MTA Benefits Opportunities

The MTA has some great opportunities this month – Check them out!

2019-2020 Giveaways

August 19 – September 16$500 Visa gift card2 winners
November 11 – 19$150 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card2 winners
January 20 – 27$100 99 Restaurant gift card3 winners
March 16 – 23$100 Gap Options gift card3 winners
May 11 – 18$150 Lowe’s gift card2 winners
July 13 – 20$50 Fandango gift card5 winners

MTA Retirement Consultation Opportunities

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 ( 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.

July 1, 2019 Contractual Increase Timing

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.

MTA Retirement Consultations

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

State House Rally – May, 16 2019

 APA members – Important Action item below!

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to repair the persistent funding inequality that exists at in public Higher Education in our state. Consider the following facts:

-Massachusetts is underfunding its state colleges and universities by more than 500 million dollars per year according to a state commission that studied the issue

-State investment in public higher education is down 31% from its peak in 2001

-Student loan debt has more than doubled since 2004

-The Cherish Act in the State House now is worth over eight million dollars in funding to Mass Art per year.

In mid-May legislators will be in the middle of their annual budget debate and they will be thinking about how much money they can put into our schools, colleges and 

Click here to register for the May 16th events:

RSVP today for the 5/16 #FundOurFuture Rally at the State House (Free bus transportation is available) universities. Come to Boston on May 16th to show legislators that they must deliver legislation that fully funds our college NOW.

We are organizing a major rally and march around the State House starting at 5 p.m.  Free bus transportation will be provided. We need you with us on May 16th, along with your co-workers, family and friends. Please sign up today!

APA Annual Evaluations

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.

GIC Open Enrollment

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 Fair Poster DownloadGroup Insurance Commission ‌ ‌

Important Updates: March 2019

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.