PSUMTA Dedicated to supporting the dignity of the individual, the empowerment of workers, democracy, diversity, and the promotion of social justice.
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The Professional Staff Union of the University of Massachusetts is a labor union local of professional staff and classified supervisors affiliated with the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) and the National Education Association (NEA), with members on the Amherst and Boston campuses of the University of Massachusetts. We are organized into two chapters, one on each of the two campuses. Additionally, PSU represents two bargaining units. Unit A covers professional staff on both campuses, and Unit B covers classified supervisors on the Amherst campus. We are dedicated to supporting the dignity of the individual, the empowerment of workers, democracy, diversity, and the promotion of social justice. General Information This page is for PSU/MTA members, supporters and all those interested in PSU/MTA. We encourage open discussion and invite you to share your opinions. However, we reserve the right to remove posts which do not adhere to our commenting guidelines, which are as follows: •No foul, discriminatory, defamatory, libelous or threatening language. •No invasion of privacy; no racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable language. •Comments should be on-topic and relevant to the original post. •No spam, flaming, flooding, misinformation, advertisements or solicitations. •Do not post material in violation of trademark or copyright laws or other laws. •No personal attacks. •No promoting violence, illegal or questionable activities. Requests or questions concerning benefits, grievances or other issues should be raised directly with the relevant steward, delegate, or organizer. Persons who repeatedly violate commenting guidelines may be removed and/or blocked. We follow the community terms and guidelines set forth by Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/policies We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to participating in a productive discussion with our Facebook community.

Operating as usual

Monday is a Federal holiday.
01/15/2021
Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Wikipedia

Monday is a Federal holiday.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.,[1] and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year. King's birthday is January 15. The holiday is si...

Google has a union! According to the Times "unlike a traditional union, which demands that an employer come to the barga...
01/04/2021
Opinion | We Built Google. This Is Not the Company We Want to Work For.

Google has a union!

According to the Times "unlike a traditional union, which demands that an employer come to the bargaining table to agree on a contract, the Alphabet Workers Union is a so-called minority union that represents a fraction of the company’s more than 260,000 full-time employees and contractors."

Our company’s motto used to be “Don’t be evil.” An organized work force will help us live up to it.

2021 increases hourly minimum wage by 75 cents.
01/04/2021
Massachusetts minimum wage increasing in 2021

2021 increases hourly minimum wage by 75 cents.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Good news for minimum wage workers across the state, the rate is increasing starting on Friday. But the timing comes at a time where many businesses

01/02/2021
Massachusetts Teachers Association

Listen to PSU Amherst co-chair Risa Silverman #bringstaffback to UMass Amherst

PSUMTA co-chair Risa Silverman's recent testimony to UMass trustees: "Budgets are moral documents."

"Not only is it good for faculty and students themselves but also for economic recovery, (Max Page) asserted, adding at ...
12/22/2020
MA Public Higher-Education Unions Want Furloughed Workers Back

"Not only is it good for faculty and students themselves but also for economic recovery, (Max Page) asserted, adding at UMass, 1,500 or more staff members have been furloughed."

#BringStaffBack

BOSTON -- Labor leaders and employees of Massachusetts public colleges and universities say their institutions need to bring back furloughed workers and stop cutting services, especially since the Legislature is set to give higher education level funding in 2021. Max Page, vice president of the Mass...

12/16/2020
Massachusetts Society of Professors - UMass Amherst

MSP fundraises again for furloughed UMass Amherst workers!

#BringStaffBack to UMass Amherst

Almost $10,000 more of mutual aid is in the mail! UMass unions are there for our members when the administration is not.

"We, faculty, truly can't work without the support staff."-MSP MemberMassachusetts Society of Professors - UMass Amherst...
12/16/2020

"We, faculty, truly can't work without the support staff."
-MSP Member
Massachusetts Society of Professors - UMass Amherst

#bringstaffback to UMass Amherst

"Faculty truly cant work without the support staff" #bringstaffback

FACT: The MTA's analysis has discovered that UMass has $100s of millions of AVAILABLE funds that can be used to end the ...
12/14/2020

FACT: The MTA's analysis has discovered that UMass has $100s of millions of AVAILABLE funds that can be used to end the furloughs and Bring Staff Back. Please read and share!

