December 2019

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PRESENT

  • Catherine Santiago (MTA Field Rep),
  • Charlie Cianfarini (Vice President, APA Statewide)
  • Brian Cahillane (Westfield State APA President),
  • Mark Powers (APA Rep for APA/BHE Working Group),
  • Maria Brunelle (Treasurer, APA Statewide),
  • Aaron Childs, (Membership Coordinator, Westfield State)
  • Maribeth Wrobel (Worcester State APA President),
  • Colby Harvish (Worcester State,   Guest)
  • Susan McNeil (MassArt APA President),
  • Sherry Horeanopoulos (President, Statewide APA and Fitchburg State President),
  • Jane Decatur (Framingham State APA President)
  • Mike Pelletier (Salem State APA President)     

ABSENT:  Liz Novak (APA Web Manager), Kathi Bradford (Secretary, APA Statewide), Edward Vacha (MMA APA President), Alan Jackson (APA Rep to Health and Welfare), Seth Bean (MCLA Statewide APA President), Mike Storey (Bridgewater State APA President)

 

MINUTES

Call to order 9:25 AM

Approval of minutes from November 14 meeting – Moved-Brian, Second-Maribeth  6/0/1

Approval of minutes from Annual Meeting November 15 – Moved-Jane, Second- Brian  4/0/3

 

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Expectation of new contract negotiations to begin soon after the new year.  We hope to have a better and more timely result due to being on the same schedule as MSCA and AFSCME. Sherry spoke of possibility of the Open Bargaining Process and if we wish to choose to participate.  What it basically means is that the members of the E-Board are the Negotiation Team but we can include “observers” from the membership to be present at the negotiation sessions.  They would be required to keep confidential the items and topics of the negotiations until made public to the membership by the E-Board. The BHE team would also need to agree to this.

Because of this discussion, Sherry spoke to the MTA Higher Ed Conference in Springfield on Jan 10,11.  This would be a good place to learn more about Open Bargaining and other negotiation issues. Catherine shared a flyer about the conference.  Brian asked if we could have some discussion there about impact bargaining for Westfield due to the Voluntary Separation program and basic re-structing as a result of that program.  Catherine said she would ask some of the presenters.  Charlie said that he has 6 rooms reserved for Friday night the 10th through some strange communication issues with Marriot. He and Seth were to use two rooms leaving 4 open but that MTA is pressuring him to release some rooms.  He said he would send out an email to the board to see if others wanted a room.

Sherry spoke about the change to FLSA raising the minimum salary for non-exempt employees to $35000.  This appears to be affecting mostly the Resident Directors at the schools, but we should verify with our HR Departments if there might be others.

Catherine announced a few upcoming dates:

  • Higher Ed Day at the Statehouse – March 2, 2020
  • FMLA discussion date – December 17, 2019
  • Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) Mediation – Jan. 14, 2020 with follow up in February
  • There will be no HELC update today as it is meeting at the same time as this meeting.

Voluntary Separation updates- 20+ members from Salem and 17 from Westfield – One of those from Westfield will be Kathi Bradford expected to retire/leave by March 2020. This led to a discussion of how to replace her as Secretary and what process we need to follow.  Due to the how close this is to the end of the contract we would wish to have an interim secretary until new elections.  We could as in the past named an interim from the board, but if don’t have any takers may need to reach out to the general membership.  Need to consult our bylaws.  There was a motion by Susan to purchase a retirement gift for Kathi when she retires.  We would look at what we have done for others when they left.  Second by Maria.    Passed 7/0/0

June 2020 meeting which has traditionally been at Maritime at the Beachmoor will need another location.  The Beachmoor is being remodeled/rebuilt.  Jane suggested the Warren Conference Center in Ashland.  http://www.warrencenter.com/ We will look at that location and see if there are other options.

Sherry went to Westfield to meet with President and Executive Cabinet to discuss their retaliation to members of APA or AFSCME due to the members having meetings to discuss the voluntary separation issues and changes to workload.  The treatment is very hostile and could be construed as union busting tactics.  Of course they were surprised that they were being hostile.  Not sure if her appearance will have any affect.

