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Firsthand Accounts of the Severe Day-to-Day Damage of Parking Fee Increases at UMB

In late January of this year, the UMass Boston administration announced parking fee increases from the current daily rate of $6 per day to $15 per day on campus and $9 per day at Bayside once the new parking garage opens. This new fee structure was adopted on the recommendations of a report by the Walker Parking Consultants.

These increases would have a devastating impact on the entire UMass Boston community, amounting to an immediate pay cut for faculty and staff and a tuition increase for students.

The FSU reached out to students, faculty, and staff to hear first-hand how increased parking fees would affect their lives and the future of UMB.

“It will be really difficult,” Professor Beckwith warned, “for students who ha[ve] already committed themselves to degree programs [and] workers who can’t immediately go somewhere else.” Consequently, “we’re going to lose a lot of students’ both now and in the future.” This is obvious to undergraduates, a well – “Some students might just have to drop out due to not being able to afford the parking,” said sophomore Mitchell Lyon.

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2019/2020 FSU Executive Committee Elections – Candidate Profiles

The FSU Elections are taking place from March 1st through March 8th. You will receive your ballot through whatever email address you gave FSU. Check your spam folder!

In addition to candidate statements and an in-person forum (watch here), we have invited candidates to participate in the online forum.

VICE PRESIDENT (Vote for One)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is coscia_cla_politicalscience_apr17_hb_bio-1.jpg
Caroline Coscia,
Senior Lecturer II, Political Science

Q1.  Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?

I believe the FSU Executive Committee is in transition from an Executive Committee that was okay with leadership holding the reins to the current Committee composition being full of worker bees – people who want to do and be part of decision making.  Changing paradigms is not easy as the transition brings about both short term conflicts and long term opportunities.

So how do we make this transition successful? I feel one element is making sure all Executive Committee members and FSU members know why and how decisions are made. This will require codifying all processes so that processes are known to all and available on the FSU website. As a FSU member if you want to serve on a FSU sub-committee, it is important that you know how to do so but more importantly that you are provided the opportunity to do so.

I believe that my experience in project management, organizational bylaws and public policy provide me with the skill sets to assist in the FSU Executive Committee transition.  Administrative policies are not exciting but are necessary to lay the foundation for the FSU Executive Committee to operate effectively and efficiently. It is essential that all are working from the same practices, which, during times of change, help develop an environment of trust and respect. 

Q2. Given the local and national threats to unions, like the Janus decision, what would you do to strengthen the FSU?

To strengthen the FSU requires providing members with a reason to join and remain a member. Each member must believe that they are getting value for their dues.  It is the FSU Executive Committee who needs to lead in making sure members feel that union membership is important and valued.

Some activities to make the FSU stronger include:

  • Information sharing is essential and must be done in a timely manner. What information do members want? How often do members want to receive information? In what format do members what to receive union news?  The Executive Committee needs to develop better guidelines related to these questions. Asking members what they want needs to be part of the discussion.  
  • As we approach bargaining for the 2020-2023 contract, a comprehensive survey needs to be prepared and submitted to members in October 2020.  This survey will not only provide information regarding the current contract and changes members would like to see but should provide additional information related to workload and working conditions by constituencies. 
  • Once a semester an informal all member gathering should take place so that the FSU Executive Committee can meet with members.  
  • In addition to a semester gathering, I am planning to hold office hours to meet with members to learn about concerns and comments regarding our union.
  • The FSU is asked to have members serve on a variety of University committees.  This process needs to be open in that when a vacancy occurs on an established committee or a committee is forming, notice needs to be made so that all members have the opportunity to serve. 
  • Each one of us is part of the faculty community, our college community, and our department community.  More importantly, we are part of the UMB community.  We need to make sure that the FSU is an integral part of the UMB community including working with our sister unions in ensuring that UMB is a place we all want to be.

Q3.  What is your favorite campus memory?

The first time I volunteered to work student line-up for Commencement. After getting students from the Clark Center to the Campus Center steps I hung around to watch the main ceremony. At the ceremony’s conclusion I saw a student who was in an intro class with me. He was smiling and with his mother. He introduced me to his mother.  She grasped my forearm and thanked me for teaching her son.

