Mask and Vaccine Mandates

Dear APA members, 
The APA and Management bargaining teams met on Friday, August 20 and Monday, August 23 to negotiate terms for both a Mask Mandate and a Vaccination Mandate, as proposed by the Council of Presidents and the Department of Higher Ed.  Both mandates have been supported by the NEA and the MTA as the safest measures taken to ensure that students can return to full in-person learning.  Safeguarding employees in their workspaces is of equal concern to management and the unions.  As you are likely aware, students were previously notified of the requirement to be vaccinated before returning to the campuses, and will also be required to wear face-coverings.

On August 19th, Governor Baker announced vaccination requirements for state employees, however, his order did not include Higher Ed employees and allowed for these mandates to be negotiated with the appropriate union leadership.  Massachusetts State Attorney General has stated that these requirements are legally grounded.  The APA sought affirmation on the legality of these measures through MTA legal resources and have been informed that they are legally supported.  Of course, there will be challenges, and we will remain engaged if any actions result in reducing the scope of either mandate.

As of today, August 25, the APA and MSCA collective bargaining units have come to agreement with Management on Mask and Vaccination Mandates.  The overriding goals in approving the mask and vaccine proposals are threefold:

·      To provide the safest possible work environment for our APA members

·      To reopen our campuses, and provide a robust college experience to students

·      To instill confidence that our campuses are considering the health and safety of all constituents


The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) documents for both requirements will be posted on the APA website and are attached here.  PLEASE look to these documents for the details of the mandates.  In short:

·      Face-coverings must be worn whenever members are indoors and in non-private spaces, unless an employee applies for and receives a medical exemption

·      If members forget, lose or have damaged masks, the institution will make new ones available

·      Employees can request heightened PPE if their duties require additional equipment

·      Employees are not expected to work with – or serve – students, visitors/guests or others who refuse to comply with the mask mandate

·      Employees are required to receive the appropriate one or two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, unless they apply for and receive a medical or religious exemption

o   They must have received the initial dose by approximately 9/7/2021

o   If required, the second dose must be administered within 4 weeks of the initial dose

o   Employees will comply with receiving a single approved booster, as recommended by the CDC 

·      Members who are not fully vaccinated or who receive an exemption must wear a mask at all times and are required to be tested weekly

·      Members who test positive for COVID will quarantine and not be allowed on campus until they test negative for the disease

o   If able, they may work remotely

o   If unable to work, employees will use sick, personal or vacation leave or take an unpaid leave of absence

·      Unit members without a medical or religious exemption, who refuse to be vaccinated, will not be permitted to work or be on campus

o   They may be allowed to utilize accrued vacation time or unpaid leave for no longer than 6 months.

·      Refusal to comply may result in progressive discipline per Article VIII of the APA Agreement.

The APA bargaining team acknowledges that our unit members are not in unanimous support of these mandates.  Local chapter Presidents communicated their members’ comments and questions on both sides of this very important issue.  Out of concern for the issues raised by those members who were not in favor of imposing mandates, we came close to declaring impasse on the negotiations, which could have resulted in imposing mandates without the Union’s final input.  Although we may be disappointing some of our members, we are confident that we are meeting our obligation to support the communities we represent in the best way we can.

Again, please review the MOA documents.  We thank you for your understanding in these unprecedented times.

On behalf of the APA Bargaining Team, 

Sherry Horeanopoulos

President, Association of Professional Administrators

Bi-Annual Report 2021

The APA contract indicates the bi-annual administrator report is due on or around April 1st

Bi-Annual Report Instructions

The bi-annual report shall be completed by the administrator and should highlight their accomplishments, challenges, updates, any professional development they are interested in or have completed, and any suggestions for such things as process improvements. After submitting the completed report to their administrative area supervisor for review, the supervisor and administrator should meet soon after to discuss the report.  Please note, this meeting may be conducted virtually.  

Following the meeting, a copy of the bi-annual report should be submitted to Human Resources via email to rboudreau@salemstate.edu.

Should you have any questions about the APA bi-annual report process please contact Rebekah Boudreau at rboudreau@salemstate.edu or x7458 or Siobhain Feeney at sfeeney@salemstate.edu or X2985.