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.

Having a hard time paying for heat this winter?  "... some renters or homeowners are surprised that household income to ...
12/14/2020
Agencies prepare to meet growing need for energy assistance

Having a hard time paying for heat this winter? "... some renters or homeowners are surprised that household income to qualify is up to 60% of the estimated state median income. This translates to a maximum income of $39,105 for a one-person household, for example, and $75,201 for a four-person household."

HOLYOKE — Going into the colder months, Valley Opportunity Council prepared for a higher than usual demand for energy assistance due to financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.So far, that increase hasn’t been significant, according...

#BringStaffBack to UMass Amherst
12/08/2020

#BringStaffBack to UMass Amherst

We depend on our staff! #bringstaffback

#BringStaffBack to UMass Amherst #umass #umassamherst  UMass Amherst Unions UnitedUniversity of Massachusetts  Chancello...
12/08/2020

#BringStaffBack to UMass Amherst

#umass #umassamherst UMass Amherst Unions United
University of Massachusetts Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy

The libraries need their staff! #bringstaffback

“These deep budget cuts will have a ripple effect on the businesses that surround the university.  It will permanently d...
12/04/2020

“These deep budget cuts will have a ripple effect on the businesses that surround the university. It will permanently damage the local Massachusetts economy.”

- Ross K., PSUMTA member

In September, Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy announced that UMass Amherst staff who are members of PSU and University Staff Association 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 #BringStaffBack #Union University of Massachusetts

Got advisors?#bringstaffback #umass #umassamherst  UMass Amherst Unions United UMass Amherst University of Massachusetts...
12/03/2020

Got advisors?
#bringstaffback #umass #umassamherst UMass Amherst Unions United UMass Amherst University of Massachusetts Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy

Furloughs of student advisors negatively impact student support! #bringstaffback

Got student safety?  #bringstaffback #UMass #umassamherst UMass Amherst Unions United UMass Amherst University of Massac...
12/02/2020

Got student safety?

#bringstaffback #UMass #umassamherst UMass Amherst Unions United UMass Amherst University of Massachusetts Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy

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

"I have been on furlough for almost a month and I have not received a penny from unemployment."- Kayla, University Staff...
12/01/2020

"I have been on furlough for almost a month and I have not received a penny from unemployment."
- Kayla, University Staff Association member

UMass Amherst has a balanced budget and no drop in enrollmentt. #bringstaffback #umass
University of Massachusetts Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy

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

Furloughs Hurt: Voices of UMass “Staff furloughs are no longer ‘trimming the fat.’ There is no more fat to trim. This is...
11/28/2020

Furloughs Hurt: Voices of UMass

“Staff furloughs are no longer ‘trimming the fat.’ There is no more fat to trim. This is now ‘cutting connective tissue.’ And as with real damage to our own bodies, the organizational body becomes unable to move.”

- Sam A., PSUMTA member

In September, Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy announced that UMass Amherst 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 #Union UMass Amherst
University of Massachusetts #Furloughs #highereducation #UnionStrong #Union #1U #DefendPublicHigherEd #BringStaffBack

Congress Now Has a Labor Caucus
11/27/2020
Congress Now Has a Labor Caucus

Congress Now Has a Labor Caucus

We don’t have a labor party in the US, but as of earlier this month, we do have a Labor Caucus in Congress. We talked to Wisconsin representative Mark Pocan about the caucus’s plans.

Unionized nursing homes are safer and healthier:Two recent studies on health care workers at nursing homes tell us somet...
11/27/2020
Germany has lessons about containing the damage of COVID-19. It’s not too late for us to start listening - The Boston Globe

Unionized nursing homes are safer and healthier:
Two recent studies on health care workers at nursing homes tell us something profound about the COVID-19 pandemic in America. One, published September 10 in the journal Health Affairs, suggests that one of the most important factors in keeping patients alive was whether or not staff were unionized. At the time of the study’s publication, deaths of patients in nursing homes accounted for 43 percent of total COVID deaths nationwide. But the deaths weren’t equally distributed across all nursing homes. In the institutions where health care workers were unionized, the mortality rate was 30 percent lower than those without worker unions. Among other factors, the authors wrote, “Unions generally demand high staff-to-patient ratios, paid sick leave, and higher wage and benefit levels that reduce staff turnover.”
#union

To most German people and politicians, a mask is still just a mask, not a fraught symbol. And that’s making an enormous difference.