TENURED (Vote for Two)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jeff.jpg
Jeffrey Melnick,
Professor of American Studies
  1. Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee? I want to continue working on the FSU to build on what I have learned and accomplished in the past year.  I especially want to develop the robustness of our on- and off-campus messaging.  The FSU has lagged behind in developing the proper tools and protocols for being a fast, trustworthy voice for faculty concerns. I happily took on the (newly-developed) role of Communications Director to try to help get over some of these hurdles.  But there is a while lot more to do so that we reach our membership, our local, state, and national political representatives, and all forms of media with our pressing concerns.
  2. What would you do to strengthen FSU? Post-Janus I see a major concern in the arena of solidarity.  The FSU has not, in recent years, done a good job of forging alliances with the other campus unions (CSU, PSU, and GEO) or with other progressive forces in the region and nation. While we all rightly mourned the immediate implications of Janus, we can now see that it has opened up the floodgates to an energized public union movement.  From West Virginia, to Oklahoma, to Oakland, and Denver, it is clear that public teachers’ unions are a force to be reckoned with.  The FSU leadership has been tentative-and occasionally directly obstructionist–when it comes to building larger alliances. I want to help move us into a future that will never downplay particular faculty concerns but will try to find points of commonality with other unions wherever possible.
  3. What is your favorite UMB memory? My favorite UMB memory?  That’s not a nice question–there are too many.  So I am just going to call teacher’s privilege and say my favorite memory is the meeting of my large enrollment class yesterday.  It’s a class on the social history of popular music and we had a guest come–a thirty-something indie rock musician who has worked in and around Boston. He spoke of creative, business, and political aspects of his work and the students–the usual  amazing mix of @umb undergrads peppered him with engaged, challenging, and well-researched questions. I got to sit in the audience for all this and just soak up the energy and wisdom.

Sylvia Mignon, Professor of Sociology

1) Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?

My career has been devoted to social justice in a variety of professional and academic contexts. I bring a wealth of experience from different faculty and administrative positions within UMass Boston. I want to ensure that faculty and staff needs are met as they carry out the important work with students and develop  their academic careers. For example, in recognition of my history of strong listening skills and commitment to fair treatment of others, I was appointed as a volunteer hearing officer for the Board of Bar Overseers, which handles complaints filed against attorneys in Massachusetts. These skills are critical to bringing executive committee members and all members of the FSU to a place of respectful discourse and charting a path forward that will benefit all members.

2) What would you do to strengthen the FSU?

As a team player, I would work closely with all members to establish FSU priorities and then develop and promote strategies to accomplish our work. We cannot afford the recent disunity we have seen over the parking vote. The results of 52% (in favor)  to 47% (opposed), with only 52% of members voting, exposed the lack of unity among union members, and alienating a number of people from the FSU. This lack of unity has major consequences because it distracts and prevents us from focusing our energy to confront the major administrative and financial issues faced by UMass Boston. To overcome this we must ensure that all voices are heard and, as much as possible, work to achieve consensus in prioritizing the work the FSU undertakes.

3) What is your favorite campus memory?

My favorite memories focus on the hard work of our students, despite the many obstacles to achieving a quality education. I have enormous respect for our students who must juggle family, work, and academic responsibilities. Each spring at graduation time it is very satisfying to see so many hard-working individuals achieve their degrees. It serves as a reminder that in spite of all the challenges faced by faculty and staff, we offer a solid educational experience for students that they genuinely appreciate. One memory that stands out is the graduate graduation in Spring 2017. The event was held at the Blue Hills Pavillion, an outdoor venue with only a roof. It was raining madly, the winds were high, and everyone was wet and cold. We endured through the long ceremony and then some of took the bus back to campus. It was literally the dark and stormy night, stuck in traffic for far too long. As I looked around at my colleagues on the bus, all of us sodden and exhausted, I thought that only at UMass Boston would you get this kind of commitment and support from faculty for their students.


Alex Mueller
Associate Professor of English

1. Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?

