Dear APA Members:
Today the Board of Higher Education informed the APA that the 2017-2020 APA agreement, which was ratified by the Association on May 10th, has been deemed by the Office of Employee Relations (OER) to exceed the financial parameters provided by the Governor for bargaining. As you may recall, the Governor authorized the Board of Higher Education to settle contracts with raises equal to 2% per year. OER has informed the Board of Higher Ed that, in their view, the APA Agreement exceeds these parameters because, in addition to the 2% per year raises, the contract includes additional cost items such as an increase in the clothing allowance for University Police Officers and an increase in the Cruise stipends for the Mass Maritime Academy. These stipends have always (historically) been addressed outside of the financial parameters offered by Administration.
What does this mean?
The Governor has 45 days from August 8, 2018 (the date that the Board of Higher Ed submitted our contract to his office) to either recommend that the legislature fund our contract or the APA Agreement will be referred back to the bargaining teams. This leads us to believe that the Governor is not likely to recommend our contract to the Legislature for funding and that it will be referred back to us for further bargaining.
Naturally, this is stunning news to receive suddenly and so late in the process. Together with advisors from the MTA, we are gathering information and working on several ideas to contact the Governor and persuade him and his Administration to honor our bargaining agreement. As this is currently an ongoing and very raw issue, please be looking for further information tomorrow on additional details and our plan(s) of action. We are currently gathering more information, and speaking with other potentially affected unions, but wanted to let you what we have been told (as much as we understand to date) as soon as possible.
Please share this information with your coworkers and APA members who may not be reading their email. It will be VERY important to address this quickly and as a solidified union.
Many thanks for your attention to this matter. I will be in touch again very soon.
President, Association of Professional Administrators