MTA Higher Ed Division is offering a Winter Skills Conference closer to home this year. Any one interested in learning more about union skills is encouraged to attend. We can help with accommodations if interested. Space is limited, so please contact Seth as soon as you can to reserve your spot!
The MTA has some great opportunities this month – Check them out!
|DATES||YOU COULD WIN A…||NUMBER OF WINNERS|
|August 19 – September 16||$500 Visa gift card||2 winners|
|November 11 – 19||$150 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card||2 winners|
|January 20 – 27||$100 99 Restaurant gift card||3 winners|
|March 16 – 23||$100 Gap Options gift card||3 winners|
|May 11 – 18||$150 Lowe’s gift card||2 winners|
|July 13 – 20||$50 Fandango gift card||5 winners|
Our MTA Retirement consultant has some more time slots available for phone consultations on the wide variety of topics associated with retirement. He has released some new 40 minute phone consultation appointments for those interested.
Here are the time slots available:
Interested members should email Ed McCourt (email@example.com) with the day(s) that would be possible for you and the time(s) at which you can accept Ed’s call. In your reply,please include your best phone contact and your MTA membership card number. Anyone without card may secure your membership number by calling MTA’s Division of Affiliate Services at 1-800-392-6175 ext. 8208, or contact Seth or Charlie directly.
I know Ed has helped a couple members here at MCLA recently, and I’m glad to provide this information should anyone else need to ask any questions.
Since July 1, 2019 fell in the middle of a pay period, the Commonwealth is processing our contractual increase in the next pay period, July 7-July 20, and will include the small amount of retro pay for July 1-6 in the pay advise that is available for that pay period on July 26. You will see your new rate in the July 26 pay advise; your pay advise this Friday, July 12 will not show any changes in your rate.
If you do not see your changed rate in the July 26 pay advise and were expecting one, please contact me. For those of you who are receiving additional rate changes as a result of the salary adjustment process, you should be getting a letter from HR directly regarding the timing of that.
The MTA has a consultant that assists with retirement planning and navigating the process for preparing for retirement. Often the sessions available for this consultant are in the easter part of the state as a result of the population concentration. The consultant has emailed me and would like to offer his services via phone for individual members that wish to speak to him about the wide range of topics surrounding retirement.
He will be available to speak with individual members for up to 40-minutes on Tuesday (7/9) and Wednesday (7/10) at the times listed below. Interested parties should email him with the day(s) that would be possible for you and the time(s) at which you could accept his call. In your replies members should include your best phone contact and your MTA membership card number. Anyone without card may secure your membership number by calling MTA’s Division of Affiliate Services at 1-800-392-6175 ext. 8208 or by contacting me.
He will respond to members with a confirmation as soon as possible.
Edward G McCourt
MTA Retirement Consultant – Higher Ed
APA Annual Evaluation Timeline has been agreed upon and posted. For your recollection, the memo is repeated here.
Annual Evaluation Schedule
- The evaluation period this year is July 1, 2018 -March 31, 2019.
- First Bi-Annual Report by Administrator to the Administrative Area Supervisor was due on November 16, 2018.
- Second Bi-Annual Report by Administrator to the Administrative Area Supervisor is due on April 16, 2019.
- Annual Performance Narrative Form to be completed by Administrative Area Supervisor and sent to Administrator approximately one week in advance of the in- person meeting – May 17, 2019.
- Administrator meets with Administrative Area Supervisor by May 24, 2019.
- All forms/materials sent by Administrative Area Supervisor to Chief Administrative Officer by May 31, 2019.
- Chief Administrative Officer reviews materials/signs Annual Performance Narrative Form, provides copy to Administrative Area Supervisor who provides copy to Administrator, and sends originals to HR for inclusion in the administrator’s Official Personnel File by June 15, 2019.
For those that may not have received this email, GIC has announced their open enrollment period. If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources.
Get ready for GIC Annual Enrollment April 3 – May 1, 2019
|March 28, 2019|
The Group Insurance Commission Annual Enrollment kicks off on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 and continues through Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Annual Enrollment offers Commonwealth of Massachusetts employees the opportunity to review their benefit options, enroll in or change their coverage, effective July 1, 2019. All members will be able to change plans, and the GIC encourages enrollees to compare health insurance products to identify the right match for their needs.
New this year:
All carriers, products, and yearly deductibles will remain the same.A lower co-pay of $150 for members who utilize freestanding facilities for eye procedures and GI endoscopies. Co-pays for procedures at hospital outpatient facilities would remain the same at $250 this fiscal year.
Benefit Strategies will be administering the Commonwealth’s Flexible Spending Account pre-tax program starting July 1, 2019.GIC is having a Special Open Enrollment for its Long Term Disability benefit program from April 3 – June 14.
If you wish to make a benefit change for the 2019-2020 benefit year:
You must submit your benefit change request(s) to your GIC coordinator (active employees) or directly to the GIC (retirees) by Wednesday, May 1, 2019.If you choose not to make any changes, your coverage will continue automatically.
Attend a GIC benefit fair event in April to meet with GIC staff and carrier representatives about the products and benefits available to you. This year’s benefit fair schedule is below. You can find also find a benefit fair near you and other Annual Enrollment information at mass.gov/orgs/group-insurance-commission.Benefit Fair Poster DownloadGroup Insurance Commission
Salary Adjustment Requests: If you are discussing an adjustment to your salary per the new process many of you participated in, that you pay close attention to the salary increases they offer. Be clear with your supervisors and HR on whether your contractual increases are factored into the pay bump or promotion. It has surprised many members at MCLA when increases from promotions have those contractual increases factored in, and the increases are often smaller than was anticipated. It can be very disappointing and upsetting when you are expecting a 2% increase on top of a modest increase with a similar increase in responsibilities, only to find you are receiving a ridiculously small amount when the contractual increase is removed. Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the MTA are battling this now on a much larger scale than we have had to deal with this problem at MCLA, but I urge you to be aware of this as the Administration moves through this salary adjustment process. I am happy to help if you need my assistance in negotiating.
