Hello APA Members,
Yesterday was a great day in Union Solidarity, as Higher Education unions including APA, MSCA, AFSCME, and unions representing members at the community colleges and the UMASS system all demonstrated at Noon yesterday in protest of the delay of our contracts being funded. Please check our website, www.maapa.org, for links to the media articles, pictures and videos of our members at these events. There are so many great items to share I could never do it justice via an email or letter. Many thanks to our new Web Manager, Julie Dunlap LePoer of Fitchburg State University for her work on our website to showcase all our efforts.
I understand that the lack of action by the State Legislature is frustrating and leads many of us to think that our actions are not being effective, but I assure you that this is not the case. Our actions got our contracts added to this supplemental budget bill. Our actions have led many representatives and senators to speak out on our behalf on the floor of the House and the Senate. News media have been covering union across the state pressuring our legislators to move forward with this bill.
Please continue to reach out to your representatives and senators and urge them to come to a compromise that gets thousands of state and public workers their cost of living increases and back pay at a time when it is sorely needed.
The most recent focus for the unions has been urging action in light of the actions by Republican lawmakers that have effectively shut down discussions. MTA Higher Education Director Heather LaPenn has said, “Yesterday Republican Representative Paul Frost shut down the informal legislative session yesterday just as the supplemental budget that include 95 CBAs had come up. The legislature is back in session today and it is possible that he or another Republican member of the legislature will move to shut down the session again, which any member can do during an informal session.”
We need MTA members to call their legislators today especially those with Republican state reps and say:
“Please don’t stand in the way of state employees like me from getting our hard won raises and thousands of dollars of back pay. Please stand with us and help send this bill to the Governor’s desk”
The most powerful thing we can do right now is to make sure legislators are hearing from their own constituents. These legislators have already been able to go on record in opposition to the migrant piece that’s in the bill when the legislature was in formal session. They filed dozens of amendments that were all voted down. The only thing additional delays will do is hurt tens of thousands of state workers. Your chapter president can provide information on Republican senators and representatives contact information if they are in your district.
From all of us in the APA Executive Board, thank you for your continued efforts to get our contract funded, and we will continue to keep you updated and provide new action plans.