Over 90% of all full-time faculty and librarians on campus have chosen to become members of the union and we hope you do too. As union members, we play a critical role in shaping our lives at work and being active players in higher education. Our faculty and librarians join the union for the fantastic benefits but also because we understand the true value of participating in a union. United together, we are strong enough to win great working conditions and a secure future for public higher education. The MSP has been proud to serve as “the conscience of the university.”
Joya Misra on the benefits of unionization [Watch on Vimeo]
Lisa Henderson on why she is a committed member of MSP [Watch on Vimeo]
The MSP is a member-driven organization in which faculty and librarians get together to decide what issues are most important to us, and then work together toward goals we identify. For example:
As part of our continuing efforts to achieve work-life balance, we won one of the best parental leave policies in the country. Our contract guarantees any tenure-track faculty member, librarian, or long-term full-time non-tenure-track faculty member the right to a semester off at full pay each time we have a child (biological or adopted). Becoming a parent also allows us to delay the tenure decision date for one year.
We have negotiated better job security, salaries, and working conditions for our non-tenure track faculty.
We have one of the most transparent tenure processes at any university, allowing the candidate access to the file at every stage, and the opportunity to respond to each review.
MSP has a strong Sick Leave Bank that allows fully paid leave for medical emergencies or illnesses, including family members’ medical needs.
We have established joint funds for child care reimbursements, teaching and research support, and computer replacement.
Our members’ solidarity and action has won important benefits for all of us. For example, when we negotiated for paid parental leave, more than a dozen MSP members testified at negotiations, and a hundred or more sent emails to the administration explaining why it was desperately needed. This type of collective action always pays off.
There are many reasons why you should be a member of the union.
Have a voice in your union.
When you join the MSP, you have a voice. Dues-paying members elect officers, set bargaining priorities, and serve as departmental representatives, executive committee members, officers, or delegates to the annual MTA and NEA conventions.
Take advantage of member-only benefits.
Union members are eligible for hundreds of benefits and discounts. Members save money on auto and home insurance, heating oil, and museum admissions. Union members are covered by $1,000,000 of professional liability insurance. If a student sues you over a grade, or a corporation sues because it doesn’t like the results of your research, MSP members have protection.
Support important political advocacy.
Political advocacy requires resources. The MSP hires buses to take faculty, librarians, students, and staff to Boston to lobby the legislature to fund the university. Advocacy for higher education is one of the most important things that we can do, through the MSP, to create and maintain the best possible university.
Strong member support for the MSP has led to major improvements in salaries, benefits and working conditions. Only with active participation by members can we continue to make UMass a great place to work and learn.
Unions are under attack.
All over the county unions are under attack. By standing together, we can fight the vicious right-wing agenda and stand up for academic freedom, equity, and public education. Unions are the most powerful organizations in the U.S. to fight against rising inequality and the corporate agenda. Unions support a more equitable and just economy and society. The MSP is proud to be part of the growing progressive wing of the U.S. labor movement.
How to Join
Fill Out a Membership Form
Pay Membership Dues
As an MSP member you are also a member of the MTA and NEA. MSP dues include MTA and NEA dues. Any increases in MSP dues are approved at the Spring General Assembly Membership Meeting and any increases in MTA and NEA dues are voted by delegates at the MTA Annual Meeting each May and at the NEA Representative Assembly each summer. Dues are assessed based on your yearly Full-Time Equivalency. For dues rates or assessment information please contact the MSP office.
Deductions for dues are taken monthly, nine time per year. During Academic Year 2019-2020, dues will be deducted from the following paychecks: Oct 4, Nov 1, Nov 29, Dec 27, Jan 24, Feb 21, April 3, May 1, May 29.
Deducting Your 2019 Dues on Your Taxes
Your 2019 membership dues payments to MSP may be tax deductible under the category of "Unreimbursed Employee Expenses" when an employee uses Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21, or Schedule A (Form 1040NR), line 7. Please contact your tax professional for advice and see IRS Publication 529.
The standard full-time amount paid in dues via payroll deduction in 2019 was $945.11. If you were not on payroll deduction for all payroll deduction paychecks in 2019, or if your FTE was an amount other than 100%, please contact the MSP office for your specific figures including the date(s) paid.
Once you join the MSP, we want to hear from you and hope you will be an active participant. Learn more about our current campaigns and see the many ways that you can get involved locally or on the statewide level. Contact the MSP office or any of our Executive Board members to learn how to get more involved with the MSP.
During the Fall of 2019, MSP launched its retiree membership program as a way for retired former MSP members to stay connected and involved in the MSP.
Benefits of an MSP Retiree Membership
- Support faculty and librarians- Your membership contributes to the work that MSP does advocating for your faculty and librarian colleagues at UMass Amherst.
- Stay connected- You are invited to attend our MSP retiree luncheons where you can meet other retirees and help shape the agenda of MSP retirees.
- Advocate for public higher education- Legislators need to hear your voice. Join the MSP in advocacy days and actions in the fight for more funding and for public education.
- Stay informed- Your membership includes a subscription to the MSP Chronicle newsletter.
- Get involved- Throughout the year MSP works on a variety of different campaigns that could use your help. Whether it is successor contract bargaining, immigrants’ rights or any issue affecting our members, we would love to work with you.
How to Join as an MSP Retiree
Choose your membership option– either yearly or lifetime, and send a completed form with a check for your retiree membership dues made out to MSP. Contact the office for a hard copy of the retiree membership form or with questions.
- Materials distributed at MSP's February 2020 workshop on retirement:
- GIC Benefits Guide (2019-2020)
- 2020 Medicare Costs
- ORP Retiree Checklist/Guide for GIC Purposes
- MSERS Handout
- MSERS Pension Percentage Reference Chart (Membership Prior 2012)
- MSERS Pension Percentage Reference Chart (Membership After 4/2/2012)
- Government Pension Offset Flyer
- Windfall Elimination Provision 2020
- Commonly Asked Retirement Questions- Generated from 2/2020 Workshop (Coming Soon!)
- The Massachusetts Teachers Association: MTA offers free retirement consultations for current MSP/MTA/NEA members. Many of our MSP retirees also retain a retiree membership with the MTA/NEA. More information and MTA/NEA retiree benefits can be found on the MTA Retired Members page.
- UMass Amherst Human Resources: Instructions for benefited employees regarding retirement.
- The UMass Amherst Retired Faculty Association