State-wide Treasurer wanted!The APA is still seeking a State-wide Treasurer – we have had NO applications! If you are a strong accountant, it is a great job to earn a few extra dollars each month. If you have any questions – please ask me.
MTA Annual Meeting of Delegates:Each May, the MTA convenes an Annual Meeting at which delegates from across the state gather to set policy, vote on Bylaws, Standing Rules and Resolutions, elect members to the Board, vote on the budget and approve new business items.
The Annual Meeting, generally with more than 1,000 delegates present, provides an opportunity to experience the democratic process at work, but we never fill our delegate capacity.
The 2019 MTA Annual Meeting is May 3-4 in Boston. It is held at the Hynes Convention Center on Friday and Saturday. Hotel accommodations are available.Delegates are chosen within each local association. The number of delegates allotted to the APA is 27.If you are interested to serve as an Annual Meeting delegate from your local association, please contact your local chapter president. He or she will, in turn, forward your nomination as a delegate to the APA Executive Board. There are currently 14 open positions. The APA Executive Board will be presenting an item for consideration that needs your support to promote a more equitable dues structure for all APA members.
Tri Union Luncheon:Our Tri-Union Luncheon will be held May 7th, 2019 at 12noon in the Amsler Gym. All APA members are welcome. Our menu will be Seasonal Garden Salad, Lemon Artichoke Chicken Breast, Green Beans, Roasted Red Potatoes, and Brownie Ice Cream Sunday Bar for dessert. We will have door prizes and gifts for various longevity milestones.
Happy Spring Break!
This message brings just a quick update on some items of interest to APA members statewide. First, kudos to our new APA Web Manager, Liz Novak, of the Maritime Academy for her redesign of the APA website. Please check it out at http://maapa.org. We welcome any suggestions for things you’d like to see on the site as it continues to be developed.
A quick reminder, the second bi-annual report of the new evaluation process (second employee narrative), per Article IV of the Agreement, will be due on or around April 15, 2019. I’ve attached the digital draft copy of this narrative form as a reminder. I’m sure many of the Universities and Colleges have provided an online form for members to complete.
Please remember that the employee narrative piece of this new evaluation process sets the tone and the discussion of those details and items upon which APA employees will be evaluated by Supervisors. It’s not easy to recall all the accomplishments and successes (or roadblocks) that have defined your performance over the course of 6 months (or a year). Supervisors, particularly those who manage many employees, are even less likely to know the details of employee accomplishments and the pitfalls that may prevent successes. It’s vital that we, as employees, provide the input that will speak to the successes and challenges we face in our day-to-day work. These narratives provide the information that will remind supervisors of the challenges and ingenuity of employees, will help in the setting of reasonable goals for APA members and will serve to remind our managers of the effectiveness of the workforce. Our participation in completing these narratives will promote an evaluation process that is more valuable to employee success.
Additionally, managers and supervisors are obligated to have discussion with employees about these documents. It should NOT be the case that an employee is surprised with a manager’s response to the bi-annual narrative at the final performance review in June. The dialogue piece of the evaluation procedure was emphasized by the management team during the bargaining of this contractual item…so please let your local chapter president know if process is not being mutually respected. Unlike the old evaluation form, failure to follow the contractual process of this new evaluation is grievable.
We are finally getting close to providing the completed 2017-2020 APA Agreement. Last week, we received the edited copy from the BHE/CoP attorney and we are reviewing it to be sure everything we bargained is reflected in the new document. As soon as both sides have signed off on the wording of the changes, a copy will be posted on the new website. We will also be providing some printed copies to the local chapters.
Finally, if any APA member is interested in stepping in as the interim Statewide Treasurer, please submit your letter of interest to Mike Storey, Local Chapter President at Bridgewater and chair of the Finance Subcommittee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. See the attached qualifications.
Looks like we might enjoy a little warming up this week. Please enjoy Spring Break.
All the Best –
President, Association of Professional Administrators
Funding for public higher education in Massachusetts has been cut by 31% since 2001, when inflation and student enrollment are taken into account. I am certain that you feel the effects of this chronic underfunding every day, as you are constantly asked to provide students with high quality education using fewer resources. This year, we have a once-in-a-generation chance to fix how public colleges and universities are funded in Massachusetts by lobbying the Legislature to pass the Cherish Act. The Cherish Act (Senate Bill 741 and House Bill 1214) would implement the core finding of the 2014 Higher Education Finance Commission, resulting in an additional $500 million in funding for public higher education.
To help make this possible, please attend Public Higher Education Advocacy Day at the State House on March 21. Hundreds of faculty, staff and students will be joining together to ask legislators to pass the Cherish Act. To attend, take a day off or see if your college or university president has approved, or will approve, release time for faculty and staff to come to the state house to lobby for more funding for public higher education. The MTA is also organizing an abbreviated lobby day, allowing you to participate over the course of a long lunch-time break.
Here are the two different tracks you can attend:
The MTA Lobby and Lunch track from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sign up here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/faculty-staff-lunch-and-lobby-higher-ed-advocacy-day?clear_id=true
The Phenom all day track from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sign up here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/public-higher-ed-advocacy-day-2019
Lunch will be provided for both tracks.
Bus transportation will be provided from UMass Boston to the State House and may also be provided from other colleges/universities.
I hope you can join us at the State House on March 21st. Together we can win the funding we need for public higher education.
Field Representative – Higher Education Division
Massachusetts Teachers Association