Massachusetts Society of Professors - UMass Amherst raised funds for furloughed employees from UMass Amherst. #BringStaf...
11/22/2020

Massachusetts Society of Professors - UMass Amherst raised funds for furloughed employees from UMass Amherst. #BringStaffBack #furloughs

Another $9,000 of mutual aid is on the way to 60 more UMass Amherst staff!

Press coverage from Wednesday's action by UMass Amherst Unions United to Bring Staff Back! #BringStaffBack UMass Amherst
11/20/2020
UMass unions hold standout to defend public higher education

Press coverage from Wednesday's action by UMass Amherst Unions United to Bring Staff Back! #BringStaffBack UMass Amherst

Massachusetts Teachers Associates and activists held a standout Wednesday evening, calling on the state to protect public higher education.

On November 18, 2020, staff and faculty union members met at the @umassamherst Fine Arts Center to request that the univ...
11/20/2020

On November 18, 2020, staff and faculty union members met at the @umassamherst Fine Arts Center to request that the university #BringStaffBack from indefinite furloughs and reduced hours. Social distancing and cold weather gear was the norm. Projected messages illuminated the iconic Fine Arts Center. This was one stop of many for the projection crew who went to other UMass universities and colleges. (Photos by Frank A.) #Furloughs #Union

Furloughs Hurt: Voices of UMass  “At the end of January, the university’s agreement to avoid layoffs ends, and I’m fearf...
11/20/2020

Furloughs Hurt: Voices of UMass

“At the end of January, the university’s agreement to avoid layoffs ends, and I’m fearful that I’m on the chopping block.”

- Tyler B., PSUMTA member

In September, Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy announced that UMass Amherst 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 University of Massachusetts
#Furloughs #highereducation #UnionStrong #Union #1U #DefendPublicHigherEd #BringStaffBack

11/20/2020
Massachusetts Teachers Association

Massachusetts Teachers Association

At Bunker Hill Community College to say it's time for Massachusetts to #DefendPublicHigherEd

11/19/2020
UMass Amherst Unions United

On this very cold dark night, staff and faculty representingUMass Amherst Unions United assembled to demand that employees of UMass Amherst on indefinite furlough be brought back. #bringstaffback #furloughs #union

Listening Chancellor ?

UMass union leaders received a letter of support from the UMass Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation Diversi...
11/13/2020
Support From Environmental Conservation Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee | Professional Staff Union UMass Amherst and Boston | UMass Amherst

UMass union leaders received a letter of support from the UMass Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

“We stand in solidarity with all UMass Amherst staff members impacted by recent layoffs and furloughs related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

The committee urged that furloughs be used only as a last resort, for UMass administration to apply furloughs equitably across all workers, and for UMass Administration to negotiate in good faith and provide increased transparency.

Dear Faculty and Staff Union Representatives,

As members of the Department of Environmental Conservation (ECo) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, we are writing to express our disappointment with the recent staff furloughs. We would further like to express our unwavering support and sincere gratitude to all ECo and broader UMass Amherst staff members who are an integral part of our community. We stand in solidarity with all UMass Amherst staff members impacted by recent layoffs and furloughs related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We recognize the unprecedented challenges facing UMass Amherst and thank everyone, including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, staff, and administrators, for their commitment to our community. That said, we hope that financial actions impacting any member of our community are considered only as an absolute last resort.

