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

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Operating as usual

"After a year of layoffs, cuts and austerity, the faculty and staff of four unions at Rutgers University have voted in s...
04/07/2021
“This Agreement Protects Jobs”: Four Unions at Rutgers University Reach Historic Deal to End Layoffs

"After a year of layoffs, cuts and austerity, the faculty and staff of four unions at Rutgers University have voted in support of an unusual and pioneering agreement to protect jobs and guarantee raises after the school declared a fiscal emergency as a result of the pandemic."

After a year of layoffs, cuts and austerity, the faculty and staff of four unions at Rutgers University have voted in support of an unusual and pioneering agreement to protect jobs and guarantee raises after the school declared a fiscal emergency as a result of the pandemic. A key part of the deal i...

PSU member and Sick Leave Bank advocate Samm Delorey has self-published a children's book. "The Yell of Teddie Drake" is...
03/27/2021

PSU member and Sick Leave Bank advocate Samm Delorey has self-published a children's book. "The Yell of Teddie Drake" is a retelling of the story of The Ugly Duckling that encompasses families built in non-traditional ways. It is illustrated by local artist, and the daughter of a former PSU member, Vivian Franklin. All proceeds from the book go to the nonprofit organization created by Samm called LoveBound Press, which seeks to publish and celebrate books about foster, adoptive and blended families.
https://www.loveboundpress.org/

PSU Amherst member and delegate Crystal Maldonado has recently released a body positive, coming-of-age young adult novel...
03/26/2021
Author Crystal Maldonado

PSU Amherst member and delegate Crystal Maldonado has recently released a body positive, coming-of-age young adult novel called Fat Chance, Charlie Vega. Maldonado, who works for the Office of News and Media Relations, said, “I’m deeply invested in trying to do my part to help make people feel represented, and that’s really what this was. I didn’t feel like I saw enough complex, nuanced depictions of fat girls and wanted to do what I could to help change that.”
https://www.crystalwrote.com/

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega now available Order Now About Fat Chance, Charlie VegaA YA novel about a teenage girl who follows her writing dreams, resists her mother’s weight-loss schemes, and even falls for the cute boy from art class—until she realizes that he may be after her BFF. FAT CHANCE, CHA...

“Marty Walsh, the two-term mayor of Boston, was confirmed as the Labor secretary by the Senate in a 68-29 vote on Monday...
03/23/2021
Marty Walsh, Boston Mayor With Union Roots, Confirmed As Labor Secretary At Key Time

“Marty Walsh, the two-term mayor of Boston, was confirmed as the Labor secretary by the Senate in a 68-29 vote on Monday, becoming the first union leader to run the department in over four decades.”

The former union leader will head the Labor Department at a time when the pandemic has left millions unemployed and raised concerns about workplace safety.

"The case, the court’s first major encounter with a labor dispute since the arrival of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, has th...
03/22/2021
Clash Between Union Campaigns and Private Property at Supreme Court

"The case, the court’s first major encounter with a labor dispute since the arrival of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, has the potential to define what union organizers can do on California farms. But it could also have far-reaching consequences beyond such campaigns, including limiting the government’s ability to enter private property to conduct health and safety inspections of facilities like coal mines and pharmaceutical plants and to perform home visits by social workers charged with ensuring child welfare."
#union #UnionStrong

A California regulation lets labor organizers enter private property to meet with farmworkers. In a case the court will hear Monday, challengers say that amounts to a government taking of property.

From Western Mass. Jobs with Justice: By signing this petition, you can help the Graduate Employees Organization to pres...
03/16/2021
UMass, stop evicting grad student workers!

From Western Mass. Jobs with Justice: By signing this petition, you can help the Graduate Employees Organization to pressure UMass Amherst to do the right thing and:
> Immediately allow ResEd grads to return in their original housing
> Expedite the pending moving compensation and union-negotiated rent waivers for affected workers
> Immediately cease further evictions of graduate student campus workers
> Immediately return the non-urgent renovation project to its original summer timeline
> Take clear action to address the systemic barriers that constantly push out graduate students of color and graduate students with families
> Commit to affordable housing for graduate students

You might remember that in the first week of February, 2021, Assistant Residence Directors (ARDs) were suddenly evicted from their campus residences; they were ordered by an unexpected phone call on a Saturday afternoon to vacate their homes by 10 am the next morning to convert their building into a...

