Minutes 2023-03

Date/Time: Friday, March 17, 2023 at 9:00am

Location: Zoom Room


APA Statewide

  • Seth Bean, President
  • Susan McNeil, Vice President
  • Mark Powers, Secretary
  • Aaron Childs, Membership Coordinator (Non-voting)
  • Gerol Petruzella, Web Manager (Non-voting)
  • Catherine Santiago, MTA Field Representative (Non-voting)

APA Chapter Presidents

  • Seth Bean, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • Jenna Shales, Bridgewater State University
  • Brian Cahillane, Westfield State University
  • Jane Decatur, Framingham State University
  • Rebecca Shersnow, Fitchburg State President
  • Susan McNeil, Massachusetts College of Art & Design
  • Rosa Taormina, Salem State University
  • Edward Vacha, Massachusetts Maritime Academy


  • Renee Bernier, Bridgewater State University


APA Statewide

  • Maria Brunelle, Treasurer (Non-Voting)
  • Roberta James, MTA Field Representative (Non-voting)

APA Chapter Presidents

  • Peter Fenuccio, Worcester State University

Call to Order

  • 9:07 am

Approval of Minutes

  • Per agreement of the Executive Board, the Minutes of the February 17, 2023 Executive Board Meeting were approved electronically on February 28, 2023.

Public Comments

  • None.

President’s Report – Seth Bean

  1. Establishing committees/working groups as consisting of 3 to 4 Exec-Board members to discuss/drafting specific proposals:
    • Salary Compression
    • Longevity Increases
    • Workload – On Call, Job descriptions/duties
    • Just Cause to 1 year rather than 4 years.
    • Special Groups/Issues – Athletic Trainers, University Police Overtime, Mass Maritime
    • Create Bargaining Packets that prioritize the proposed changes to the contract.
  2. Discuss appointing a Silent Rep Moderator (SRM) for Collective Bargaining
    • Do we do it through a nominations process and then what is the selection process. The person should not be Seth, Susan, or Mark.

      Motion 2023.03.17-01
      Move to create the position of Silent Represetative Moderator (SRM) for Collective Bargaining with a monthly stipend of $100.00 for the duration of the APA Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiation process.
      by: M.Powers 2nd by: S. McNeil
      Vote: Unanimous Action: Motion Carries
    • Define the role/responsibilities of the SRM and stipend. Will include managing the Zoom session for the Silent Reps as well as being available as a resource to the Silent Reps as their responsibilities before/during/after a collective bargaining session.
  3. Discuss the Silent Rep Application process and well as the role/ responsibilities/expectations of the Silent Reps. MTA has a guide that will be shared with APA to use/modify.
  4. APA Collective Bargaining Survey – Notice to be sent out to the membership during the week of March 20th. The Survey will be made available from March 22nd thru March 29th.
  5. APA Delegates for MTA Annual Meeting April 28-29, 2023 @ MassMutual Center, Springfield MA – 25 Delegates spots are available for Dues Paying Members only. https://massteacher.org/about-the-mta/committees/bylaws-and-rules-committee

    Attending In-Person:
    • Seth Bean, President
    • Susan McNeil, Vice President
    • Rosa Taormina, Salem State University
      Attending Remotely:
    • Mark Powers, Secretary
    • Jenna Shales, Bridgewater State University
    • Gretchen Mayhew for Rebecca Shersnow, Fitchburg State President
    • Edward Vacha, Massachusetts Maritime Academy
      Not Attending or Not Yet Known (as of 17mar2023):
    • Brian Cahillane, Westfield State University
    • Jane Decatur, Framingham State University
    • Peter Fenuccio, Worcester State University
    • Aaron Childs, Membership Coordinator (Non-voting)
    • Gerol Petruzella, Web Manager (Non-voting)
  6. MTA Report – Catherine Santiago
    1. Higher Ed for flyer
    2. Demand for Bargaining needs to go out by end of March. Will send draft of memo to Exec-Board for comments by March 22nd.
    3. HELC Working Group – Parameters Campaign – See document proposal https://docs.google.com/document/d/11CAxuwwNSA-TmHu9X8WryXqgCW13vZZFsu5GSbe2Ihk/edit
    4. Higher Ed for All – Stephanie Marcotte, MTA Organizer Division of Higher Education smarcotte@massteacher.org
      Regarding endorsing Higher Ed for All: Endorsement page: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=61uWWiYlBEG2gBMeVZPHUbs3fFXjgEVCjYcBCj26eCBUN0o5T0Q1UDg0S1RFQzM5TE1MR0pRSThNTi4u&web=1&wdLOR=c3612D913-E3CE-4481-BA0A-CAF4F0A1B18B
      Potential Higher Ed for All Event at Mass Moca on April 14, 2023 with the student art exhibit
      Variety of upcoming legislative meetings with folks who have not endorsed Cherish Act — Catherine has local and chapter lists for each of those meetings for targeted outreach to members
      a. Cherish Act has bill #s— S. 816 and H. 1260
      b. Cherish has 66 total co-sponsors which is more than Thrive, Strike, or Retirement
      c. The List of SDC https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_Eul2J00mDgu6fxvHotRKbW1TjhnmBvWJ_3I5f6mFys/edit#gid=0
      d. that is the list of meetings with legislators
      Cherish Action network: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/urge-your-legislators-to-support-mtas-2023-2024-legislative-agenda
      Wednesday, March 22 at 5:00 PM, Max and Deb are holding Legislative Update ZOOM Mtg. https://www.mobilize.us/massteacher/event/555309/?referring_vol=2119535&rname=Paul&share_context=event_details&share_medium=copy_link

