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Massachusetts Society of Professors

The Union of Faculty and Librarians at UMass Amherst


MSP at the 2017 March for Science in Boston

The MSP is an activist union. When problems come up on campus, we mobilize our members to speak up, and we work together to find solutions. We know that our strength is in our collective action and our strong membership. We fight for “bread-and-butter” contractual issues including salary and benefits, and we also work on social justice issues that are important to our members.

Faculty and librarians are committed to our students and the wider community, and we work to make UMass the best university it can be. To that end, we advocate for public higher education at the state and national level. The MSP is committed to:

If there is an issue that aligns with MSP's values that you would like to work on and think MSP should be a part of, contact the office to talk about starting a new campaign.

Contract Bargaining

2024-2027 Successor Contract Bargaining

We had our first bargaining session for our successor contract on February 7th, 2024.  MSP's team, in alphabetical order, consists of: Kate Hudson (College of Education), Marc Liberatore (CICS), Lori Reardon (MSP Senior Staff), Sigrid Schmalzer (History/HFA), Katie D'Urso (MTA) and Jeremy Smith (Libraries). We introduced ourselves, agreed to ground rules, and presented our principles, including our commitments to fair compensation, equity, sustainability, high-quality and well-rounded education for our students, and more. In the ground rules, we have agreed to meet every two weeks and to submit all new proposals by March 27, after which we will continue to meet until we have a deal in place.

One of our goals is to strive to achieve a fair and reasonable settlement in a timely fashion and MSP will use the power of our strong union membership to bring our members to the table to speak on particular issues when needed.  

2024-2027 Bargaining Themes and Principals

Latest Bargaing Update


Bargaining continues! The parties met again on Wednesday, April 17th to exchange and discuss counter-proposals.  Our goal remains to settle a strong contract before our current contract expires this summer.

There are several crucial administration counter-proposals we have not yet received—most importantly, their salary and economic proposal. Among our highest priorities in this round of bargaining are robust increases to long-stagnant salary floors and promotional increments, appropriate across-the-board raises to keep up with inflation, and retroactive merit. Given the campus’s extremely strong financial position (a $112M budget surplus in FY23 [1]), we expect a serious reply to our proposals.  Other unions across the state have already negotiated economics at the table, and so we expect our administration’s economic proposal soon.

We will be meeting near-weekly with the administration in May, and will continue to keep you updated—and to ask for your help and testimony!—as we continue our work.

In solidarity,
Jeremy Smith
Kate Hudson
Marc Liberatore
Sigrid Schmalzer
Katie D’Urso
Lori Reardon

[1] page 8, linked from

For more details on our proposals, please visit

Contract Bargaining Update Archive

Bargaining udpates will be archived here:







Kathleen Lugosch and Christine Turner on Bargaining [Watch on Vimeo]

Climate and Environmental Justice

UMass Amherst Environmental and Social Action Movement (ESAM)

MSP is engaged in climate justice work through a multi-union effort to address the climate crisis. As union members and workers we aim to leverage our power to bargain with the administration around climate justice proposals that include good union job opportunities. In Spring 2021, the multi-union group linked arms with students to form the UMass Amherst Environmental and Social Action Movement (ESAM)

Preserving a livable planet must be a central goal of the labor movement in the United States. As unions we can pressure employers, governments, and corporations to cut their carbon emissions on the rapid timeline that scientists say is necessary. We can also help ensure a “just transition” to a zero-carbon economy, meaning an equitable, fair process that does not cost any workers or community residents their health, environment, or economic well-being, but rather leads to material improvements for working people everywhere. 

Students likewise play a vital role in this historic struggle. Youth climate organizers around the world have injected new energy into the climate movement in recent years. Here at UMass, students’ collective action has been indispensable in making our university a more environment-friendly institution. 

