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Massachusetts Society of Professors

The Union of Faculty and Librarians at UMass Amherst

About MSP

Poster from the 1976 election to establish MSP

The Massachusetts Society of Professors (MSP) is the union representing over 1400 faculty and librarians on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.  The MSP was founded in the 1970s after the faculty and librarians suffered through several years of frozen salaries, deteriorating working conditions, and uncaring or incompetent administrators.  A majority of faculty and librarians voted to form a union, together with our sister chapter, the Faculty Staff Union (FSU) representing the faculty and librarians on the Boston campus. Since that time, there have been many changes to our bargaining unit, and MSP now includes all non-tenure-track faculty, full-time and part-time faculty and librarians.  We have also won many new benefits through decades of activism and collective bargaining, including paid parental leave, a flexible sabbatical bank, promotions to Senior Lecturer and Senior Lecturer II, paid family and medical leave, and many more.

State & National Affiliations


MSP delegates voting at the MTA Annual Meeting

On the state level, the MSP is affiliated with the Massachusetts Teachers Association. MTA is the largest union in Massachusetts with over 100,000 members (about 14,000 in higher education) and we are considered one of MTA's locals. MTA's members are in every town of the state; therefore the union has a lot of political clout with state government. MTA provides MSP/FSU with a consultant who assists with planning, bargaining and grievances. 2 of MSP’s own members serve on the MTA board and each May, the MSP sends between 20-28 delegates to MTA’s Annual Meeting where the MTA budget and policy issues are debated and voted on. In addition to plugging our local union into a powerful state-wide network, MTA also provides member benefits and discounts which can be found on the MTA Member Benefits page.


MTA Annual Meeting


On the national level, we are affiliated with the National Education Association. NEA is the largest union in the country and plays an important role in debates around national education policy. One of MSP's members serves as an NEA Board Member representing the state of Massachusetts. In addition to valuable educators liability insurance, the NEA also offers their members a wide range of NEA benefit and discount programs.

Dean Robinson on the importance of MTA and NEA affiliations [Watch on Vimeo]



The JCC is the legal entity that associates the MSP and the FSU (Faculty Staff Union) into one local union that spans two campuses: UMass Amherst and UMass Boston. The JCC is the body that bargains and submits our collective bargaining agreements for ratification, formulates and implements policies and programs of the local, and determines whether or not to submit grievances to outside arbitrations. MSP and FSU share JCC expenses including our shared bookkeeper, annual audits, payroll services, and arbitration costs.

JCC Bylaws (PDF)


Although the MSP and FSU are affiliated with the JCC, the MSP runs its day-to-day affairs independently of FSU in order to ensure that the faculty and librarians on the Amherst campus receive representation best suited to their needs. MSP has its own bylaws to govern our organization on our campus.

MSP Bylaws (PDF)

Executive Board Minutes

Minutes from meetings of the Executive Board are posted once the Board approves the minutes.

11/6/19: Updates on PFML bargaining, UWW impact bargaining, anomaly/pay equity committee and new MSP budget items; uncollectibles, departments co-sponsoring events, faculty transition to retirement workshop

10/2/19: Amendment to MSP donation policy, bargaining update, bargaining committees, reports from dept meetings and organizing plans, plan for joint dept. rep and board meeting, the MSP Connection, retiree membership program

9/18/19: Approval of John Staudenmayer to Board, updates, bargaining schedule & team, All-In and organizing, challenges, bargaining committees

4/24/19: plan for general assembly, CHERISH act and May 16 day of action, dues abatement, update from equity committees, fall bargaining

4/10/2019: Follow up for Fund Our Future, April 30 Cherish Act hearings, May 16 day of action, update on online education, dues abatement

3/27/2019: Report from Fund Our Future campaign, Eric from PHENOM, budget review, dues abatement, non-payer member outreach

3/6/2019: Hampshire College, online education, MTA Annual Meeting, Fund Our Future Higher Education Advocacy Day

2/20/2019: Fund Our Future Higher Education Advocacy Day organizing, department visits, plan for joint board/rep meeting

