Greetings APA Members,
It looks like Spring is finally here, and after the last bits of winter we had recently, I for one am ready for it. I hope everyone is looking forward to upcoming celebrations for our students later this spring.
I write to tell you about some exciting changes in the APA. Thanks to all your votes, we have updated our statewide bylaws to include silent representatives in our bargaining. Many other unions have had success in using silent representatives in addition to their core bargaining team. Silent representatives can offer additional eyes and ears on the negotiating process, offer their opinions and suggestions during caucus meetings, and can help spread the news of negotiation progress to other members. Silent representatives will need to be present at as many negotiations sessions as possible, and will likely need to use personal or other paid leave for the time spent at negotiations, or work out alternative work schedules with your supervisor. We will be sending out a self-nomination form on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. Any dues-paying member can self-nominate to be a silent representative. We will be making our decision on who will be part of the silent representative team soon, as we are sending out our notice to begin negotiations at the end of March.
We have recently endorsed the Massachusetts Teachers Associations’ (MTA) Higher Ed for All Coalition by vote of our Executive Board. The MTA has been working on passing the Cherish Act, which includes a plan for debt-free college plan, expanding programs for student success (including addressing staffing shortages), improving the recruitment and retention of high quality faculty and staff by adjusting salaries for inflation and equity, and returning the public funding model for higher education to what it had been in the past. We are hopeful that the MTA’s success in the Student Opportunity Act for K-12 and the Fair Share Amendment will be followed up with success in passing the Cherish Act, as well as building coalition with other state unions to demand higher financial parameters from the Governor. We will be sending out information on how to support these efforts from your campus and in your own ways.
Thank you for all you do for your students and universities, and together, we can make important changes in our contract to improve how we deliver the great service to our students.