      Motion 2023.03.17-02
      Move to endorse “Higher Education for All Coalition”, including adding the APA logo to materials.
      by: S. McNeil 2nd by: R, Taormina
      Vote: 8-0-1 Action: Motion Carries

      the endorsement page: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=61uWWiYlBEG2gBMeVZPHUbs3fFXjgEVCjYcBCj26eCBUN0o5T0Q1UDg0S1RFQzM5TE1MR0pRSThNTi4u&web=1&wdLOR=c3612D913-E3CE-4481-BA0A-CAF4F0A1B18B

Treasurer’s Report – Maria Brunelle

  1. Payroll due on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 by 12:00pm.
  2. Approval of February 2023 Treasurer’s Report
  • Amendments: None
  • Motion to approve membership report as presented/amended made:
  • by: Rosa 2nd by: Susan
  • Vote: Unanimous Action: Motion Carries

Membership and Data – Aaron Childs

  1. 1371 Overall Membership since February 2023. An Increase of 12.
  2. 196 Non-Dues Paying Member. A Decrease of 2 since February 2023.
  3. Still working on cleaning up membership rosters.

Website – Gerol Petruzella

  1. 1 January – 31 January 2023
    1. Website Overview – Users. During February 2023, maapa.org saw increases in users and sessions relative to January 2023 (Figure 1). The most popular days/times for users to visit the site were Fridays between 11a and 1p ET, and Mondays between 8a and 11a ET (Figure 2).
    2. Website Overview – Traffic. Traffic to maapa.org was predominantly direct traffic or the result of a Google search (Figure 3). The top 10 most visited pages are indicated (Figure 4).
    3. Website Overview – Other. 
      • I performed content updates on the site including:
        1. Updated meeting minutes.
        2. Undated bylaws.
  2. Switchover from Drupal to WordPress, as well as switchover from Universal Analytics to Analytics 4, will happen this coming weekend (18-19 Mar) – weekends historically see very few website visitors, so this timing will minimize any potential disruption to members.

