MSP members have ratified our new agreement by an overwhelming margin.
Huge appreciation to the bargaining team, MSP board and officers, and especially to all faculty and librarians who participated, answered surveys, came to negotiations, testified about issues, participated in open meetings, told your stories, held signs for the trustees, called and emailed politicians and administrators, and mobilized for a better workplace and better conditions for our students. We couldn't have done it without everyone's efforts. We are excited to start implementing the benefits we have won. Below are answers to some of your questions; please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have other concerns.
1. What happens now?
Now that we have ratified the agreement, it goes to the UMass President's Office, which submits the contract(s) to the Governor's office, which submits the contract(s) to the legislature. The legislature will have to pass a supplemental budget to provide the necessary funding.
2. When do we get a raise?
As soon as the legislature approves the funding and the Governor signs the supplemental budget, the funds will be available to UMass. Depending on how quickly the legislature works, this could happen in July or it could be in the fall.
3. How much money will I get?
The good news is that this agreement includes full retroactive pay, so we will get the raises we are owed in a lump sum to cover the academic year 2017-18. Assuming the state hits its revenue target for 2017-18, this will be the schedule:
July 1, 2017 – across the board increase of 2 percent -- a lump sum covering retroactive raises will appear in our paychecks this summer or fall – MSP will inform you when we know the timing
July 1, 2018 -- across the board increase of 2 percent -- raise will appear in our paychecks this summer or fall
July 1, 2019 – across the board increase of 2 percent
MSP will let you know as soon as we hear when to expect the raise in your paycheck.
4. What about merit pay?
We don't yet know what will happen with merit raises. The administration and union agreed that any salary funds beyond the 2 percent each year will be allocated as merit. We don't yet know what those funds will be. If there are not sufficient funds, or if some amount is allocated as non-base pay (one-time bonuses), we will "catch up" by allocating merit raises covering this period in the future. We have done this in the past when funding has been insufficient to cover merit raises.
5. When does the new contract language take effect?
Most of the new language will go into effect on July 1, 2018. The new salary floors take effect on July 1, 2018 before the 2 percent raise goes into effect, so individuals at or near salary floors for their rank will get both increases. The new pay equity process will begin in the spring of 2019, once the committee has time to figure out formulas and a fair process. The Professional Improvement Fellowships for non-tenure faculty will also begin in the spring of 2019, but applications will begin in the fall. New contract language around academic freedom, faculty governance, and more will be implemented immediately.
6. What else will change?
A summary of our agreement is attached. As we finalize specific contract language, it will be posted on the MSP website: umassmsp.org/contract.
You can see the Memoranda of Agreement here:https://umassmsp.org/site/assets/files/1029/2017-2018_tentative_agreement_executed.pdf and here:https://umassmsp.org/site/assets/files/1029/2018-2020_tentative_agreement_executed.pdf.
7. Who will answer my questions about the new contract?
Contact the MSP office anytime: 545-2206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to talk with you.
MSP also will hold two contract information meetings
Monday, September 17 at 11:00 am in Campus Center 904-908
Thursday, September 20 at 11:00 am in Campus Center 904-908
8. I have strong opinions about some of these topics -- how can I make my voice heard?
We have created seven joint union-administration committees that will work through crucial issues, including pay equity processes, Title IX/sexual harassment policies, gender equity, CPE course development processes, and Research and Extension faculty. We need you! The work will begin in September; it will be interesting and important. You will meet with administrators in a collaborative process, and it counts as university service. Please volunteer!