I first joined a union in 1997 as a high school teacher and have been a supporter of unions ever since. Despite our many victories, I have witnessed steadily increasing attacks on public educators lead to our current privatization crisis, which compels me, and I believe all of us, to seek efficient means of collective action against our eroding working conditions. I want to join the Executive Committee’s efforts to create a more democratic union, one that makes transparent our methods for achieving our goals, including strategies for collective bargaining and responses to budget cuts. To establish a university culture that values labor, it is imperative that we work with our colleagues in the classified and professional staff unions in our efforts. And most importantly, we must pressure administrators and legislators to appropriate state funds to our campus. As an entity that can exert that pressure on behalf of faculty more broadly, the Executive Committee should also seek to find ways to consolidate our efforts with teachers in the MTA to insist that public school faculty – not construction projects – become a funding priority throughout the state. I benefitted enormously from my public education, kindergarten through graduate school, and I want to work to ensure that teachers of all levels continue to receive our utmost support.

2. Given the local and national threats to unions, like the Janus decision, what would you do to strengthen the FSU?

The Janus decision is devastating, indeed, but it isn’t fatal. I would encourage us to draw on the lessons of recent union victories over the last year, especially renegotiated contracts that followed teacher protests, which erupted across the country from West Virginia to California. On Valentine’s Day of this year, Denver teachers successfully leveraged a strike to get up to eleven percent raises and built-in cost of living increases. These efforts demonstrate the kinds of gains that labor unions can make if they are willing to act strongly and decisively.

I would also try to help our union think beyond past practices and learn from forms of collective action that are happening outside of our union. When the first phase of REAB (Renovations to Existing Academic Buildings) was released in early 2016, without consultation of faculty and staff, I worked with a group of faculty across my college to draft a statement, which was eventually adopted by the CLA Senate and presented to the Provost’s office. I believe this demand for administrative transparency, along with efforts from faculty and staff across the university, has emboldened other forms of resistance, including the Faculty Council’s statement regarding the candidates for Chancellor late last spring.  

Our union has served us well and I believe our current burden of legacy debt and austerity measures requires decisive action. I am running because I want to learn more about how we have been operating and how I might help us strengthen our position at the negotiating table.

3.  What is your favorite campus memory?

The English department used to welcome new graduate students by taking them on a short cruise of the Boston harbor in the UMass Boston boat. As a new faculty member, I was eager to join the cruise, but I occasionally suffer from seasickness, so I was nervous that I would end up forsaking collegial conversation and seeking the side rail. As fate would have it, I didn’t experience an ounce of nausea. Instead, I was able to enjoy the stunning view of our campus from sea, a euphoric “city upon a hill” moment for me. Whenever I get discouraged about the state of affairs on our campus and succumb to the fear that things can only get worse, I try to remember that cruise and reassure myself that such risks are worth it. After all, I’m not alone. We are in this boat together, working to stay steady and afloat.

(Two additional tenured candidates, Arthur Millman and Jeffrey Melnick, have not yet submitted their materials for the online forum.)

(Non-tenure track and pre-tenure candidates have not yet submitted their materials for the online forum.)

2019/2020 FSU Executive Committee Elections – Candidate Profiles

The FSU Elections are taking place from March 1st through March 8th. You will receive your ballot through whatever email address you gave FSU. Check your spam folder!

In addition to candidate statements and an in-person forum (watch here), we have invited candidates to participate in the online forum.

VICE PRESIDENT (Vote for One)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is coscia_cla_politicalscience_apr17_hb_bio-1.jpg
Caroline Coscia,
Senior Lecturer II, Political Science

Q1.  Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?

I believe the FSU Executive Committee is in transition from an Executive Committee that was okay with leadership holding the reins to the current Committee composition being full of worker bees – people who want to do and be part of decision making.  Changing paradigms is not easy as the transition brings about both short term conflicts and long term opportunities.

So how do we make this transition successful? I feel one element is making sure all Executive Committee members and FSU members know why and how decisions are made. This will require codifying all processes so that processes are known to all and available on the FSU website. As a FSU member if you want to serve on a FSU sub-committee, it is important that you know how to do so but more importantly that you are provided the opportunity to do so.

