ACTION ALERT: Part-time Faculty PENSION Bill Hearing on 10/20/15 – Contact legislators Today!

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.

Contacting Legislators:

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!


In solidarity,

Donnie McGee
MCCC Vice President & SAC Chair

Just The Facts-MTA_H1055_Higher Ed

Healthy Workplace Bill

For immediate distribution to all faculty and professional staff, full and part-time:
Dear Colleagues,
As some of you may know the MCCC BOD endorsed the attached “Healthy Workplace Bill” (H. 1771) at its Aug. 19, 2015 BOD meeting. This bill defines and addresses  bullying and “abusive treatment”  faced by state employees in their workplace. It has key purposes:

(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.
Enacting this bill would be establishing important protections and related support for our faculty and professional staff.
Thank you for your support on behalf of our union and your colleagues.
In solidarity,
Diana (Donnie) McGee
MCCC Vice President & SAC Chair

The MCCC Fall Conference will be held on Thursday, Oct. 22

Hi everyone,
It’s that time of year. The MCCC Fall Conference will be held on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at the Marriott Courtyard in Marlborough. Our conference committee has worked on an excellent program with sessions of interest to everyone. We will also provide dinner and don’t miss the raffle for five $100 door prizes.
Please sign up today by following the link below. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet friends new and old as well
learn the latest news about day bargaining.
Hope to see you on the 22nd!
Joe LeBlanc


College Service Plan
Faculty are required to submit a list of college service activities to be performed during  the semester. This list is completed in section 1 of the attached form (Form XIII-E5) and submitted to the immediate supervisor no later than October 15 for the fall semester and February 15 for the spring semester.  Section 2 and section 3 will be completed at the end of the semester and submitted on the last day of classes.
College service activities may include:
1.Serving as advisor to student activities;
2.Serving on governance, ad hoc, college standing committees, system-wide task forces or committees, or labor-management committees;
3.Preparing grant proposals;
4.Participating in college, division, department or other related college meetings and/or activities;
5.Participation in the improvement and development of academic programs and resources, including recruitment.
6.Serving as a department chair/coordinator pursuant to Article XX and college-wide coordinators.
If faculty receive reassigned time to perform non-instructional activities such as department chair, curriculum development, professional development activities, or administrative (non-managerial) duties, then these activities should be listed on the College Service Activities.


MCCC Negotiating Team’s Position
When the 2000-2003 Contract was negotiated with an increase in instructional workloads, the MCCC Negotiating Team stated that there was an understanding at the bargaining table that attending department meetings, division meetings,  all-college meetings; and serving on one (1) committee would fulfill the contractual obligation of being available for college service activities for an average of four (4) hours per week. This requirement has not changed in the 2003-2006 Contract or in the 2006-2009 Contract. In addition, the MCCC negotiators have made it clear that the purpose of the submission of this plan for college service activities to be performed is to provide the immediate supervisor with knowledge of your planned activities for the upcoming semester. The intent was not to increase college service workload; not to begin counting hours, minutes, or seconds; and not to obtain prior approval. Finally, at the end of the semester, the immediate supervisor will probably hold you accountable for the completion of all activities that you list.
11 Hours of Non-instructional Activity
College service is only one component of your non-instructional responsibilities.  Faculty are assigned 3 hours per week  of advising (14-19 advisees), 4 office hours per week, and 4 college service hours per week.  These 11 hours of non-instructional activities are averages per week and should be reduced:
1) if you are assigned more than 3 preps per semester or more than 5 preps per year (usually 2 hours for each prep over 3),
2) if you are assigned instructional workloads over 31 instructional hours of didactic instruction or over 33 hours of non-didactic clinical and lab instruction (proportional reduction for each hour over 31 or 33)
3) If you have reassigned time (1 office hour is reduced for each 3 credits of reassigned time).
More Than 3 Preps Per Semester or 5 Preps Per Year
In addition, an assignment of more than 3 preps per semester and/or more than 5 preps per year is at the faculty member’s discretion.  These assignments cannot be made without faculty approval.  If you do agree to teach more than 3/5 preps, then there is usually  a 2 hour reduction in the 11 hours of non-instructional activity for each additional prep.  Your immediate supervisor may ask you to waive these non-instructional reductions and sign a Workload Reduction Waiver Form (XII-1).  This reduction waiver is  at the faculty member’s discretion.  I do not recommend that faculty waive reductions – If you have an overload because you exceed the 3/5 preps, then take the reductions in non-instructional activity.
Workload Requirements
I have attached a summary sheet outlining all of the workload requirements for faculty.
Dennis Fitzgerald
MCCC Grievance Coordinator
170 Beach Road #52
Salisbury, MA 01952

tel   978-255-2798

fax  978-255-2896