2/6/2019: JCC bylaw change approval, debrief from Fund Our Future, higher ed advocacy day, updates from joint committees

11/28/2018: Fund Our Future Campagin, retro pay increases, organizing report backs and communication from departments

11/7/2018: Update on contract funding, joint MSP-administration committees, organizing reports, uncollectibles

10/24/2018: Contract update, legislative update, department visits, social media plan, All In organizing, department rep schedule

10/10/2018: Mass RNs and Question 1, Updates (Contract funding and Title IX), All-in organizing and department rep structure

9/26/2018: Contract updates (funding, anomaly process, labor management committees), political agenda and MTA legislative priorities, role of board members and department reps, All-in organizing, department visits

5/2/2018: Debrief from General Assembly, agency fee organizing, VIVO discussion

4/18/2018: Budget, bargaining update (small MSP delegation), Mt. Ida and mass meeting debrief, ideas for General Assembly, MTA Annual Meeting

4/4/2018: MiniVan training, bylaws change, Board of Trustees actions, mass meeting turnout, bargaining update (contract lengths, parameters, NTT leave and equity process)

3/21/2018: Annual Meeting delegates, mobilization for mass meetings, Board of Trustees meeting

2/28/18: Debrief on UUU action, bargaining updates (NTT reappointment language, CPE minimums, salary offer, ULP), update from Chancellor meeting

2/14/2018: UUU day of action, bullying process, education effectiveness plans and student learning outcomes

1/31/2018: Feb 26th day of action, GIC update

12/13/2017: Debrief on General Assembly, Board of Trustees meeting report back, bargaining update (faculty governance), Section 60 and MSERS, Title IX, UPR solidarity

11/29/2107: Bargaining update (parameters and NTT leave), solidarity Wednesdays, plan for General Assembly, corporate campaign

11/8/2017: Bargaining update (priorities and actions), bias in SRTI, practicing All In conversations

10/25/2017: Amazon, Chancellor at town meetings, sexual harassment and consensual relationships policy, bargaining update (proposals)

10/11/25: New bully policy, All In conversations, department visit feedback

9/27/2017: Upcoming events, all union meeting, department visit talking points, John McCarthy and Michael Eagen visit

9/13/2017: Library compliance officer, uncollectibles, parameters update, petitions for minimum wage and paid family medical leave, All In campaign, department vists


Executive Committee

2018-2019 MSP Executive Committee (left to right) Kate Hudson, Randy Phyllis, Sigrid Schmalzer, Dave Gross, Eve Weinbaum, Eric Berlin, and Christine Turner

MSP’s President, Vice Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer make up the Executive Committee, informally known as MSP officers. They set the agenda for the Executive Board, evaluate priorities and plans, and oversee the MSP budget and operations.  MSP officers are elected by the membership at the spring General Assembly membership meeting.  Officers meet separately from the Executive Board during alternate weeks on Wednesday from 8:45 - 10:00 a.m. The Executive Committee also meets with the Chancellor and Provost once a month to discuss important issues raised by faculty and librarians. Officers serve two-year terms.  

Executive Committee


Eve Weinbaum

Labor Center/Sociology, Thompson Hall, 7-0458

Vice President

Randall Phillis

Biology, Morrill South, 5-3494

Vice President

Christine Turner

Collection Services, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, 7-1026

Vice President

Sigrid Schmalzer

History, Herter Hall, 5-6776


Kate Hudson

Educational Policy, Research and Admin, Furcolo Hall, 7-3148


Jen Adams

English, South College, 5-5518

Grievance Officer

Erica Scharrer

Communication, Integrative Learning Center Rm S330, 5-1331

Executive Board

The MSP Executive Board is the decision-making body of the union.  Executive Board members are elected at the spring General Assembly membership meeting. Meetings are held every two weeks on Wednesday from 8:45 - 10:00 a.m. Board members serve three-year terms.

