work that the NTT Caucus and FSU do and I'd like to be more involved, particularly on  behalf of the NTT faculty. BTW, I was the person who asked and obtained Mayor Marty Walsh's signature on a postcard at the ISC event on April 1.
Peggy Walsh, English- Special concerns  right now are the proposed increase in the Health Insurance Premium, resolving implementation problems with current contract, and supporting PSU in achieving a fair and humane contract.
Experience:  32 years at UMB; 10 or more years on the Union Executive Committee; attend Hearings and lobbying days at the State House; attend the annual MTA Convention, and some of their committees and workshops to prepare for the convention. Support the other UMB campus unions  by leafleting, marching, petitioning etc. 
Academics: Have taught  Freshman Comp and Literature  (Irish Lit, Drama, Short Story) and, for the Core Curriculum,  courses for students who had trouble passing the WPR.  Team taught many courses with colleagues from Philosophy, American Studies, History, Sociology, and Political Science.
I advocate for the NTT Faculty here at UMB and try to keep in touch with members of the NTT faculties at other Boston colleges. 
Pre-Tenure (1 seat open)
Edward Carberry, Management and Marketing- Hello Everyone! I am an Assistant Professor in the College of Management at the end of my third year at UMASS Boston. My academic and professional background have prepared me well to serve on the FSU Executive Committee. My research focuses on industrial-labor relations, human resource management, and the sociology of work. Prior to academia, I worked for eight years as a researcher and manager at the National Center for Employee Ownership, a nonprofit organization providing information and conducting research on employee ownership of companies. In short, as a researcher and manager, I have been involved in issues relating to the workplace and employee-management relations for over 20 years. 
I am interested in serving the FSU because it plays a pivotal role in the success of this great university by providing a formal seat at the table and a voice for faculty members, the backbone of this institution. As tenure-track faculty, we face unique challenges relating to how to navigate the tenure process, the transparency of that process, and our involvement in new initiatives, such as the development of online courses. If I am elected as the Tenure-Track Member on the Executive Committee, I will insure that the needs of pre-tenure faculty are strongly represented within the union and clearly articulated to university administration. I look forward to bringing these skills and experiences to being a voice for tenure-track faculty at UMB. I would be honored to serve you. 
Andres Fabian Henao Castro, Political Science- I would like to run for the FSU Executive Committee because I think that the Union would profit from the experience that I have in collective bargaining with the University administration as well as with community organizing. Such experience I gained when, as a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst—an institution that faces similar challenges to those of UMass Boston—I co-founded the Association of Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Graduate Student Organization, from which I learned three important lessons: i) an specific attention to difference and diversity, as general policies do not impact us equally nor are the unequal ways in which they impact us easily noted unless a more dynamic and pluralistic form of communication facilitates the exchange of information among the members of the organization; ii) the need for translation, broadly understood, as we speak neither the same language across disciplines nor we necessarily share one with the administration, yet different disciplinary interests can be articulated in a collective will; and iii) a resolute refusal to bracket the social and political realities of our lives from our scholarship, teaching and service as members of the community.    
Tenured (2 seats open)
Linda Dumas, Nursing- I am self nominating for another term representing tenured faculty on the Executive Committee.   I have many years of experience with the FSU, know the issues in a time of change and bring a broad historical perspective to decisions as we move forward
Karen Suyemoto, Psychology- I’m interested in contributing to the FSU Executive Committee in order to advance the goals of union members and maintain the strength of the unique educational experience at UMass Boston. Higher education nationally and the FSU here at UMass is and will be facing multiple challenges in the coming years, related to maintaining academic freedom, valuing teaching and students, the changing national arena for health and retirement benefits, and maintaining unity and equity for all union members across status and experience. I have past experiences with service, organizational leadership, and representation within the University and in regional and national organizations, including as Chair of various committees within the University, as co-Director of the New England Center for Inclusive Teaching, and as President of the national Asian American Psychological Association. I’m excited about the opportunity to bring the organizational, relational, and advocacy skills I have developed through these positions and to learn about the area of union organization, representation, and advocacy to serve FSU members. 
Vice President
John Hess, Senior Lecturer, English- I have decided to run for Vice president of the FSU because I am unhappy with some recent events, in particular the lack of transparency that surrounded the recent NTT side of the contract negotiations.  But I prefer to run on my record of achievement and involvement since I first became involved in union affairs in 2000, though I am uncomfortable talking about my long record with the FSU.  Catherine Lynde, our past president, said before she left that one of the achievements she was most proud of was our ability to prevent the parking fee increase.  I agree with her, not just because I was heavily involved along with Marlene Kim as FSU reps on the organizing committee.  I don’t think anything we have done since 2000 has involved more faculty, staff, and students than the parking fee struggle.  In 2000 I was heavily involved in another struggle, the incredibly exciting campaign to get benefits for NTTS and to organize what was then called Continuing Education (today’s CAPS).  My story of how I had been kept from joining the FSU was one of the featured testimonies used in the successful campaign.
