Daily Archives: July 18, 2018

USA Membership Meeting Summary – June 25, 2018

USA Membership Meeting Summary – June 25, 2018

1. Announcements

• Acknowledged new USA members and those members attending a membership meeting for the first time.

• Introduced and welcomed Sheila Gilmour as the new USA Vice President.

• New Stewards: Sandy Kalmus, District 5 (Campus Center, Draper, ILC, Morrill and more); Thor Hansen, District 9 – he works 3rd shift (ROTC, Berkshire, Dining Commons, Whitmore to name a few); Dora Ramos, District 2 (DuBois Library, Thompson Hall, Mass Venture, Hadley Farm and others).

• Thanks to Sue Couture and Linda Fish who cleaned out our back filing room, archived files and went through everything. They saved all the lightly used binders, dividers, folders & notebooks. USA will be sending these items to Puerto Rico to help replenish lost and destroyed school supplies from the hurricane.

• The USA Office closed during the week of July 1 – 6 as several members were attending the NEA Representative Assembly in Minneapolis. Leslie, Jackie Bishop, Linda Fish, Linda Merritt, Cindy Kirza & Dora Ramos were the elected delegates in attendance. VP Sheila Gilmour was fielding calls and any emergencies.

• MTA Summer Conference is August 5-8 here on campus. Members should have received emails from MTA about this conference. We encourage anyone who want to attend to apply for one of the grant-funded scholarships, which covers the full cost of the conference to one of the three tracks. Please see the MTA website for full details.

2. Bargaining Update

• Discussed the importance of union membership to get good contracts. Acknowledged the bargaining team for their commitment and continued work: Leslie, Linda Fish, Linda Merritt, Sue Couture, Heather Deirdre, Michele McBride and Karen Markham.

• We are still bargaining and have not settled. We have some tentative verbal agreements. Our next session is Tuesday, July 17. We are hoping to have some solid agreements at that time.

• Management’s proposal package included

1. Cost of Living Increases (COLA) as follows:
• 1% increase retro to 7/1/17
• 1% increase retro to 7/1/17 if the state revenues meet or exceed 27.072 billion for FY18 (it looks like this may have been met)
• 2% increase effective 7/1/18
• 2% increase effective 7/1/19
Note: The above COLAs are the same as what many other Higher Ed unions were given or offered, including our sister/brother units at UMass Lowell, UMass Boston and Dartmouth as well as MSP, PSU & AFSCME on this campus. In the past, USA and AFSCME were always given ½% less because of our step increases – this time we were not.

2. Allowing supervisors in our Unit. USA tentatively agreed and believe that this will allow for a better career ladder

3. Increase in Shift Differential from $.80 cents to $1.00 per hour. USA tentatively agreed

4. Cap vacation leave at 64 days eliminating the rollover into sick time. USA rejected

• USA’s proposal package included

1. Proposed longevity scale
2. Sick Leave Bank Improvements: to include usage for immediate family members
3. Requested 26 weeks FMLA leave (parity w/PSU) Management rejected in the form it was presented
(USA may have a work-around that will address most of this time)

4. Include PAID Organ, blood, bone marrow donation & domestic violence leave. Management tentatively agreed
5. Include adoption and DCF leave – Management tentatively agreed
6. Developing better language around determining step when members are promoted or have a temporary promotion – Management tentatively agreed

7. Eliminating lowest grades
8. Vacation accrual – Adjust schedule for vacation time earned
9. Day after Thanksgiving off/Paid – Management rejected (this should be something all units go after together—we will be back)

10. Better Tuition benefits – this is being worked-out through an all-unit coalition with the President’s Office.

11. Side letters to discuss bullying language in our contract; closing the 2-day gap between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays; creating a floating pool of USA employees (primarily members on lay-off) to cover department short-term vacancies and reduce reliance on CC/03s; committee to review and suggest changes to our evaluation process/forms; review of unit titles to include more positions for growth and classification.

Leslie Marsland
President USA
(413) 545-4862