Health and Welfare Fund Report – Susan McNeil

  1. https://www.mass.edu/forfacstaff/healthwelfare/home.asp
  2. Health and Welfare have a website page on the Department of Higher Ed website but also there is a page on the MetLife website.
  3. Info and names of BOT members are not up to date on BHE site, I could not find a list on the MetLife one. Mike Murray says he has spoken with the person in charge of the BHE website, and it is supposed to be getting updated, but he had no timeline to offer, I said it was a problem that needs attention asap.
    • https://www.mass.edu/forfacstaff/healthwelfare/teachersassoctrustees.asp
    • Board of Higher Education | Health Plans, Inc. (healthplansinc.com)
  4. Legal advisor Alden has moved over from Mintz and Levin to McDermott we have moved with him. Looking into possible new responsibility for the H&W Trust Fund to file a 5500 form with IRS never required before but may have to now.
  5. Treasurer is stepping down and a need a new treasurer is needed but no volunteers yet. It is a time-consuming job with a lot of responsibility.
  6. The H&R Trust Fund still has some cash in our old bank Rockland Trust spending it down or it will be moved over soon, all other monies already moved, and we are now with Salem 5 our cash earns 4% interest with them.
  7. Gray Group Report
    • Performance as of end of Feb 2023
    • Stocks and Bonds down, Bonds Index down 15% usually provides a ballast to other ups and downs but not now.
    • Another rise in interest rates due to hit around March 22, Chaos in the bond market and overall market volitivity.
    • YTD returns are a little over 4%
    • Overall, since inception of the fund 7% most is in cash, but bonds portion of portfolio is north of 5% in ultra-safe federally backed funds.
  8. Enrollment 9027 subscribers
  9. Cobra Insurance – 27 subscribers
    • running flat year to year.
    • Loss ratio 91%
    • YTD 89%
  10. Our Next meeting is scheduled May 15, 2023
    • This meeting is most important meeting of the year, we will be discussing caucusing and voting.
    • We will vote on renewal of the MetLife plan.
  11. MetLife Renewal is up on 7/1/2023.
    • I reported that my members were reporting to their Chapter Presidents that they were unhappy with MetLife and that they had little to no options for in Network Dentists very little coverage and that the Benefit was basically a non-benefit if they cannot afford use it.
    • Our representative was open to coming and doing a presentation to our members. The representative will be doing a Network Access Report for the BOT to give us information on the in-network growth of their Dentists, and usage in all covered areas.
    • The representative asked if names of Dentists who H&R Trust Fund would like to see recruited into the PPL Network also zip codes of areas where our members cannot find a good ppl dentist to see.
    • FYI – While APA Unit Members do not pay anything into this plan out of pocket, All NUPs pay into this plan @ $22.88 a month.
    • Can APA do a survey of all members to see if they would be willing to pay some money out of pocket for a better benefit?
    • I will be attending a meeting with MTA and other stakeholders from UMass and other unions to discuss possibility of presenting the Health and Welfare Trust Fund Board of Trustees with a proposal for moving to different plan possibly Delta Dental. This was tried in past and failed but they still have the info gathered and the old proposal we will look at it and discuss a possible plan. That meeting will be on March 21, I will let you know what I learn.
  12. Another issue that was that the Health and Welfare Trust Fund has not received our funding for this year or quarter. Whatever manner it gets doled out we have not received it.
    • Clarified to me when I asked for an update from Mike Murray regarding something he mentioned about some additional funding that we might see coming from the State; Mike said that there was an issue discovered a while back that the State had not been funding us the full amount they were supposed basically shortchanging the fund and that there was an ongoing investigation so far dating back to 2014 and that we might have been shortchanged up to 8 million dollars so far (this is all 3 funds.)
    • I asked Mike if they discovered that they were shortchanging us, did they at least adjust to fix that discrepancy moving forward and Mike said they had not fixed it and that we were still being shortchanged.
    • On top of all that the State has not given an increase to this fund in over 7 years.

Committee Reports

Budget Committee – Rosa Taormina & Seth Bean

Employee Relations Working Group –

Vincent Pedone on behalf of the Council of Presidents (CoP) wants to have this working group active again prior to Negotiations.

Professional Development – Edward Vacha

Special Committees:

  1. Committee on Legislative Action – Susan McNeil, Seth Bean, & Sherry Horeanopoulos
  2. Committee on Health & Safety – Renee Bernier & Susan McNeil
  3. Negotiations – Contract Committee
  4. Employee Relations Committee – Brian Cahillane, Jane Decatur, & Rosa Taormina

Old/New Business

  1. FAQ of the Month for the Website for April –
    1. Negotiations?
    2. Stipends?
  2. Up-to-date Chapter Bylaws for each Chapter (M.Powers)
  3. Where are at with printed APA contracts (B.Cahillane)

Institutional Issues


  • None


  1. Motion to Adjourn made at 12:55pm by: S. McNeil
    2nd by: E. Vacha
    Vote: Unanimous
    Action: Motion Carries

APA Meeting Schedule 2022-2023:

  • APA Executive Board | 10:00am | Friday, September 16, 2022 | Virtual | Zoom
  • APA Executive Board | 10:00am | Friday, October 21, 2022 | Virtual | Zoom
  • APA Executive Board | 10:00am | Friday, November 18, 2022 | Hybrid | Zoom/TBD
  • Annual Statewide Membership | 12:00am | Friday, November 18, 2022 | Hybrid | Zoom/TBD
  • APA Executive Board | 10:00am | Friday, December 16, 2022 | In-Person | TBD
  • APA Executive Board | 9:00am | Friday, January 20, 2023 | Virtual | Zoom
  • APA Executive Board | 9:00am | Friday, February 17, 2023 | Virtual | Zoom
  • APA Executive Board | 9:00am | Friday, March 17, 2023 | Virtual | Zoom
  • APA Executive Board | 9:00am | Friday, April 21, 2023 | Virtual | Zoom
  • APA Executive Board | 10:00am | Friday, June 16, 2023 | In-Person | Mass Maritime Academy

Topics for next round of negotiations:

  • Salary Compression
  • Wage/Salary Equity
  • Longevity
  • Workload
  • Sick Bank Leave Committee Language
  • Bi-Annual Review and HR’s responsibility