The COVID relief bill signed yesterday by President Biden "includes an additional $40 billion in aid for the nation’s co...
03/12/2021
House Joins Senate in Approving $40B in Aid for Higher Education

The COVID relief bill signed yesterday by President Biden "includes an additional $40 billion in aid for the nation’s colleges and universities."

Come on UMass Amherst, time to #bringstaffback. All staff.

The House on Wednesday sent President Biden a massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which includes an additional $40 billion in aid for the nation’s colleges and universities. Biden in a statement said he will sign the bill Friday. The money for higher education, also passed by the Sen...

Democrat-majority House to pass bill to roll back anti-union "right to work" laws. Republicans in the Senate are expecte...
03/09/2021
Live Updates: House Set to Pass Bill Neutralizing ‘Right to Work’ Laws; Senate Prospects Dim

Democrat-majority House to pass bill to roll back anti-union "right to work" laws. Republicans in the Senate are expected to not let it pass.

The House was poised on Tuesday to approve the most significant expansion of labor rights since the New Deal, but it faces steep Republican opposition in the Senate. The final vote on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan is expected Wednesday morning.

"When North Andover town officials approved the project, they also awarded $27 million in tax breaks to Amazon and its d...
03/02/2021
Unions rally for more jobs, better working conditions at Amazon complex being built in North Andover - The Boston Globe

"When North Andover town officials approved the project, they also awarded $27 million in tax breaks to Amazon and its developer, Texas-based Hillwood Global. The labor groups — which include Boston-based Teamsters Local 25 and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO — say the town should, in turn, demand better working conditions at the warehouse."

Amazon is a $1.5 trillion company. #labor

The company says it already offers what is being asked for at the 3.8-million-square-foot site.

Local coverage in Daily Hampshire Gazette of union protests at UMass Amherst over unnecessary furloughs. It’s time to #b...
02/28/2021
UMass unions protest job cuts, furloughs

Local coverage in Daily Hampshire Gazette of union protests at UMass Amherst over unnecessary furloughs. It’s time to #bringstaffback !

AMHERST — A multi-venue protest was organized by UMass Amherst Unions United on Friday against furloughs and hours reductions for college employees.One element of the protest was a car rally, in which dozens of cars met in Hadley before making their...

02/26/2021
Massachusetts Teachers Association

Okay, the asteroid's here ... Now let's bring staff back and give UMass students the support they deserve!

#bringstaffback to UMass Amherst

At UMass Amherst, where the asteroid has hit! Trustees can now use reserve funds to bring back staff & restore student programs.

“The report found that 11 of 130 higher education institutions have reached gender parity, with the University of Las Ve...
02/25/2021
Report: Men still hold bulk of top-paying higher ed jobs

“The report found that 11 of 130 higher education institutions have reached gender parity, with the University of Las Vegas Nevada leading the way. No schools in Massachusetts made the list.”

Eight of the country’s leading institutions of higher education have no women among their top earners on campus, including the University of Massachusetts Amherst, according to a new study published by the Eos Foundation.The report, which focused on...

UAW Local 2322
02/17/2021
UMass union votes no confidence in chancellor over outbreak

UAW Local 2322

AMHERST — A University of Massachusetts union representing resident assistants and peer mentors has issued a no-confidence vote in Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy over the recent COVID-19 outbreak on campus, and is making several demands for improved...

UMass Amherst Student Trustee Timothy Scalona:"...furloughs have undermined the financial well-being of those at the uni...
02/10/2021
Guest columnist Timothy Scalona: UMass student trustee: End layoffs, furloughs

UMass Amherst Student Trustee Timothy Scalona:
"...furloughs have undermined the financial well-being of those at the university, disproportionately those who are low-income and have families to feed. Similarly, the threat of future furloughs and layoffs alone have the potential to disrupt their mental well-being, which can compound economic insecurity and poverty."

