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Massachusetts Society of Professors

The Union of Faculty and Librarians at UMass-Amherst

Member Benefits

MSP works hard to improve the benefits for our faculty and librarians. We work closely with the MTA to be informed and active in changes to the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) which governs our health insurance. We also have representation through our MSP trustee on the Health and Welfare Trust which provides our dental insurance and optical discount. In addition to health, dental and optical benefits, there are numerous member-only benefits provided to us through our affiliations with the MTA and NEA. MSP also has a member-only grant program to provide support for member activities that advance the mission of the MSP.

Health Insurance

Benefited University faculty and librarians are eligible for insurance coverage through the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC). Employees choose their PPO, HMO, or indemnity insurance plan. The University currently pays 80% of the health insurance premium for benefited faculty and staff who were hired before 2003, and 75% for those hired after 2003. Coverage is effective the first day of the month following 60 days of employment. Enrollment can occur only when hired into a benefited position with the University, during open enrollment each year (April/May with changes effective July 1 of that year.), or upon birth of a child. Spouses and dependent children up to age 26 can be covered in a family plan.

Visit the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission website for more information.

Contract language:

Article 27.9, The Health and Welfare Trust

Dental Insurance

Benefited faculty and librarians can enroll in dental coverage at no cost through the Health and Welfare Trust Fund. Coverage is effective after a six-month waiting period.  Faculty and librarians' family members can also enroll in the plan at no cost. Dental insurance is provided through MetLife Dental.

To print your ID card, review your dental coverage, find a dentist and check the status of a claim:

  1. Go to HealthPlansInc.com/bhe.
  2. Choose Members.
  3. Choose My Dental Plan to access your personal MetLife Employee Benefits page. Once logged in you can print your ID card, review your dental coverage, find a dentist and check the status of a claim.

See also:

The UMass HR site on dental

MetLife MyBenefits and use the account sign in name:  MTA-Massachusetts Teachers Association.

Contract language:

Article 27.9, The Health and Welfare Trust

Optical Benefit

The Health and Welfare Trust Fund that provides dental insurance to benefited faculty and librarians and their families also includes a vision discount benefit through MetLife called the VisionAccess Program. Once enrolled in the dental coverage you gain access to the vision discounts with no additional enrollment.  Members and their eligible dependents can receive savings on eye exams, discounts on glasses, frames and laser vision correction.

MetLife VisionAccess Discount

To obtain discounts, simply provide the program code MTE2020 when making an appointment or receiving services/materials from a participating MetLife private practice provider.  No claim forms are necessary.  

To print your MetLife VisionAccess card with the discount code, access a schedule of benefits and find a discount vision provider go to MetLife MyBenefits and use the account sign in name:  MTA-Massachusetts Teachers Association.  

Local Amherst Optical Shoppe MSP Discount

MSP members receive 10% off the total cost when purchasing both eyeglass lenses and frames at the Amherst Optical Shoppe.

Amherst Optical Shoppe
195 North Pleasant Street, Amherst
413-256-6403

Contract language:

Article 27.9,The Health and Welfare Trust

NEA Liability Insurance & Member-Only Benefits

2017-2018 NEA Liability Insurance Brochure

NEA Liability Insurance

Members of the union automatically receive full employment protection, up to and including free legal representation in most job-threatening situations, and a $1,000,000 Educators Employment Liability insurance policy from NEA (additional nursing endorsement available) should you be sued by anyone in connection with your work.

NEA Member-Only Benefits

In addition to the programs offered below, the NEA negotiates through their Click and Save program dozens of discounts for members, ranging from cheaper car insurance rates to discounts on cell phone bills, appliances and car rentals.

  • Auto Purchase
  • Credit Cards
  • Home Financing
  • ID Theft Protection
  • Insurance (Term-Life, Home, Auto, Health-Related, Specialty and Pet)
  • Magazine Service
  • Personal Loans
  • Retirement and Savings Resources
  • Student Loan Assistance
  • Vacation and Travel

For more information about these and other NEA-sponsored benefits, please call 1-800-637-4636 or visit the NEA Benefits Website.

MTA Member-Only Discounts & Benefits

MTA member benefits discount guide and directory

Members also receive substantial savings through MTA-sponsored discount group purchasing. Some examples of the programs currently offered are:

  • Alternative Health Care
  • Auto Insurance
  • Auto Rental
  • BJ's Wholesale Club Discount
  • Credit Cards
  • Disability Insurance
  • Home Heating Oil Co-op
  • Home Mortgage Program
  • Homeowners and Renters Insurance
  • Hospital Income
  • Hotel Discounts
  • Legal Consultant Discounts through Legal Shield
  • Life Insurance
  • Long Term Care
  • Tax Preparation Services
  • Tax Sheltered Accounts
  • Theme Park Discounts
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Travel Program
  • Vision Care Plan

MTA Benefits also offers monthly give-aways, nationwide discounts and some benefits and savings for family members. For more information about these and other MTA-sponsored benefits, please call 1-800-336-0990 or visit the MTA Benefits Website.

MSP Grant Program

The MSP grant program was established in 2010 as a way to provide support for our members’ activities that advance the mission of the MSP. A call goes out via our newsletter and all unit-email list to let members know that the application period is open.

Successful grants enhance the union’s work in areas such as membership involvement, political action, improving working conditions, internal organizing, coalition building and addressing diversity issues. Funding can be used to support events and campaigns, as well as research projects.

Applications

In order to apply, a 3-5 page grant application must be submitted. All projects are to be completed with in a year, and a six-month status report must be received by the MSP. Upon completion of the project, MSP and the grantee will discuss how the results of the project are to be disseminated, and how the work has advanced the union’s mission. Recipients of a grant award must serve on a future MSP Grant Committee.

Complete applications include:

  • Your name, title and department
  • A description of the research and/or other activity the grant will support (2-3 pages)
  • Explanation of how the project specifically advances MSP goals (1 page)
  • An itemized budget that clearly shows how requested funds are to be used
  • Plans for publication/dissemination of the results

Current Application Deadlines

Applications are not being accepted at this time.

Examples of Previously Funded Grants

2017

  • Research on the affect of faculty unions on the gender wage gap and how the gender wage gap varies at comparable universities

2016

  • Examining non-traditional African American males at public higher education institutions in MA
  • MSP database improvements, including security and digital filing

2015

  • Analysis of MSP Advocacy/Grievance Cases 2000-2015
  • College affordability forum
  • Demystifying the UMass budget
  • Cultivating Communities of Support for Faculty of Color, for consideration
  • Evaluation of the section 60 pension reform
  • Workshops for colleges and schools regarding open access

2014

  • Diversity sensitivity training for library employees
  • Researching the implication of Vermont's universal healthcare policy for MTA
  • Workshops for personnel committees about community-engaged scholarship

2013

  • Study of the causes and consequence of mounting student debt in MA

2012

  • 2 forums around issue of diversity and to coordinate efforts between faculty senate and MSP for faculty-wide initiative
  • Research on member mobilization in unions of professionals
  • Research on role of trade unions in financial regulatory policy making

2011

  • Research of how single payer health insurance system would eliminate the state’s budget gap