Contract Funding Update

Our 2017-20 APA Agreement FINALLY got over the most challenging hurdle of funding yesterday (October 15) when it was approved by the House Ways and Means committee in informal session.  Next step is Senate Ways and Means, then back to the Governor for final validation.  The expectation is that the whole process will be complete before the end of the month, as the state Comptroller wants to close out Fiscal 2018.  (Not to mention that the Governor is up for election at the very beginning of November.)

This extraordinarily drawn-out process has prompted discussion at the Higher Ed Leadership Committee meetings that may lead to proposed legislation to enforce the contractually agreed upon process and adherence to deadlines and commitments.  MTA is working on how that kind of legislation might be composed.  Our support for that effort will be pretty enthusiastic, to say the least.

As many have pointed out – it took a village to get this Agreement moved through the steps that followed ratification.  Kudos to the MTA for providing a vehicle (Action Network) that allowed 1400+ colleagues from all of the affiliates to contact legislators in just a few minutes.  A heartfelt thanks to members of the MSCA for stepping up their efforts to support their colleagues at the State Universities.  Thanks to all of you for a Herculean effort to talk to as many government officials as it took to get proper attention paid to this collective bargaining issue.

Our faculty colleagues, whose contract was ratified just after ours, are in need of some help from the APA and others to get their own contract moved out of the DHE and over to Office of Employee Relations for approval.  According to their contract terms, the Commissioner had until the middle of August (45 days) to approve and forward the MSCA contract over to the OER. Having failed to honor those terms, the MSCA has been forced to file unfair labor practice to force the DHE to honor their agreement.  It shouldn’t be this difficult, especially after spending hours and hours over almost a year to cooperatively reach agreed-upon terms.  The lack of timely attention to completing the process from the management side after the collective bargaining process is complete is frustrating, time consuming and promotes low morale in the workforce. We certainly feel their pain!

The MTA will be offering another Action Network opportunity to help the MSCA realize their long-overdue contractual benefits.  Please take a moment to support our MSCA coworkers and (once again) write your congressmen and congresswomen to let them know that the process is out of control and failure to honor the terms of Collective Bargaining Agreements is unacceptable to all of us – and should be to them!

In short, the fight will not be over until we can realize a fair process from start to finish in Collective Bargaining.  Ratification is not the finish line….it’s become the halfway point…which is simply not right.

Many thanks to all for continuing to push for EVERYONE’s goals to be achieved.

– Sherry H