University Staff Association

University Staff Association USA is the clerical and technical support staff union at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Representing ~1000 employees, USA is an integral partner in the UMass Unions United (UUU) Amherst, a coalition of student, staff and faculty unions.

Operating as usual

NEA.ORG article today - great summary of the MTA - higher ed actions, successes and challenges! Share and repost.#BringS...
01/15/2021
Fighting for the Future of Public Higher Education in Massachusetts | NEA

NEA.ORG article today - great summary of the MTA - higher ed actions, successes and challenges! Share and repost.
#BringStaffBack # FundOurFuture

Union members are winning the battle against budget cuts, and for public colleges and universities that give all students what they need.

12/16/2020

$100s of Millions.. #BringStaffBack #umassamherst

On Tuesday, together with leaders from University Staff Association (USA) and Massachusetts Society of Professors, we met with Chancellor Subbaswamy to share statements from UMass staff members who have been impacted by furloughs and hours reductions. On Thursday, Risa Silverman, PSU co-chair testified at the quarterly UMass Board of Trustees meeting along with Leslie Marsland, president of USA, to get the same message across.

We told the chancellor and the board that we need to Bring Staff Back now. Staff and our families are suffering. Students are being negatively impacted, and departments across UMass are struggling under the burden.

As Risa said to the board when she testified, “Budgets are moral documents and they state our priorities ... it is your job to protect the flagship campus from any further damage.”

Now that we have an assurance of level funding from the state, and now that we can expect Congress to pass an additional relief bill in the near future, we know that the money is there.

In fact, a new financial analysis by the MTA has
discovered that the UMass system has $125,000,000 in reserves that are held specifically for emergencies. But Michael O’Brien, a
representative from the Board of Trustees’ finance committee, told the public last Thursday that these funds should only be used for an event like "an asteroid hitting the earth.” Are they serious? A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic doesn’t qualify?

In addition, there are hundreds of millions of
dollars of further funds that can be made
available, including $323,000,000 in "excess operating cash" built up from campus budgets over a number of years, all of which can help get us through the end of this pandemic.

As USA President Leslie Marsland told the board, "There is something wrong when our campus workers cannot pay their bills, and must stand in food lines ... put yourself in the shoes of someone [who] makes $35,000 to $50,000 a year and then has their income cut in half, if not more."

This is unacceptable, and we need to make our voices heard loud and clear. If you haven’t already, help us get through to the chancellor by sharing this post!

Now, as we watch the first doses of coronavirus vaccine roll out in the United States, is a time to recognize that there’s been enough pain—at UMass, and across the country. At this moment, we are at a moral inflection point. Our world’s medical researchers and scientists have done their part to meet this crisis—and now it’s time for UMass administrators to do their part with a firm commitment to stop the cuts and bring every staff member back.

In Solidarity,

Leslie Marsland, USA President
Risa Silverman and Brad Turner, PSU Amherst Co-Chairs

Massachusetts Teachers Association
12/10/2020
Massachusetts Teachers Association

Massachusetts Teachers Association

Great job by UMass unions in demanding trustees bring back workers unjustly put out of work during the pandemic.

"Those affected feel like they have been stabbed in the back; that they are not wanted, nor important, to the mission of this university. They feel abandoned and unappreciated for the hard work they have done for years."- Amherst USA President Leslie Marsland.

"Budgets are moral documents and they state our priorities. I believe it is your job to protect the flagship campus from any further damage."- Amherst PSU Co-Chair Risa Silverman

"We cannot let you do long-term damage to our university based on misguided values. We are demanding that you put an end to the destructive furloughs and layoffs, exploiting the crisis to get rid of people and programs you don’t like," MTA Vice President Max Page

"You want shared sacrifice, but one day off without pay is not the same for a chancellor and campus workers when the chancellor's annual salary is fourteen times my annual salary."- Lowell GRACE member June Lemen

Take action to #BringThemBack
https://massachusettsagrees.org/take-action/

@MartyMeehan #BringStaffBack
12/10/2020

@MartyMeehan #BringStaffBack

UMass students and workers are campaigning to bring back over 1,000 faculty and staff who’ve been furloughed or laid off based on faulty financial projections.

