The Massachusetts Community College Council (MCCC) is an affiliate of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA) and the National Education Association (NEA). The MTA and NEA provide the MCCC with legal support, access to the political process and the expertise of a professional field staff consultant. The MCCC is primarily responsible, for activities related to the negotiation and enforcement of the collective bargaining agreement.
After being approached a number of times by groups of Division of Continuing Education (DCE) employees, the MCCC board of Directors voted to organize and represent DCE members on May 20, 1983. The desire to represent DCE members was motivated by a concern regarding management’s exploitation of DCE faculty. For example, one college increased student tuition 237% from 1975 to 1983 while increasing faculty compensation by only 8%.
The MCCC assigned the Vice President the responsibility of coordinating DCE organizing activities. The process took almost three years as management used expensive activities to extend the process in an attempt to defeat the MCCC’s efforts to represent grossly underpaid faculty. In at least one case, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission (MLRC) found management’s tactics to be in violation of the law.
Finally, in December 1986, the faculty voted to be represented by the MCCC. The MCCC immediately formed a negotiating team and developed proposals based on membership needs. Unfortunately management continued to use every tactic of subterfuge rather than bargain in good faith. After two years of traditional bargaining, a mediator declared impasse in December 1990. The last legal process available, fact-finding, commenced with management continuing to engage in unethical methods to extend the process. Finally, the factfinder’s report was issued in January 1990. The factfinder’s report is supposed to form the basis of a reasonable settlement. In this context, the MCCC was willing to accept the report. However, management completely rejected the report declaring that the report did not constitute an intellectual basis for settlement.
In the above context, the DCE faculty went on strike at 12 of the 15 campuses on April 24, 1990. After a mutually painful strike, negotiations resumed on May 7, 1990. Finally, there was good faith negotiations, resulting in the first DCE contract on July 24, 1990.
Throughout the entire process from 1983 to May 1990, the DCE faculty paid no dues, and current dues rates are below actual expenditures. The MCCC continues to be concerned about obtaining professional rights and compensation consistent with the professional services provided by DCE faculty.