There will be an emergency PA meeting held on Monday November 9 at 12:15 in Building 2 Room 703/704.
This meeting will be about Work-to-Rule
ATTENTION: Department Chairs and Full-Time Faculty
Please encourage all adjunct faculty to attend this meeting. It is important they are informed and heard.
For immediate distribution to MCCC Leaders, Activists, and Full- and Part-time Educators,
Dear MCCC Colleagues,
The Joint Committee on Public Service is holding a hearing on Tuesday, 10/20/15 on two Part-time Faculty Pension Bills (H. 2206 and S. 1376). These bills were sponsored on behalf of the MCCC so that part-time higher education faculty could participate in the MA State Employees’ Retirement System (MSERS). Currently, community college adjuncts who have no other employment with the state or retirement benefit from a prior period of state employment have no retirement safety net for their teaching at our community colleges. They receive neither social security nor any employer contribution towards any retirement plan.
Adjuncts, activists and leaders: Legislators need to hear your voices. MCCC will testify at this hearing, but it is most important for union members across the state to ask their senators and representatives to support this legislation. For adjunct faculty, in particular, it is imperative that they tell their personal stories about the need for such support when they retire. More than most anything else, compelling personal stories persuade legislators to act.
Background information on these two bills and related talking points:
- Both bills say the same thing; they are “companion” bills, sponsored separately in each chamber. Chief sponsor of S 1376 is Sen. Patricia Jehlen; Rep. Michael Brady is the lead sponsor of H. 2206. PLEASE THANK these sponsors if either one is your legislator.
- The proposed legislation would require that part-time faculty teaching at least four (3-4 credit) courses per calendar year at one or more of the state’s colleges or universities would earn a half-year of creditable service for this time and would have such earnings count in determining participation in the state pension system. Upon accrual of at least 5 years of creditable service through 10 years of such part-time teaching, these faculty would be vested in the MA State Employees’ Retirement System.
- Because Massachusetts is one of only 15 non-Social Security states in the nation, these faculty members fall through the cracks as they are getting no employer retirement contribution at either the state or federal level. The cost for the state to provide pension support to these employees would be about half as much as the 6.2 percent contribution it would be required to pay if this were a Social Security state. The Commonwealth typically contributes no more than 3 percent of an employee’s salary to the pension fund.
- It is time for Massachusetts to do the right thing and provide part-time faculty with some retirement security. MCCC adjuncts should not be repeatedly asked to teach half-time or more at our colleges and then be faced with nothing to fall back on in their retirement years . This bill would correct that injustice for many of our adjunct faculty.
Affected part-time faculty please tell your stories to legislators. Everyone else, please advocate for your adjunct colleagues. Contact legislators in the next week to request their support for H. 2206 and S. 1376.
Communicating with legislators:
- Make a call or send an email to your State Representative and Senator. Note, I typically ask to speak with the legislative director at a particular office.
- Let your legislators know your position, the college where you are employed, and the reason for your communiqué: to ask for their support on H. 2206/S. 2376, bills that will be heard by the Public Service Committee on 10/20/15.
- Affected part-time faculty: discuss how these bills would help you. Then ask your legislator if s/he would support this legislation.
- Leaders, activists, colleagues, both full- and part-time: ask legislators to support this proposed legislation on behalf of the adjunct faculty who lack this retirement security.
- Ask legislators who support this legislation if they will contact the respective chairs of the Public Service Committee to request that the bills be acted on favorably and moved out of committee.
- As an FYI and in case legislators ask: Pro-rated retirement benefits for part-time faculty are also included in current, proposed legislation (H 1055) before the Joint Committee on Higher Education, which many Legislators have co-sponsored. If your Representative or Senator has not had an opportunity to communicate his/her support on this bill to the Higher Ed. Committee chairs and has an inclination to do so, that would also be important. That bill was heard on June 17, 2015. No action has yet been taken on this. I have attached to this email a copy of a related MTA Fact Sheet.
- Be sure to thank your legislators (and staff, should you speak with them) for their time and for their consideration of the proposed legislation.
- To find out who your State Representative and State Senator are, go to: www.wheredoivotema.com
- To reach your legislator by phone, call the main State House number (617-722-2000) and ask to be connected to your legislator.
- To send an email to your representative, go to: http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenuh.htm
- To send an email to your senator, go to: http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenus.htm
Activists, leaders, and other colleagues, please take a few minutes to add your voices to this chorus. It is important that all of us who are concerned with this injustice take a few minutes to contact our state legislators. This includes, of course, the adjuncts themselves!
MCCC Vice President & SAC Chair
(1) To provide legal relief for employees who have been harmed, psychologically, physically, or economically, by deliberate exposure to abusive work environments; and
(2) To provide legal incentive for employers to prevent and respond to abusive mistreatment of employees at work.
Though the Day Contract Team is pursuing related protections in our current negotiations with the employer, we may not be successful. What we cannot achieve in negotiations, we can sometime accomplish legislatively, so it is important that the team continue its efforts in this regard, while individually, members work toward a legislative solution. Now is the time for such member engagement.
H. 1771: What’s happening and what’s next?
This bill is comprehensive in its definition of what constitutes bullying and would support employees harmed by such treatment, while at the same time it encourages employers to establish strategies to prevent and address such bullying.
This bill has moved forward quite successfully in the legislative process and has one more hurdle in the House – a final review and debate by the full chamber – before it can be passed on to the full Senate for their support. That House debate on the 3rd reading of this bill is scheduled to take place tomorrow, after 11 am. [My apologies for this late action alert notice, but I just learned of the movement on this bill yesterday.]
Contacting State Representatives:
If the enactment of H. 1771 is important to you, please phone or email your State House Representatives today (or tomorrow morning), to let them know that you support this legislative proposal; ask if they will do the same when a 3rd reading of the bill is presented to the House chamber tomorrow, 10/14/15.
A phone call (instead of an email) to your representative’s office would be the ideal way for you to follow up on this job action, given the short time frame.
MCCC Vice President & SAC Chair
170 Beach Road #52