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
In order to become a member of the MSP you must fill out a paper membership form. Stop by the MSP office or contact the office to send you one in the mail.
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.
Most people decide to pay their dues via payroll deduction, authorizing the UMass Amherst administration to make up to 9 payroll deductions per year. The total amount owed is divided among each of the remaining deduction periods. In 2018-2019, dues will be deducted from the following paychecks: Sept 21, Nov 2, Nov 30, Dec 28, Jan 25, Feb 22, March 22, May 3, May 31. To authorize payroll deduction, download and fill out the payroll deduction authorization form and return it to the MSP office.
Deducting Your 2017 Dues on Your Taxes
Your 2017 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 amount paid in dues for the full year in 2017 is $933.80 for full-time faculty and $478.42 for half-time faculty.
If you were not on payroll deduction for all payroll deduction paychecks in 2017 or if your FTE is an amount other than either 100% or 50%, 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.