Welcome back to the new aca-demic year! It has been a very busy start to my ﬁrst term as MCCC President and as the President of the Higher Education Leadership Council. Again, I want to thank everyone for your support and want to ensure you that I am listening and responding to your questions and concerns. My proverbial door is always open and I welcome members reaching out to me about issues large and small.
As college enrollments have been dropping, we have seen an increase in the number of colleges engaging in reorganizations and shifting of work-loads. We have also seen increased pressure on professional staff unit members and a decline in the number of classes available to DCE faculty.Please make yourselves familiar with your contracts and with your contractual rights. If you feel there is a need for trainings around the contracts, please let me know so I can ensure these trainings occur.
I also want to strongly rec-ommend membership in the union. Not only will you have the full weight of the MCCC and MTA behind you, includ-ing legal services when there are grievances, unfair labor practices, and MCAD (Massa-chusetts Commission Against Discrimination) cases, liability insurance, and solidarity which aids signiﬁcantly in bargaining contracts and in legislative action, but you get the beneﬁts that come with MTA Beneﬁts. I realize that for some of you the costs are challenging but I can assure you that the costs are worth it. Efforts are underway now to help improve our membership numbers. If your chapter would like assistance, please reach out to me or the MTA Con-sultant assigned to your chapter.
We want you to be involved as we are only as strong as our members collectively and there are many ways that you can do so. The MCCC currently has vacancies on many of our standing committees. Committee mem-bers serve for terms of two years. If you are interested in serving, please let me know.
There is also the ongoing campaign to support the Fair Share Amendment as well as a contract action team to help support ongoing Day contract negotia-tions. And, as always, we need your support later in the fall to ensure that are colleges are properly funded in the state budget. The new governor’s budget will be out in January.
In the coming weeks, we will be having our first Joint Study meeting. This meeting is the statewide equivalent to MACER meetings. We anticipate that the new Section 26 language that was adopted by the legislature this summer will be one of the top-ics of conversation. This legislation will allow state funds to be used for evening, weekend, and summer classes.
Through our work with the Massachusetts Associa-tion of Community Colleges (MACC), we were able to secure language in this legislation that preserves our contract language. We know that some MCCC members are worried about this legislation, and it is a big change, but nothing has changed in either the Day or DCE contracts; any changes would have to be negotiated and, to date, there has been no new contract language introduced by management that relates to Section 26.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or other members of the MTA statewide and local leadership. And, best wishes for a healthy and happy year!