To get involved with ESAM please visit

ESAM’s current campaigns:

Move Our Money. This campaign recently launched a petition urging the UMass system to cut ties with dirty banks, insurers, and asset managers. UMass banks with the 4 worst offenders and uses some very bad insurers and asset managers as well. In 2016 the UMass Trustees finally agreed – after a hard-fought campaign led by students who would go on to co-found the Sunrise Movement – to divest direct stock holdings from fossil fuels. In 2022 the UMass Amherst campus announced a plan to go zero-carbon by 2032 – again, following pressure from students and workers. However, the zero-carbon plan only includes Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, and UMass’s financed emissions – the emissions it enables with its money – remain enormous. Meanwhile the UMass Foundation (the entity that invests the $1.3 billion endowment) continues to invest in fossil fuels indirectly. These financial policies must change if UMass is to be an environmentally responsible institution.
Contact: Kevin Young,

Just, Sustainable Transportation. This campaign is focused on improving eco-friendly transit options to, from, and within the UMass Amherst campus. It has pushed for things like greater UMass financial support for the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (which runs the buses in the region), more EV charging stations on campus, and more bicycle-friendly infrastructure. Members of this campaign have been active in the campus Parking and Transportation Advisory Board and in other arenas. (PAUSED Spring 2024)

Greater Community Solidarity. This campaign is dedicated to building a stronger and more meaningful collaboration between the UMass Amherst campus and surrounding communities, with a focus on working-class areas and communities of color in places like Holyoke and Springfield. It emerged from a concern that UMass climate initiatives were not involving grassroots organizations. Since December 2021, members of ESAM have been working with members of the Faculty Senate Public Engagement and Outreach Council and representatives from local organizations to identify ways that UMass can better support the work of grassroots community organizers. These discussions have resulted in a concrete proposal to fund: honoraria for grassroots organizers visiting UMass classes; tuition waivers for grassroots organizers taking UMass courses relevant to their work; and stipends for UMass students and their host organizations to support student internships. We are now working to identify a suitable unit on campus to host the initiative.
Contact: Sigrid Schmalzer,

Voter Education. This campaign seeks to educate and mobilize members of the campus community around voting. Proposals have included the successful adjustment of the UMass calendar to cancel classes on Election Day. We hold voter registration events and are now working on reinstating a polling place on campus.
Contact: Isabel Rojas,

Green Labs. This campaign seeks to “green” campus laboratories by reducing waste, exploring options for environmentally friendly lab products and introducing/reinforcing recycling practices. Resource sharing and communications with lab managers and lab users aim to include practices such as adding composters/tea gardens outside lab buildings/offices, confirming the recycling of glass, nitrile gloves, plastic tubes, and the distribution of pipette tip sorters.
Contact: Lucca Kikuti Mancilio,

ESAM history @ a glance

  • 11/14/21 - Community Forum on Climate Change. ESAM-hosted panel discussion on climate change, environmental justice and local initiatives for change featuring speakers who are union organizers, students, local activists and Native American leaders. You can view the recording.
  • 10/27/21 - MSP member Madeleine Charney on the radio discussing union sustainability proposals with Max Page (MTA VP, MSP member) - start minute 32:45
  • 6/22/21 - UMass Amherst all-union member meeting (174 in attendance), joined by undergraduate students. The focus was sharing PSU, USA and MSP bargaining proposals that support and expand on the campus’ drive to be carbon neutral by 2032. The union proposals address remote work, additional campus closure days, incentives to reduce driving, retrofitting and green renovations of campus buildings, and more efficient heating and cooling across campus.
  • 4/29/21 - Presentation by Madeleine Charney to MSP members at General Assembly giving overview of the climate justice campaign
  • Fall 2020 

100% Membership (All In)

Over 90% of UMass Amherst full-time faculty and librarians are members of the MSP, but we want everyone to be a part of our union. The MTA is launching a statewide “All In” campaign, and the MSP is working to get 100% of faculty and librarians to join us. The goal of “All In” is to build the power we need to win the gains we believe are most important for our students and ourselves.