This led to more talk of the grievance procedure where Step Two level grievances should be heard by the President or his/her designee that would not be the administration official (often HR Director) that was involved with the initial step one hearing.  Several schools try to still use the HR Director in Step 2.

Some issues to be considered in the upcoming negotiations will be found later in these minutes. Sherry will send out two new email messages to each E-Board president to share with their locals.  The purpose is to try to get some more responses to the negotiations survey. We hope to have all responses by Jan. 15.

NEA annual meeting is in Atlanta GA week July 4th.  Who might be interested?

 

TRESURER REPORT

Maria has sent our reports to each of us.  Expense reports due Tuesday, Dec. 17.  If she does not receive your expense reports, she will not send out expense checks as the auditors require documentation.  Motion to accept treasurers report Sue Second Brian passed 8/0/0

 

MEMBERSHIP REPORT

  • Current Full members   1429  down 2 from November
  • Bargaining Unit non-payers  112 same as November

Aaron is our liaison to the MTA new programs which are geared to K-12.  His contact is Ashley Adams (SP?) who asked him “What is the APA?”  Aaron said that there may be two programs/sessions that could benefit our members.

 

HEALTH & WELFARE

No report as AJ is there at that meeting on this same day/time.

 

WEBSITE

What should we have as new Question of the Day?

 

NEW/OLD BUSINESS

Discussed issue of getting down to 375 hours of vacation from the older level of 480.  Sherry wants to be sure that members are NOT waiting until too close to June 2020 as they will lose vacation hours.  They should have been working to reduce their accruals by requesting and taking vacation. One member is retiring and is being told that the college will not pay out more than 480 hours of accrued vacation.  It is not clear how much extra this member has but it is clear that the college did not “convert” his excess vacation to sick during the last contract.  Sherry wants everyone to be asked the same question whenever we are approached by a member about vacation time issues – “DID YOU ASK FOR VACATION TIME AND WAS IT DENIED?”

The discussion continued with the last conversion to sick will be in June 2020 and following that we will be capped at 375 hours.  However, we will continue to accrue over the 375 to be able to use until the sweep dates in November and April following June 30, 2020. They cannot take away more that will lower beyond the 375 hours.

Maribeth stated that a member at WSU was dissatisfied with the announced dates and times of the GIC Listening Tour that came to us in an email.  Basically none of us were thrilled, but what we should really do is request from the GIC their proposals that will be presented at these sessions so that we can be prepared to ask questions that are thoughtful and direct.

Mark asked a question about the contract related to sick leave payout upon retirement and the ability to donate to the sick bank upon retirement.  Which comes first, the 20% payout and then donation or donation first and then 20% payout of remaining.  Or can we really do both in any scenario.

 

NEGOTIATIONS ITEMS TO BE CONSIDERED

  • Should have longer times for grievance procedures.
  • Better language for Promotion Process and what implications if the process is ignored.
  • Meal Stipends
  • Athletic Trainers and RD’s workload language
  • Restrictions on individual supervisors to be arbitrary when setting worker schedules.
  • Request that delays from the Governor to agree and sign approved contracts result in additional cash payment to members based upon delays that are arbitrary.  Maybe have a .5% added for every 6 months of delay?
  • No OPS manual work due to Kathi being out.

 

INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

 

Motion to adjorn – 1:31 PM Maribeth, Second Brian   7/0/0

 

Next meeting 10:00 AM,   1/17/2020, EAW,  397 Grove Street, Worcester MA

 

MEETING SCHEDULE AND LOCATIONS 2019-2020

  • 1/17 - EAW
  • 2/21 - Auburn (9:30 am-1:30 pm)
  • 3/20 - EAW
  • 4/17 - Auburn (9:30 am-1:30 pm)
  • MAY – MTA ANNUAL (and/or 5/15)
  • 6/19 – To Be Determined as MMA not available

 

NEGOTIATIONS LIST

  • Athletic Trainer appendix
  • Evaluation process clarification - needs improvement does not mean a PIP, loss of job or other punitive issue. 
  • Job description changes
  • Salary equity section – contradictions and result of Westfield’s arbitration          
  • Amount of time for Grievance filing – 10 days is too short.
  • Years to be on “probation” is too long
  • Salary ranges
  • Police portion of the appendix.  Need consistency in contract and practice.