I believe that my experience in project management, organizational bylaws and public policy provide me with the skill sets to assist in the FSU Executive Committee transition.  Administrative policies are not exciting but are necessary to lay the foundation for the FSU Executive Committee to operate effectively and efficiently. It is essential that all are working from the same practices, which, during times of change, help develop an environment of trust and respect. 

Q2. Given the local and national threats to unions, like the Janus decision, what would you do to strengthen the FSU?

To strengthen the FSU requires providing members with a reason to join and remain a member. Each member must believe that they are getting value for their dues.  It is the FSU Executive Committee who needs to lead in making sure members feel that union membership is important and valued.

Some activities to make the FSU stronger include:

  • Information sharing is essential and must be done in a timely manner. What information do members want? How often do members want to receive information? In what format do members what to receive union news?  The Executive Committee needs to develop better guidelines related to these questions. Asking members what they want needs to be part of the discussion.  
  • As we approach bargaining for the 2020-2023 contract, a comprehensive survey needs to be prepared and submitted to members in October 2020.  This survey will not only provide information regarding the current contract and changes members would like to see but should provide additional information related to workload and working conditions by constituencies. 
  • Once a semester an informal all member gathering should take place so that the FSU Executive Committee can meet with members.  
  • In addition to a semester gathering, I am planning to hold office hours to meet with members to learn about concerns and comments regarding our union.
  • The FSU is asked to have members serve on a variety of University committees.  This process needs to be open in that when a vacancy occurs on an established committee or a committee is forming, notice needs to be made so that all members have the opportunity to serve. 
  • Each one of us is part of the faculty community, our college community, and our department community.  More importantly, we are part of the UMB community.  We need to make sure that the FSU is an integral part of the UMB community including working with our sister unions in ensuring that UMB is a place we all want to be.

Q3.  What is your favorite campus memory?

The first time I volunteered to work student line-up for Commencement. After getting students from the Clark Center to the Campus Center steps I hung around to watch the main ceremony. At the ceremony’s conclusion I saw a student who was in an intro class with me. He was smiling and with his mother. He introduced me to his mother.  She grasped my forearm and thanked me for teaching her son.

TENURED (Vote for Two)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jeff.jpg
Jeffrey Melnick,
Professor of American Studies
  1. Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee? I want to continue working on the FSU to build on what I have learned and accomplished in the past year.  I especially want to develop the robustness of our on- and off-campus messaging.  The FSU has lagged behind in developing the proper tools and protocols for being a fast, trustworthy voice for faculty concerns. I happily took on the (newly-developed) role of Communications Director to try to help get over some of these hurdles.  But there is a while lot more to do so that we reach our membership, our local, state, and national political representatives, and all forms of media with our pressing concerns.
  2. What would you do to strengthen FSU? Post-Janus I see a major concern in the arena of solidarity.  The FSU has not, in recent years, done a good job of forging alliances with the other campus unions (CSU, PSU, and GEO) or with other progressive forces in the region and nation. While we all rightly mourned the immediate implications of Janus, we can now see that it has opened up the floodgates to an energized public union movement.  From West Virginia, to Oklahoma, to Oakland, and Denver, it is clear that public teachers’ unions are a force to be reckoned with.  The FSU leadership has been tentative-and occasionally directly obstructionist–when it comes to building larger alliances. I want to help move us into a future that will never downplay particular faculty concerns but will try to find points of commonality with other unions wherever possible.
  3. What is your favorite UMB memory? My favorite UMB memory?  That’s not a nice question–there are too many.  So I am just going to call teacher’s privilege and say my favorite memory is the meeting of my large enrollment class yesterday.  It’s a class on the social history of popular music and we had a guest come–a thirty-something indie rock musician who has worked in and around Boston. He spoke of creative, business, and political aspects of his work and the students–the usual  amazing mix of @umb undergrads peppered him with engaged, challenging, and well-researched questions. I got to sit in the audience for all this and just soak up the energy and wisdom.