On a campus that had been suspended in time and silence, students have returned to the University of Massachusetts Amherst for the spring semester. The intensifying COVID-19 crisis has reshaped higher education, pushing college lectures and student...

"On Tuesday, Joe Biden demanded the resignations of all 10 of Donald Trump’s appointees to the Federal Service Impasses ...
02/04/2021
Biden Ousts All 10 of Trump’s Union Busters From Powerful Labor Panel

"On Tuesday, Joe Biden demanded the resignations of all 10 of Donald Trump’s appointees to the Federal Service Impasses Panel, a powerful labor relations board, in a major victory for federal unions. Eight members resigned, and two were fired after refusing to step down. Trump’s appointees—a group of partisan anti-labor activists—had hobbled federal unions for years, sabotaging their ability to organize and bargain collectively."

The Federal Service Impasses Panel played a key role in Trump’s assault on federal unions.

Massachusetts Society of Professors - UMass Amherst
02/02/2021
Massachusetts Society of Professors - UMass Amherst

Massachusetts Society of Professors - UMass Amherst

“Half the workforce said they would join a union today if given the opportunity because they know that without the power of a union, workers are helpless.”

With thousands of students scheduled to come back to UMass Amherst this week, we urgently need 1) ventilation data, 2) a...
01/27/2021

With thousands of students scheduled to come back to UMass Amherst this week, we urgently need 1) ventilation data, 2) air quality testing, and 3) the recall of maintainers & maintenance techs.

The UMass Unions sent a message to the BoT and Administration yesterday demanding greater transparency in making buildings on campus safer in minimizing the spread of COVID and a demand to bring back the furloughed maintainers and maintenance techs who do the work to make this campus safe!

Massachusetts Teachers Association
01/27/2021

Massachusetts Teachers Association

Great work by Massachusetts Community College Council members at Springfield Technical Community College who organized to save five career-path programs that the college administration was going to cut. The union members staged public events and drew media coverage, applying pressure on college trustees to reverse the cuts. The MCCC members are vowing to keep fighting to keep two more programs from the chopping block. First it's time to celebrate a big win for union members and students at STCC.

"The largest, most viable effort to unionize Amazon in many years began last summer not in a union stronghold like New Y...
01/26/2021
Amazon Union Drive Takes Hold in Unlikely Place

"The largest, most viable effort to unionize Amazon in many years began last summer not in a union stronghold like New York or Michigan, but at a Fairfield Inn outside Birmingham, in the right-to-work state of Alabama.

It was late in the summer and a group of employees from a nearby Amazon warehouse contacted an organizer in the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. They were fed up, they said, with the way the online retailer tracked their productivity, and wanted to discuss unionizing...

Union organizers are also building their campaign around the themes of the Black Lives Matter movement. Many of the employees at the Amazon warehouse are Black, a fact that the retail union has used to focus on issues of racial equality and empowerment. And leading the organizing effort are about two dozen unionized workers from nearby warehouses and poultry plants, most of whom are also Black."

Workers at a warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., are to vote next month on whether to unionize, the largest and most viable effort of its kind involving the technology giant.

Twenty-three minutes after assuming the presidency, Joe Biden demanded the resignation of Peter Robb, the notoriously an...
01/23/2021
Biden Gave Trump’s Union Busters a Taste of Their Own Medicine

Twenty-three minutes after assuming the presidency, Joe Biden demanded the resignation of Peter Robb, the notoriously anti-union general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board appointed by Donald Trump. Robb refused to resign, so Biden fired him. Alice Stock, another anti-union Trump appointee, then assumed the role of acting general counsel—and Biden demanded her resignation the next day. Stock also refused to resign, so Biden fired her, too.

Peter Robb and Alice Stock experienced a fate that nonunionized Americans suffer every day.

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...

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109 Hampshire House, UMass Amherst
Amherst, MA
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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!