To the extent that furloughs to UMass employees are a necessary step to maintaining financial solvency, we ask the following from the UMass administration:

Increased transparency and improved communication as to why furloughs are occurring rather than other potential financial actions.
Distribution of furloughs equitably across all UMass employees: faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. If we are one community, then we must face the economic challenges of the pandemic together. Furloughs and salary cuts should be scaled with annual earnings (similar to the US tax system) such that the most vulnerable in our community do not carry a disproportionate amount of the financial burden.
Commitment to negotiate in good faith with all UMass unions and to engage in community forums and discussions on any furloughs or layoffs. Importantly, we ask the administration to share with the community evidence that it has exhausted all viable alternative financial actions before choosing to layoff or furlough any individual.

Thank you for your valuable time, effort, and devotion to UMass Amherst and our shared community during these unprecedented times. We recognize the sacrifices made to guide us through the ongoing pandemic. We look forward to working with you to build a more just and equitable community now and in the future.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Toni Lyn Morelli, Faculty Representative, ECo Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Kadambari Devarajan, Graduate Representative, ECo DEI Committee
Dorian Kos, Undergraduate Representative, ECo DEI Committee
Dipa Lamsal, Undergraduate Representative, ECo DEI Committee
Olivia Lukacic, Graduate Representative, ECo DEI Committee
Armand Martinez, Undergraduate Representative, ECo DEI Committee
Desiree Narango, Postdoctoral Representative, ECo DEI Committee

https://www.umass.edu/psumta/news/support-environmental-conservation-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-committee

November 12, 2020 UMass union leaders received a letter of support from the Department of Environmental Conservation Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. “We stand in solidarity with all UMass Amherst staff members impacted by recent layoffs and furloughs related to the ongoing COVID-19 pan...

Furloughs Hurt: Voices of UMass“If I lose my job to a layoff, I will also lose my home as a Residence Director who lives...
11/13/2020

Furloughs Hurt: Voices of UMass

“If I lose my job to a layoff, I will also lose my home as a Residence Director who lives on campus.”
- Carley P., PSUMTA member

In September, Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy announced that UMass Amherst 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

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109 Hampshire House, UMass Amherst
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From today's Boston Globe Magazine - union membership literally saving lives: "Two recent studies on health care workers at nursing homes tell us something profound about the COVID-19 pandemic in America. One, published September 10 in the journal Health Affairs, suggests that one of the most important factors in keeping patients alive was whether or not staff were unionized. At the time of the study’s publication, deaths of patients in nursing homes accounted for 43 percent of total COVID deaths nationwide. But the deaths weren’t equally distributed across all nursing homes. In the institutions where health care workers were unionized, the mortality rate was 30 percent lower than those without worker unions. Among other factors, the authors wrote, 'Unions generally demand high staff-to-patient ratios, paid sick leave, and higher wage and benefit levels that reduce staff turnover.' The second report, a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, shows that patients at nursing homes where staff had to work at multiple locations were more likely to die, because staff carried the infection from one facility to the next. The authors wrote: “Nursing homes often rely on temporary nurses and nursing aides to meet staffing needs. In addition, nursing assistants — whose median pay is under $30,000 — in some cases work two jobs to make ends meet.” When nurses work one job, in one place, with sick leave and benefits, more of their patients live. In other words, job precarity is literally fatal."
Annetta's BOT address was freakin awesome! Thank you!!
The Engineering Service Learning class has joined the #ScholarStrike. Please read their statement:
I am posting some art for your reflection from one of my favorite artists, Tatyana Fazlalizade, @tlynnfaz
#prosperityNotAusterity #fundourfuture #umassfamilies
So... among our benefits is dental coverage, but we can't see a dentist right now. Vision coverage, but we can't see an optomotrist right now. Health Insurance, but the vast majority of services, preventative care, and other benefits aren't available right now (and a telehealth call is not the same as a doctor's visit). So... why are they keeping all our money right now? They are literally unable to deliver the services we work and pay for -- but they collect every dime anyway.
The state Department of Labor Relations has issued a formal complaint of prohibited practice (aka unfair labor practice) against UMass for regressive bargaining and bargaining in bad faith. This is of great significance. What happens next? Come to the 9/25 12 Noon All-Members meeting in the Cape Cod Lounge to hear from our bargaining team and discuss.
This is what democracy looks like!