Meanwhile, our students need more support than ever. Learn about why we’re fighting.

Demand to stop the austerity cuts and furloughs at UMass! We are asking you to take action to support our leaders, your ...
12/08/2020

Demand to stop the austerity cuts and furloughs at UMass!
We are asking you to take action to support our leaders, your colleagues and our campuses by emailing the Trustees before the meeting. Please use the Massachusetts Agrees Action Network tool to send an email TODAY to UMass President, Chancellors and Trustees. #bringstaffback

The libraries need their staff! #bringstaffback

Got Student Safety?  #bringstaffback #umassamherst
12/03/2020

Got Student Safety? #bringstaffback #umassamherst

Staff are important for student safety in the Art Department! #bringstaffback

NEWSFLASH!  UMass Amherst has a BALANCED BUDGET and NO DROP in enrollment. #BringStaffBack #umass
12/01/2020

NEWSFLASH! UMass Amherst has a BALANCED BUDGET and NO DROP in enrollment. #BringStaffBack #umass

PSUMTA
11/06/2020

PSUMTA

Furloughs Hurt: Voices of UMass

"My furlough is set to begin the day after my wedding. A wedding that I have spent three years planning and saving for."
- PSUMTA furloughed staff member

In September, Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy announced that UMass staff who are members of PSU and USA would bear the brunt of a budget shortfall by taking furloughs and hour reductions, some of which are indefinite. These austerity measures have a massive impact on the community, and especially the staff members who are uncertain when or if they will be able to return to work and continue to help students and the campus.

#FurloughsHurt #FurloughVoices UMass Amherst
University of Massachusetts #Furloughs #highereducation #UnionStrong #Union #1U #DefendPublicHigherEd

MTA says House budget a good first step, but new revenues needed
11/06/2020
MTA says House budget a good first step, but new revenues needed

MTA says House budget a good first step, but new revenues needed

The just-released fiscal 2021 House budget proposal “builds on the governor’s plan by maintaining funding for preK-12 and public higher education for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

Please share with any who may need emergency funds to make rent payments in Amherst.
09/23/2020

Please share with any who may need emergency funds to make rent payments in Amherst.

We have opened up a 2nd round of emergency rental assistance for eligible #AmherstMA renters experiencing income loss due to COVID-19. Program is 1st come, 1st serve so learn more & apply online today: http://communityaction.us/amherstrentalassistance

Please read!  450+ layoffs at UMass Amherst were just HALTED - the result of months of intense negotiations, that produc...
09/16/2020
UMass officials and unions agree to avoid immediate layoffs and seek alternative cuts

Please read! 450+ layoffs at UMass Amherst were just HALTED - the result of months of intense negotiations, that produced an agreement to form a joint labor management council on campus. There is much more to be done #MassAgrees

The unions agreed to have most members take two-week furloughs, but the university has withheld laying off about 450 workers.

08/08/2020
UMass Amherst Unions United

UMass Amherst Unions United

Joint UMass Unions United statement on UMass Amherst Decision to Reverse Reopening Plan

AFSCME Local 1776, GEO/UAW Local 2322, IBPO Local 432, MSP/MTA, NEPBA Local 190, PRO/UAW Local 2322, PSU/MTA, RA/PMU/UAW Local 2322, USA/MTA

Union leaders at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are relieved by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy's decision to significantly limit the number of students to return to campus in the fall. The late decision, however, presents new challenges to worker safety and job security. Regardless of the number of people on campus, full employment, as part of a robust health and safety plan, must be prioritized.

Faculty, staff, and student unions had been urging the University to provide health and safety assurances that would allow for the safest possible fall semester, but the federal government’s pathetic inaction in the face of a pandemic made it impossible to welcome students back

The state legislature has passed a level budget until November, and we are all waiting for the next round of stimulus funds from the federal government. Full employment is essential to public health and safety.