We need the support of everyone to reach out to our colleagues in colleges, departments, and programs all across campus. This campaign is a lot of fun – it involves social activities and getting to know your colleagues on other parts of campus. Contact the MSP office if you are willing to speak to your colleagues about the union and for more information about how how you can help with the campaign.

Funding for Public Education

MSP Members at Springfield City Hall

On a per-student basis, state support for public higher education in Massachusetts is fully one third less than it was in 2001. The impact of this chronic underfunding is felt by students, faculty and staff. The MSP is deeply committed to championing public higher education and fighting to secure more funding for our Universities.

MSP members have been active fighting for funding for public higher education through the Fund Our Future campaign and PHENOM.

Fund Our Future

The Fund Our Future initiative is an MTA led coalition effort to increase funding for public education. Through the Fund Our Future campaign, our members have worked with educators and students across the state to put pressure on our legislators by educating the public, testifying at advocacy days and attending demonstrations.

Testifying at the State House for Higher Education Advocacy Day


In 2007 MSP helped found PHENOM, the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts. PHENOM is a statewide advocacy coalition and grassroots network uniting students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members from all 29 campuses in the Massachusetts college and university system.

PHENOM is fighting to restore state funding for public higher education and to stand up for excellence for faculty, staff, and students alike. PHENOM works statewide, but also through individual campus councils, including a campus chapter at UMass Amherst.

Get Involved

We need your help in the fight for funding! If you want to join the Fund Our Future campaign or PHENOM contact Emily Steelhammer in the MSP office.

Racial Justice

We join you in grieving the murder of George Floyd and the many other Black victims of police brutality. At the same time, we are inspired to witness the mass mobilizations of peaceful demonstrators who are calling for profound and lasting change. MSP activists are participating actively in anti-racism work alongside K-12 teachers in the Massachusetts Teachers Association and with our sisters and brothers in the diverse unions represented in the Western Mass Area Labor Federation. [Please read MSP's full 6/5/2020 statement on racial justice that was sent to our membership.]

On 9/9/2020, The MSP organized and co-sponsored a panel, Labor and the Movement for Black Lives: Intersections of Economic and Racial Justice.  This panel featured short presentations by MSP members and UMass Amherst scholars and local union members, followed by a discussion with the audience. Facilitated by Asheesh Siddique (Assistant Professor of History), panelists included: Dean Robinson (Professor of Political Science), Ethel Everett (Western Mass Area Labor Federation and SEIU member), Brian Sargent (Assistant Professor of Sociology),  Youngmin Yi (Assistant Professor of Sociology), Toussaint Losier (Assistant Professor of African American Studies) and Kevin Young (Associate Professor of History).

Labor and the Movement for Black Lives: Intersections of Economic and Racial Justice [Watch on Vimeo]

The MSP was also a proud co-sponsor of “Perspectives on Covid-19 and Anti-Asian Bias and Xenophobia”.  On 9/23/2020 Members of the University of Massachusetts and surrounding Amherst area community participated in a discussion and Q&A titled “Perspectives on Covid-19 and Anti-Asian Bias and Xenophobia”. Watch the two hour event, including the Q&A.

Please contact the MSP office if you are interested in participating in union-led anti-racism efforts.