Sylvia Mignon, Professor of Sociology

1) Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?

My career has been devoted to social justice in a variety of professional and academic contexts. I bring a wealth of experience from different faculty and administrative positions within UMass Boston. I want to ensure that faculty and staff needs are met as they carry out the important work with students and develop  their academic careers. For example, in recognition of my history of strong listening skills and commitment to fair treatment of others, I was appointed as a volunteer hearing officer for the Board of Bar Overseers, which handles complaints filed against attorneys in Massachusetts. These skills are critical to bringing executive committee members and all members of the FSU to a place of respectful discourse and charting a path forward that will benefit all members.

2) What would you do to strengthen the FSU?

As a team player, I would work closely with all members to establish FSU priorities and then develop and promote strategies to accomplish our work. We cannot afford the recent disunity we have seen over the parking vote. The results of 52% (in favor)  to 47% (opposed), with only 52% of members voting, exposed the lack of unity among union members, and alienating a number of people from the FSU. This lack of unity has major consequences because it distracts and prevents us from focusing our energy to confront the major administrative and financial issues faced by UMass Boston. To overcome this we must ensure that all voices are heard and, as much as possible, work to achieve consensus in prioritizing the work the FSU undertakes.

3) What is your favorite campus memory?

My favorite memories focus on the hard work of our students, despite the many obstacles to achieving a quality education. I have enormous respect for our students who must juggle family, work, and academic responsibilities. Each spring at graduation time it is very satisfying to see so many hard-working individuals achieve their degrees. It serves as a reminder that in spite of all the challenges faced by faculty and staff, we offer a solid educational experience for students that they genuinely appreciate. One memory that stands out is the graduate graduation in Spring 2017. The event was held at the Blue Hills Pavillion, an outdoor venue with only a roof. It was raining madly, the winds were high, and everyone was wet and cold. We endured through the long ceremony and then some of took the bus back to campus. It was literally the dark and stormy night, stuck in traffic for far too long. As I looked around at my colleagues on the bus, all of us sodden and exhausted, I thought that only at UMass Boston would you get this kind of commitment and support from faculty for their students.


Alex Mueller
Associate Professor of English

1. Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?

I first joined a union in 1997 as a high school teacher and have been a supporter of unions ever since. Despite our many victories, I have witnessed steadily increasing attacks on public educators lead to our current privatization crisis, which compels me, and I believe all of us, to seek efficient means of collective action against our eroding working conditions. I want to join the Executive Committee’s efforts to create a more democratic union, one that makes transparent our methods for achieving our goals, including strategies for collective bargaining and responses to budget cuts. To establish a university culture that values labor, it is imperative that we work with our colleagues in the classified and professional staff unions in our efforts. And most importantly, we must pressure administrators and legislators to appropriate state funds to our campus. As an entity that can exert that pressure on behalf of faculty more broadly, the Executive Committee should also seek to find ways to consolidate our efforts with teachers in the MTA to insist that public school faculty – not construction projects – become a funding priority throughout the state. I benefitted enormously from my public education, kindergarten through graduate school, and I want to work to ensure that teachers of all levels continue to receive our utmost support.

2. Given the local and national threats to unions, like the Janus decision, what would you do to strengthen the FSU?

The Janus decision is devastating, indeed, but it isn’t fatal. I would encourage us to draw on the lessons of recent union victories over the last year, especially renegotiated contracts that followed teacher protests, which erupted across the country from West Virginia to California. On Valentine’s Day of this year, Denver teachers successfully leveraged a strike to get up to eleven percent raises and built-in cost of living increases. These efforts demonstrate the kinds of gains that labor unions can make if they are willing to act strongly and decisively.

I would also try to help our union think beyond past practices and learn from forms of collective action that are happening outside of our union. When the first phase of REAB (Renovations to Existing Academic Buildings) was released in early 2016, without consultation of faculty and staff, I worked with a group of faculty across my college to draft a statement, which was eventually adopted by the CLA Senate and presented to the Provost’s office. I believe this demand for administrative transparency, along with efforts from faculty and staff across the university, has emboldened other forms of resistance, including the Faculty Council’s statement regarding the candidates for Chancellor late last spring.  