Executive Board

Steve Brewer

Biology, Morrill Science Center IV, 5-2272

Jeanne Brunner

TECS, Furcolo Hall, 5-9392

Maciej Ciesielski

Electrical & Computer Engineering, Knowles, 5-0401

Clare Hammonds

Labor Center/Sociology, Thompson Hall, 5-0577

Christine Ho

History of Art & Architecture, South College, 5-8712

Marc Liberatore

Computer Science, Computer Science Bldg, 5-3061

Sandy Litchfield

Architecture, Design Building

Joya Misra

Sociology & Public Policy, Machmer, 5-5969

Asha Nadkarni

English, South College, 5-5495

Dean Robinson

Political Science, Thompson Hall, 5-0406

Tristram Seidler

Biology, Morrill III South, 5-2775

Jeremy Smith

Scholarly Communication, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, 5-6729

Priyanka Srivastava

History, Herter Hall, 5-2751

John Staudenmayer

Math & Stats, LGRT, 5-0999

Kevin Young

History, Herter Hall

Department Representatives and Activists

The MSP Department Reps and Activists are the first line of communication between what is happening in departments and the union. We rely on Reps and Activists to bring to the MSP issues that matter to faculty and librarians, while also letting our members know what the union is planning and how members can be involved.  Department Reps and Activists help MSP advance our mission as a social justice union to fight for more than just bread-and-butter issues, and to be engaged and involved in issues affecting our students and our community.

Contact the MSP Office for information on current department reps or if you are interested in representing MSP in your department.

Contract Bargaining Team and Support Committees

Every three years, the MSP elects a Contract Bargaining Team to negotiate the successor collective bargaining agreement.  This small group of faculty and librarians sits across the table from the administration, negotiates, and discusses any proposed changes to the contract.  At the same time, Bargaining Support Committees are responsible for working on specific issues, formulating bargaining proposals, and mobilizing people to support our positions.

The Contract Bargaining Team for the 2017-2020 contract consisted of Eve Weinbaum (Labor Center), Dave Gross (Biochemistry & Molecular Bio), Christine Turner (Collection Services), Kathleen Lugosch (Architecture), Steve Brewer (Biology), Mickey Gallagher (MTA) and Lori Reardon (MSP)

Faculty Advocates

Several faculty members serve as Faculty Advocates.  Formerly known as the Grievance Committee, this group works closely with individual faculty who are experiencing problems or trying to avoid potential problems in the workplace.  Faculty Advocates often accompany our colleagues to meetings, strategize about resolving concerns, and serve as liaisons with the MSP to support our members.

If assistance is needed, the MSP will pair members up with a Faculty Advocate. Erica Scharrer (Communication) is the Grievance Officer who works with and coordinates faculty advocates. Current faculty advocates are, Randy Phillis (Biology), Eliot Moss (Computer Science), Louise Antony (Philosophy), Betsy McEneaney (Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies), Eric Berlin (Music and Dance), Marc Liberatore (Computer Science) and Meghan Bergin (Libraries).


Heather LaPenn
MTA Consultant

Heather is our MTA Consultant assigned to represent MSP. She assists our local with contract language enforcement through both informal and formal processes and connects us to important MTA initiatives.

Lori Reardon
MSP Senior Staff

Lori assists and informs individual bargaining unit members regarding a wide range of issues related to their rights, benefits and working conditions under the union contract. She works with UMass administrators to enforce contracts and resolve issues informally. She also sits at the bargaining table and serves as a resource in MSP contract negotiations and campaigns.  Lori coordinates and facilitates workshops for members (tenure, promotion, personnel committee, PMYR, etc.) and is an invaluable resource for any tenure related questions. 

Emily Steelhammer
MSP Staff/Organizer

Emily works to recruit new members and union activists in order to build and strengthen the union.  She works on organizing initiatives and coordinates member outreach during campaigns.  Emily conducts new employee union orientations and assists new and current employees with membership questions and concerns.  She also meets with and helps problem-solve workplace issues for MSP’s non-tenure track faculty members and provides staff support to MSP leaders responsible for union governance.

Alisa Brewer
MSP Membership Coordinator

Alisa maintains and updates the union’s membership records.  She processes payroll deductions in coordination with HR and acts as the liaison between MSP and MTA with regard to collection of member dues/fees. Alisa assists members with questions and issues specific to invoices, payroll deduction and membership status.