Latest news from the MCCC

Here’s the latest news from the MCCC.

– There’s less than a week left to submit nomination papers to run as a delegate to the MTA Annual meeting in Boston and the NEA Representative Assembly in Chicago. Nominations are also due by 4 p.m. on Feb. 3 to run for the two at-large part-time/adjunct director positions on the MCCC board. The self-nomination process takes about a minute. Follow this link:
http://mccc-union.org/

– Adjunct health insurance: Members have been asking me about progress in the adjunct lawsuit. For those of you new to our union, the MCCC and MTA are suing the Commonwealth over their failure to provide health insurance to adjunct faculty. In our view, insurance should be provided for those working a minimal threshold of courses a year and/or a contribution should be made towards a plan based on the number of hours worked. Several MCCC members – hooray to our adjunct faculty – are serving as named plaintiffs in this class action suit. MTA is actively trying to resolve all of the factual disputes with the Attorney General before taking the legal issues to trial. It looks like this suit may be going to court this summer for a hearing.

– 1.5 percent DCE pay increases should be paid this semester. If you do not receive the salary increase or a salary increase due to a change in your step, contact your local DCE Grievance officer. We will investigate and take corrective action as necessary.

– Vision Project visits: Richard Freeland, Commissioner of Higher Education, is hoping to visit chapters this semester to discuss the Vision Project. While it will be difficult to arrange visits at all 15 chapters, I urge you to check out the documents available online at a minimum. Forward your questions, comments and concerns to me and I will forward them to the Commissioner. Follow this link to learn more about the Vision Project:
http://www.mass.edu/

– Imputed income for same-sex couples: MTA’s legal division is determining whether to file a lawsuit on behalf of MCCC members who are in a same-sex marriage with children and are being taxed by the colleges as if they are receiving the benefit of an additional individual health plan for coverage for their spouse. The policy is dictated by the GIC’s interpretation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) and tax laws. DOMA prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage. Because of DOMA, tax law treats an MCCC unit member in a same-sex marriage who is receiving health insurance coverage for his or her spouse as if the MCCC unit member is receiving additional income worth the cost of an individual health plan. For MCCC unit members who are in a same-sex marriage and have children covered on their health insurance, this is not fair because adding a spouse to a plan that is already a family plan does not cost additional money. Accordingly, the MTA is determining the feasibility of filing a lawsuit to stop the GIC’s policy of inputing income under this circumstance.

– NEA Higher Education Conference: We have a limited number of $400 grants remaining to support attendance at the NEA Higher Ed. Conference in Boston in March. Send me an email if you are interested in attending. This and similar benefits are available to union members only.

– New union online developments: Thanks to our Communications Coordinator Don Williams, an MCCC flickr page was recently launched. Members are encouraged to send their photos to Don at . Photos covering union activities are encouraged, of course, but any photos about good things happening at your college or in your life are also fine. Follow this link for photos from last semester. Other social media will follow as the semester progresses.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mccc-union

– Coming to you soon – MCCC Survey Monkey Question of the Month: In an effort to better reach out to all of you at the grassroots level, I’ll be sending out a “Survey Monkey” question every month. Please send me ideas for questions.

I’ve taken up enough of your time for now. Thanks for everything you do for our students, colleges and the MCCC. Best wishes for a successful semester!
Joe LeBlanc