“We call on the UMass President, Board of Trustees, and Chancellor to show bold leadership. We reject any layoffs, furloughs, program cuts, and non-reappointments,” said University Staff Association President Leslie Marsland. “As a public entity dedicated to building a stronger future for the Commonwealth and as one of the largest employers in the state and the largest employer in Western Massachusetts, UMass has an obligation to preserve employment and support all members of the community in this moment of uncertainty for Massachusetts, the United States, and the world.”

Union leaders reject President Marty Meehan’s budget, that calls for significant layoffs, and only demonstrates a lack of leadership.

“We reject the massive cut in student employees only three days before students were supposed to move in. The sudden decision to close has exacerbated the struggles now faced by students and workers, including housing insecurity right before the start of the semester,” said Alice Troop, a UMass Amherst undergraduate and co-chair of the Resident Assistant/Peer Mentor Union. “All frontline university workers, educators, student employees, and administrators are needed and have new roles to play.”

Union leaders have identified creative and meaningful ways to ensure that all staff continue to have work and housing during this pause from normal operations. There is clearly work to do -- in deferred maintenance, labs, farms, and service to the community and Commonwealth.

“UMass leaders have a responsibility to secure essential funding from the state and federal government. Economic, social, and emotional devastation will follow massive job loss, and UMass stands to lose out by shedding employees now. Union members across the system are taking on that fight. We are stronger together,” said Lee Ann Robinson, president of AFSCME Local 1776.

Spot on comments from RAPMU's leadership and front line working students as Residential Assistants and Peer Mentors! #ba...
07/25/2020
UMass residential staff claim COVID-19 precautions inadequate

Spot on comments from RAPMU's leadership and front line working students as Residential Assistants and Peer Mentors! #badplan

NORTHAMPTON — Union leaders representing residential assistants and peer mentors at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are calling for the university to take greater measures to protect residential life staff when students return to campus in the...

REGISTER TODAY!!  Senator Warren is going to share crucial insights and current legislative updates - 5:00 pm on Wednesd...
07/21/2020
Senator Warren and union leaders to discuss vital public education issues

REGISTER TODAY!! Senator Warren is going to share crucial insights and current legislative updates - 5:00 pm on Wednesday, July 22.

Make plans to join a Facebook Live event for educators, hosted by Senator Elizabeth Warren with MTA, AFT MA and BTU, from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22.

Today and tomorrow, 9 delegates from USA/MTA are thrilled to be part of the 2020 NEA Representative Assembly, held virtu...
07/02/2020
NEA to Host Virtual Representative Assembly July 2-3 - NEA Today

Today and tomorrow, 9 delegates from USA/MTA are thrilled to be part of the 2020 NEA Representative Assembly, held virtually for the first time in 160 years! The NEA - RA is the world's largest democratic assembly.
Please take a minute and listen to outgoing NEA President Liiy Eskelson-Garcia's keynote from the Human and Civil Rights awards that were presented last evening.
https://youtu.be/jSczV3iBWfU

Nearly 8,000 educator delegates will come together virtually for the 2020 NEA Representative Assembly to address the challenges public education faces during one of the most trying times in our history.

07/01/2020

So working At home has been great. But honestly - I’m working harder and more than I normally do. I know its because of my position and dealing with all that’s going on at Umass. I’m not complaining. However I am saving on gas and time driving to and from work. But it’s been nice to do some little things at home when I take a break because I can’t do these things when on campus - like prep dinner, put a load of laundry in, fold my laundry, let my cats in/out and take care of little things. I’ve been working hard with my team and board of directors to save jobs, fight for a safe workplace to return to, limit layoffs, work with the administration to keep members employed and safe. I so appreciate the USA (University Staff Assoc) officers, board and committee members for stepping up to the plate to protect our members rights. We are working as a team. And they all need a thank you and be recognized for their continued support and involvement. We will get thru this. And we will put our union members first. Thank you to all the USA Leadership. You rock!

Please read!! We have MUCH to do, to prepare and ensure that our students and staff are SAFE and SUCCESSFUL when we can ...
06/26/2020
DESE guidance fails to meet needs of students and educators

Please read!! We have MUCH to do, to prepare and ensure that our students and staff are SAFE and SUCCESSFUL when we can return to in-person classes.