                My involvement in that struggle continued when I was chosen as a member of the team that negotiated the ground-breaking contract for CE and NTTs that established the priority list that has protected so many of us and won the right to have CE classes counted as the equivalent of day unit classes for those already in the unit.  In the two other NTT contracts I negotiated as part of the team we greatly expanded the rights and job security of NTTs, and won significant benefits for those teaching CE classes.  In those negotiations we never sacrificed the job security or standing of any of our members simply to win a concession that might benefit others of our members.
                At the same time I was an active (and I think original) member of the NTT caucus, an activism I only recently pulled away from for a variety of reasons, the most important being my late mother’s terminal illness.  In the caucus I worked closely with Kathryn Kogan and others to secure opportunities for faculty development.  Some of us in the caucus were very concerned about increasing our presence and visibility on the campus and making ourselves as much as possible full participants in the university’s life, both in general and especially in our departments.  The Hidden Treasure lecture/performance series that we held for four years was a great step in securing that recognition.
                I mentioned being full participants in the life and work of our departments.   In English, working closely with recently retired Dorothy Nelson, we established the English NTT Committee, over ten years ago, a committee that still exists in a much expanded form, and of which I remain a member.  I doubt that any other department in the university can match English for the integration of NTTs into department life and functioning.
                For the last few years I have been the FSU rep to the University Health and Safety Committee and was intimately involved in the successful struggle to have the roof of Wheatley repaired.  You can ask anyone who was there just three years ago what it was like on the sixth floor when it rained or snowed.  Today it is dry.  Four or five years ago I was the FSU rep to the Strategic Plan Implementation Design Committee, one of only two faculty amidst 19 administrators.  It was an extraordinary experience and I doubt I could have learned more about how the university functions and what the plans for the future are had I been in the Chancellor’s office.   As a result of that experience, I jumped at the chance to sit on the Construction Impact, Awareness, and Advisory Committee and have handled numerous complaints about not just construction but parking and other issues, especially this winter.  Working closely with the responsible administrators, I am proud to say that most of the complaints I received were addressed, usually successfully.  Finally, I was asked last year to join the board of the Center for Innovative Teaching and happily accepted.  Being on the CIT board has been a fantastic experience and I have been asked to conduct the NTT Faculty Development seminar next year, something I am very much looking forward to.
                So, rather than make any criticisms or engage in polemics, I choose to run on my long record of heavy involvement in the FSU, in English, and in the life of the University, a record I am proud of.  It is a record of achievement, not of rhetoric.  Thanks.  Peace.
Amy Todd, Lecturer II, Anthropology-  I am seeking election for a second term as Vice President of the Faculty Staff Union and ask for your vote.  
I graduated from UMass Boston in anthropology, with a minor in biology, in 1988. I joined the faculty as a lecturer in 1993 while pursuing a doctorate at Brandeis University.  Having always had a strong commitment to labor unions, I joined the FSU in 2008, as soon as I was eligible. I was elected to the FSU Executive Committee in 2013.  
As Vice President, I served on the joint UMass Boston-UMass Amherst bargaining team, which negotiated a Collective Bargaining Agreement for all faculty and librarians on both campuses. Following the priorities expressed by our bargaining unit members, we negotiated higher floors, continuous contracts and stronger parental leave language for our lecturers as well as immediate benefits eligibility for half-time lecturers.  The contract was ratified in October but has yet to be implemented.  I am now active in the campus union organizing team, which has been pressuring the administration, through a series of actions, to fairly implement and fully fund the contract.
I remain strongly committed to working in solidarity with our sister chapter at UMass Amherst and other unions on our campus, including the Professional Staff Union, Classified Staff Union and Graduate Employees Organization. I have served as an FSU delegate to the Massachusetts Teachers Association for the past three years and am a member of EDU (Educators for a Democratic Union), the MTA’s progressive caucus.  
In addition to solidarity across unions, I believe a union’s strength comes from an active and involved rank and file.  As Vice President, I coordinated union orientations for our NTT faculty and remain very active in the NTT caucus.  I also served as assistant editor of the Union News, for which I have written articles on coalition bargaining, parental leave, class size, and distance learning.  Moving forward, I would like to see the FSU bylaws enforced and strengthened to ensure a truly participatory, transparent and democratic union. 
While I am committed to cooperating with the administration where our interests coincide, I am under no illusion that this will always be the case.  My priority, therefore, is building a unified rank and file that will act from a position of strength to promote the interests of all faculty and librarians on campus.
I hope you will support my candidacy.
In Solidarity,
Amy Todd 
FSU Vice President
Anthropology Lecturer