The University Staff Association, the union representing nearly 1000 clerical and technical education support professionals on the Amherst campus and in UMass Amherst extension offices across the Commonwealth, has been in bargaining with UMass since early spring 2017.
With a contract that expired in July 2017, the USA has been bargaining for equity and respect.
What does this mean?
As a matter of equity and respect, USA members deserve better with regards to
• Family leave benefits: Classified staff have as many family obligations as faculty and professional staff, including for foster care.
• Paid domestic violence leave: Victims and survivors should not be treated differently because of job title–particularly those with typically fewer resources.
• Expanded use of Sick Leave Bank: Classified staff alone are restricted from using the bank for family illness or healthy childbirth or adoption.
• Fewer takebacks of sick and vacation time: UMass removed such takebacks from faculty tables.
• Longevity bonuses: UMass should finally have a system to recognize and reward longer service to the University.
• A higher pay floor: Increase the lowest unit pay in light of increased minimum wages and to more closely align with other UMass campuses.
• Anti-bullying initiatives and processes: Incorporate language into the contract so important protections are not at the whim of current UMass leadership.
• More confidentiality in medical matters: Minimize gossip and protect privacy, particularly for classified staff in crisis.
• Better vacation leave: The current climb to increase vacation leave to match what professional staff receive their first day is a long one in need of shortening.
The USA has another bargaining session on July 31, 2018, just days before Summer Conference. We have made some progress on some of these fronts, but without more progress on the above and a finalized, decent deal by MTA Summer Conference we will make our voices heard!
Please join USA members on Tuesday, August 7, at 12:15 PM, for a picnic and union rally on Haigis Mall at UMass Amherst (BYOL).
We hope to have a victory rally, but we are prepared to march on the Whitmore Administration Building as well! Regardless, we will use that moment to take a strong stand for equity and respect in the workplace!
RSVP here: http://www.mtasurveys.org/se/0B87CA7D4926F845
Box lunches will be available for all USA members who RSVP by August 1—but the sooner the better.