Skip to main content

Massachusetts Society of Professors

The Union of Faculty and Librarians at UMass Amherst

Update on Contract Funding!

At long last, we are happy to report that the new MSP contract has been funded!  Our salary increases were in the supplemental budget that was just passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.  


This contract goes from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020 and you can see the details here.  Most of the provisions of the contract went into effect on July 1, 2018 -- but after more than 18 months of bargaining, we won full retroactive pay increases going back to July 1, 2017.  Please thank your MSP bargaining team and our allies in the other UMass unions for winning a strong contract.


You are probably wondering when you'll see that raise in your paycheck.  We have asked the HR department but we have not heard back -- you can follow up with them or just be patient, and we will let you know as soon as the MSP finds out when to expect the money.   When the raises are processed, if you have been on UMass payroll since June 30th 2017, here is what to expect:


-- a lump sum equivalent to two percent of your annual salary (based on salary in effect on 5/1/17) for the 2017-18 academic year, plus

-- a lump sum equivalent to two percent of your salary (based on salary in effect 5/1/18) from July 1, 2018 until the date the raises are implemented, plus

-- a four percent raise to your current base pay rate, and

-- another two percent raise coming on July 1, 2019


The process of negotiating this contract and getting it funded was laborious and excruciatingly slow.  MSP has proposed that the MTA's statewide legislative agenda this year should include changing the collective bargaining process in the state.  The current process has many steps:


1)  MSP and the UMass Amherst administration open negotiations and exchange proposals.  But the administration can't put a salary offer on the table until they get the economic parameters from the Governor's Office of Employee Relations.

2) The Governor releases salary "parameters" with the percentages his office is willing to accept.

3)  MSP and the UMass Amherst administration negotiate a contract including terms and conditions of employment (but not salary, health insurance, or pensions). This usually takes about a year.

4)  MSP members vote to ratify the contract.

5)  The contract goes to the UMass President's office for approval.

6)  The contract must be officially submitted by the UMass President's office back to the Governor's office for approval.  

7)  The governor's office must officially submit the contract to the legislature for inclusion in the budget.

8)  The House Ways and Means Committee must vote to include the contract in the budget or supplemental budget

9)  The full House and Senate must vote to approve the budget including the contract

10)  The contract goes back to the Governor for his signature.  If the Governor vetoes the contract and the legislature doesn’t override that veto, go back and repeat steps 3-10.  


In other states, by contrast, there are three steps to the bargaining process. This is what we would like to see in Massachusetts:

1) Union and employer negotiate a contract

2)  Legislature approves funding for the contract

3)  Governor signs the contract, or vetoes it and returns it for renegotiation


We will start negotiating our successor contract (2020-2023) next fall, and we plan to hold the state to a more reasonable timeline next time.  


Thanks again to the MSP bargaining team: Christine Turner, David Gross, Kathleen Lugosch, Steve Brewer, Lori Reardon, and Mickey Gallagher.  When we began negotiating this contract (over two years ago!) the state proposed ZERO raises -- so we are proud of what we accomplished and the benefits we won in this contract.  Thanks to all of our members for your participation and support throughout the process.