Our union has served us well and I believe our current burden of legacy debt and austerity measures requires decisive action. I am running because I want to learn more about how we have been operating and how I might help us strengthen our position at the negotiating table.

3.  What is your favorite campus memory?

The English department used to welcome new graduate students by taking them on a short cruise of the Boston harbor in the UMass Boston boat. As a new faculty member, I was eager to join the cruise, but I occasionally suffer from seasickness, so I was nervous that I would end up forsaking collegial conversation and seeking the side rail. As fate would have it, I didn’t experience an ounce of nausea. Instead, I was able to enjoy the stunning view of our campus from sea, a euphoric “city upon a hill” moment for me. Whenever I get discouraged about the state of affairs on our campus and succumb to the fear that things can only get worse, I try to remember that cruise and reassure myself that such risks are worth it. After all, I’m not alone. We are in this boat together, working to stay steady and afloat.

(Two additional tenured candidates, Arthur Millman and Jeffrey Melnick, have not yet submitted their materials for the online forum.)

(Non-tenure track and pre-tenure candidates have not yet submitted their materials for the online forum.)

A Victory for Public Employees – MTA Gets GIC to Reinstate Health Care Plans

Almost one month ago, the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to drastically limit the health care plan options to both current and retired public employees.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) immediately announced it would hold an emergency meeting, and urged members to speak at GIC public hearings in Boston, Lowell, Cape Cod, and other locations, send comments to the GIC online, and to attend a Senate Committee on Ways & Means hearing regarding this issue.

Now, thanks to the organization and rapid response of the MTA and others who helped in this fight, including members of the public, state representatives, and more, the GIC has voted to undo their disastrous decision.

This is a great victory not just for the public employees who don’t have to worry about losing their health care plans, but for anyone who cares about such major decisions being open to public debate. That, after all, was what shocked so many, the secrecy surrounding the initial vote.

Thankfully, the GIC seems to have gotten the message. As Melvin Kleckner noted, “I don’t think it takes a political expert to conclude our process was flawed.”

But whether or not the GIC decides to use a “flawed process” (i.e., deliberately try to prevent the public from having time to voice their concerns) in the future, the MTA has proved that they, along with other unions and everyone  who cares about people having access to health care, will always be ready to defend our state’s public employees.

GIC Restricting Our Healthcare Options: What You Need to Know and What You Can Do

On January 18, 2018, the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to drastically restrict health care plan options to both current and retired public employees. The only remaining options for current employees are UniCare, Neighborhood Health Plan, and Health New England, while the options for retirees are even more limited – UniCare or Tufts Health Plan.

This news came as a shock to everyone, thanks to a complete lack of transparency. The GIC didn’t give any advance warning that this vote was even taking place. In fact, the Commissioners themselves did not even receive the proposed changes until the night before the vote.

In a Letter to the GIC sent to the GIC Chair, Ms. Valerie Sullivan, State Representative Robert M. Koczera expressed, “concern over the process the [GIC] employed,” and argued that these proceedings, “should [have] been conducted in the open with an opportunity for public input and with full transparency.” Noting that this decision affects nearly half of all MA public employees, Koczera continues by agreeing with MA Attorney General Maura Healey that the $20 million in savings is, “insufficient to justify the widespread disruption that  will be caused,” and concluded by urging the GIC to reconsider its decision.

Continue reading

UMass United at Board of Trustees Meeting in Lowell

The four UMass campuses united at the December 4, 2017 Board of Trustees’ meeting in Lowell.

Tom Goodkind, President of the Professional Staff Union, and Janelle Quareles, President of the Classified Staff Union, excoriated the Board for absolving themselves of all responsibility for approving UMB’s construction plans that have slid UMB into debt and prompted budget cuts that risk destroying UMass’s “diversity flagship campus”.  They also emphasized how the Trustee’s actions have led to dedicated UMB employees losing their jobs. What’s particularly galling is that many of these former employees are near retirement-age and unlikely to obtain other jobs in the future.