Furlough Update

Dear Campus Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that the university is able to limit the furlough program for FY21 to two (2) weeks. 

For the first half of FY21, revenues were higher than budgeted last spring and our expenses are within budget. As we had promised when we met with union leadership from both AFSCME and APA, based on this favorable news, we are reducing the total number of furlough weeks. 

Thank you to our administrators and the members of these unions for your support.

Sincerely,

Mark Quigley, Esq.

Assistant Vice President, Human Resources and Equal Opportunity

Vacation Cap Deadline Extended Again

Dear Colleagues,

The maximum allowable vacation accrual was scheduled to change from 64 days to 50 days (375 hours) on December 31, 2020. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting operational needs, the APA Union and the Board of Higher Education have agreed to extend the deadline for the use of vacation leave over the 375 hour cap to June 30, 2021. There will be a final vacation accrual conversion to sick leave for any overages above the new limit on June 30, 2021. Following this last conversion, employees’ vacation hours over the limit of 375 will be forfeited going forward.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Mark Quigley

Assistant Vice President

Human Resources and Equal Opportunity

A Message from State APA President, Sherry Horeanopoulos

December 4, 2020

Holiday greetings to all and best wishes for the season;

As was mentioned at the APA Annual Meeting in November, we have reached several agreements related to contract, remote work, health and safety, and vacation time accrual.  We are also almost at the point of offering the APA’s first ELECTRONIC ratification vote.  Details are below, but first, please accept the Executive Board’s hearty appreciation for the unprecedented participation in our Annual Meeting.  Some Board members commented that we might consider making a habit of hosting a virtual Annual Meeting – as so many members (over 300!) were able to attend.  We’ll see – it’ll be really nice to see people in 3-D again, too!

The APA Website contains documents that members should take a few minutes to review.  In November, we negotiated Health and Safety guidelines to be considered in the workplace as we continue to experience the effects of the global pandemic.  These guidelines (COVID MOA) are in effect while we are dealing with COVID19 and its impact on the workplace and are based on a similar document developed with MSCA.

Our 2017-2020 APA Agreement was missing an appendix that has finally been completed:  Appendix K, Position Characteristics.  Appendix K is designed to provide insight into the various Union position titles.

We are excited to announce that we have negotiated a new Remote Work Arrangement Policy that addresses remote work situations during the course of the pandemic, but also sets the stage for future opportunities in flexible working conditions.  We have been pursuing this kind of policy for our higher education environment for a long time.  The Policy has roots in the State of Massachusetts Telework for Commonwealth Employees guidelines and has been embraced – thanks to the astounding work that has been accomplished by our exceptional workforce – during the last nine months of clearly meeting the challenge of keeping our institutions viable during the pandemic.  Kudos to all of you!

Our Bylaws require some updating to reflect the latest needs of the organization.  The Bylaws, with changes highlighted in the text for your review, is being emailed to you.  If you have comments about the content of the changes, please funnel questions up to the Board through your local chapter president.  Our request for your approval of the changes will be included with the electronic contract ratification vote. (More on that below.)

Good news for members who are trying to use their excess (over 375) hours of accrued vacation time.  The BHE has offered to extend the deadline for using the time until June 30, 2021.  We are currently working with Michael Murray (BHE) to finalize the Agreement.  Your local chapter President and HR Director will receive the Agreement shortly and distribute it to you.  If you have been scrambling to use a lot of time prior to the end of the year, this extension will help you use the time before it has to be rolled.  PLEASE make sure you ask to use the time, but also PLEASE try to use it.  We all need a break from these exceptional working conditions.

Finally, we have agreed to extend the current APA Agreement, with no language changes, until June 30, 2021.  Considered a “Successor Agreement”, this 2020-2021 Agreement will need to be ratified by the membership.  All other Higher Ed unions have ratified contract extensions.  The ratification vote will be accomplished electronically through email.  You will have a 24-hour window in which to vote and will receive credentials and instructions through your campus email account.  Included in your two-question ballot will be a request to accept Bylaw changes.  You can expect the Ratification vote in early January and more information will be forthcoming, once the signed Memorandum of Agreement is in hand.

Best Holiday Wishes to all of you and your families!

Sherry Horeanopoulos 

APA President