The guidance released today by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education raises as many questions as it answers.

A recap of one of the many Week of Action events held across the state last week:   UMass Amherst Unions United: Safe Ca...
06/23/2020
UMASS CAR CARAVAN DEMANDS INCREASED FUNDING FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION AND SAFE REOPENING OF SCHOOLS – Amherst Indy

A recap of one of the many Week of Action events held across the state last week: UMass Amherst Unions United: Safe Campus For All - No Layoffs - Fund Our Future

NEWS UMASS CAR CARAVAN DEMANDS INCREASED FUNDING FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION AND SAFE REOPENING OF SCHOOLS 3 days ago Ferd Wulkan Participating car in the Umass Unions United Caravan at UMass on June 17. Photo: Ferd Wulkan The UMass campus has been very quiet these past few months, but that all changed on....

Join us for important updates from the UMass Unions United on Thursday, May 21 from 7 - 8 pm.  We will hear from Max Pag...
05/18/2020
UUU Town Hall Flyer

Join us for important updates from the UMass Unions United on Thursday, May 21 from 7 - 8 pm. We will hear from Max Page, MTA - VP and UUU leaders, and will have time for Q & A from members!

We Did It!  Education funding bill signed into law today... THANK YOU to all USA members at UMass-Amherst for your advoc...
11/26/2019
MTA President Calls New Funding Law a Huge Victory for Students

We Did It! Education funding bill signed into law today... THANK YOU to all USA members at UMass-Amherst for your advocacy and support!

Winning the Student Opportunity Act is a huge victory for students, for educators, for communities and for racial and economic justice.

Dear USA Members,Last year our union—and over 100 union and community partners in the Raise Up coalition—successfully fo...
09/10/2019

Dear USA Members,
Last year our union—and over 100 union and community partners in the Raise Up coalition—successfully fought to pass the Paid Family Medical Leave Act.
This new law gives Massachusetts workers up to 26 weeks of paid family and/or medical leave per year, a benefit that most workers currently do not enjoy, including many of our union members in the UMass system.
Every worker deserves paid family and medical leave—whether for their own health, the birth or adoption of a child, or to take care of an aging parent.
But university administration doesn’t want to pay for it !

Here’s the details...
The law establishes a pool that workers can access if their employer does not provide enough leave, paid for by a new payroll tax. The law establishes that employers must pay a minimum of 49.5%, and that employees can pay no more than 50.5%.
As the President of the University Staff Association (USA) in Amherst, I'm part of a coalition of PSU, GEO, MSP and AFSCME members ("UMass United Unions") at UMass Amherst that is currently bargaining with the administration over how paid family and medical leave will be funded.
So far, the administration has told us they don’t want to contribute a penny more than what the law demands—forcing employees to pay more than half the cost.
While we continue to bargain with the administration, the law is going into effect. Starting September 15, 2019, UMass will start withholding 0.379% of your pay as taxes to fund the pool. On a $50,000 annual salary, this deduction will cost the employee $189.50 per year.
TAKE ACTION AND REJECT THIS PAY CUT!

Here’s what to do:
You will get an email from HR around September 9th informing you of this new cut to your pay. The email will ask you to follow a link to acknowledge receipt. DON’T! (It’s not mandatory)
Instead, please do one (or both) of these quick actions:
1. Forward the email to President Marty Meehan ([email protected]) and Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy ([email protected]), changing the subject line to “REJECTED by a Member of the UMass United Unions."

2. AND/OR write “Rejected by UMass Unions United" or put a "Rejected by UMass Unions United" sticker on the front of a paper copy of the notice next to your name and bring it to your union office or a union officer to be delivered to the Chancellor.
BOTTOM LINE: UMass can—and should—provide 100% of the funding for paid family and medical leave.
All workers at UMass need to stand together and demand that the university provide for our paid family and medical leave, rather than shifting the cost onto employees. Please stay alert for further action as bargaining over this issue continues.
— Leslie Marsland, USA President

Address


Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when University Staff Association posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The University

Send a message to University Staff Association:

Videos

Nearby universities