The Lowell adjunct faculty has suffered as well from low pay and a lack of healthcare benefits. In fact, UMass Lowell is notably the only campus in the UMass system that does not provide adjuncts health care benefits. Communication Director of the UMass Lowell Union of Adjunct Faculty (part of the United Auto Workers Local 1596) Teresa George pilloried the Board for their treatment of these adjuncts, which has resulted in faculty members dying from preventable causes. Forty adjuncts attended the meeting in solidarity, holdings signs demanding “Adjunct Justice” during her talk.

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Upcoming Actions – 12/7/17 State House, 12/8/17 UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center

On Thursday, December 7th at 11:30 am, UMass Boston campus community members will have an opportunity to give testimony at the State House about why some of the debt should be shifted to the state as well as the impact of the recent cuts.

Contact Anneta Argyres at anneta.argyres@gmail.com for more information.

On Friday, December 8th at 9 am, FSU will work with PSU and CSU to keep pressure on the Board of Trustees during their next meeting at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center at 50 Warren St., Lowell, MA in the Main Ballroom, 1st Floor.

Join your colleagues to demand that the Trustees back our proposal that the state pay for the utility corridor, the substructure, and the new buildings at UMB.

 

Fixing the Faulty Foundations of UMass Boston’s Budget Cuts

In part one of this series on UMass Boston’s budget crisis, we reviewed the causes of this deficit. Now, we’ll look at the various ways the FSU has been fighting these cuts by working with our sister unions, the Classified and Professional Staff Unions (CSU and PSU) and our state affiliate, Massachusetts Teachers Association, and offering alternative solutions that wouldn’t hurt the students, faculty, and staff.

In April 2017, over 200 protestors came together outside the Board of Trustees meeting at UMB to protest the cuts. FSU President Marlene Kim spoke to the Trustees, telling them how the cuts were harming students and faculty, and that CAPS courses were being cancelled that summer which many students needed to graduate. UMass system President Marty Meehan told the Trustees that they had no intention of cutting these courses, since they were profitable. But they were wrong: CAPS courses had been cut, without their knowledge. The courses were reinstated that afternoon.

The FSU wrote a petition to protest these cuts, the lack of faculty input, and the lack of transparency in the budget cutting process. This petition garnered over 500 signatures and was presented to the Trustees at this April meeting and to Interim Chancellor Barry Mills. We also put out a call to faculty to report to us any problems in their departments  that resulted from these cuts. The FSU reported these problems to the administration so they could be resolved…but they were not, and the administration continues to insist there have been no problems affecting students or faculty whatsoever.

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The FSU Stands with the PSU and CSU on 11/29/17

The FSU is concerned about the cuts to the staff and stands in support of our UMass Boston coworkers who have been hit with layoffs. Let’s show our solidarity and be there to back the PSU and CSU at the Board of Trustees’ Administration and Finance Committee meeting on November 29 at 8:15 at One Beacon Street. If you can come, please RSVP to this site:  http://tinyurl.com/NovSolidarity

Below is content from a PSU email with information on the recent layoffs and upcoming action:

Last week our campus administration delivered a body blow to our UMB community, laying off numerous dedicated employees—both union and non-union—who have many, many years of service.

Here are a few facts about both the classified and professional unit layoffs:

  •        The average years of service of classified staff slated for layoff is 15.5;
  •        The most senior person on the CSU layoff list has 37.5 years of service;
  •        Employees on PSU’s layoff list have over 24, 26, 32, 34, and 35 years of service;
  •        61% of PSU members being laid off have 15+ years seniority, while only 31% of PSU’s bargaining unit has that much seniority;
  •        84.6% of PSU members being laid off are women, while women make up 62.8% of the PSU bargaining unit.

Continue reading

Upcoming Action – 11/29/17 Protest to Protect Our Campus from Cuts We Can’t Afford

The Classified and Professional Staff Unions will be protesting these cuts at the Board of Trustees’ Administration and Finance meeting (1 Beacon Street from 8:15 to 9:45 a.m.) on Wednesday, November 29.

We hope you’ll be able to join to show your support.

 

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