Section 60 Transfer from ORP to SERS

In 2011 the MTA won a great victory: the legislature passed a law allowing employees who were originally enrolled in the private Optional Retirement Program (ORP) to transfer to the public MSERS (Massachusetts State Employees' Retirement System).  Since 2014, after the IRS approved the transfer, two state agencies have been responsible for implementing Section 60: the State Retirement Board (SRB) and the Department of Higher Education (DHE), staff to the Board of Higher Education. Implementation has not gone smoothly, partly because the SRB and the DHE had to invent procedures where none existed, and partly because the SRB and the DHE did not have adequate resources for handling the increased workload.  Currently the most problematic aspect of implementation continues to be the transfer of ORP assets to the MSERS. MTA has been in constant communication with the SRB and the DHE about correcting errors, reminding staff about delays, insisting on equal enforcement of Section 60, calling attention to complications and offering recommendations for addressing them. MTA's role has saved members more than $100,000 in overcharges by the SRB.
The MSP has been working with the MTA to get answers to a number of questions our members have been raising about the Section 60 transfer process.  We know that many people still have not received the information about transferring their funds to the State Retirement Board, and other people have raised concerns about how the employee contribution will be calculated upon retirement -- the process is taking far too long and definitive answers have not been forthcoming from the SRB.  We are making progress, and we will continue to keep our members updated.  
2/9/2018 Update from Donna Siritus (MTA's expert on the Section 60 process) to the Higher Education Leadership Council (HELC): Section 60 Report to HELC
Materials distributed at the 12/12/17 MSP meting with Donna Sirutis and Mark Hickernell (MTA Attorney)

Labor Solidarity and Coalition Work

Solidarity for UMass adjuncts

An injury to one is an injury to all.  The labor movement is based on the idea that we are stronger together.  When we stand up for others, it isn’t because we are kind or selfless, but just the opposite: collective action is in our own self-interest.  We become stronger by lifting up others, and the next time we need help we will know where to turn.  MSP is active in several coalitions with other unions and organizations around the state.  We are a key part of at least four labor coalitions:

UMass Unions United (UUU)

UMass Unions United is a coalition of the labor unions mostly affiliated with the Massachusetts Teachers Association at UMass Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell. Recently the coalition has been planning actions to put pressure on both the Governor's office and the UMass President's office to settle good contracts. 

The UMass Amherst Labor Coalition

On the Amherst campus, MSP is part of the Amherst chapter of the UMass Unions United.  Our local Amherst Labor Coalition consists of all the unions on our campus, including: Professional Staff Union, University Staff Association, GEO/United Auto Workers 2322 and AFSCME 1776. The Coalition meets about once a month to discuss issues our members are facing and how we can support each other.

Western Massachusetts Area Labor Federation (WMALF)

The Western Massachusetts Area Labor Federation represents unions in the Pioneer Valley and Berkshires. They provide support for local unions and other organizations advocating for workers' rights.  We plan to work with the WMALF and with the Massachusetts AFL-CIO on media and political/legislative advocacy work as well.   

Massachusetts Jobs With Justice (JWJ)

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice is a coalition of community, faith, and labor groups in Massachusetts organizing working people and allies to fight for the rights of all workers: locally, nationally, and internationally. MSP is a Mass JWJ member organization. 

State Employee Labor Coalition

The coalition of state employees, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), National Association of Government Employees (NAGE), Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) and others who represent state workers meets and plans unions' strategies to work with the governor's office to improve the salary parameters offered to state employees. This group also discusses state policies that affect state workers, including changes to the GIC health insurance plans, and political campaigns.

UUU at a UMass Board of Trustees Meeting


Community Alliances

Gathering signatures for the Raise Up Mass ballot initiatives for paid family medical leave and a $15 minimum wage

The MSP works with and supports many community groups and organizations doing important social, political and labor work. Some of the organizations we support are:

  • Climate Action Now of Western Massachusetts (CAN) - CAN is dedicated to building a powerful climate justice movement in our region. We see this movement as essential to preventing climate catastrophe.
  • Mass Divest - Mass Divest is a coalition demanding that the Massachusetts Pension Fund stop funding climate disruption by divesting from its holdings in fossil fuels.
  • Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) - MEJA consists of students, parents, educators, community and union members who stand in support of universal, free public education. MTA is a major supporter of MEJA.
  • Massachusetts Jobs With Justice (JWJ) - JWJ connects labor, community, student, and faith-based organizations and activists to mobilize around workplace and community social justice campaigns.
  • Informing voters about a ballot question negatively impacting public schools
    Massachusetts Safe Communities Coalition - The Safe Communities Act would protect the civil rights of all state residents by making sure our tax dollars are not used to deport immigrant families or to create a Muslim registry.
  • Pioneer Valley Workers Center (PVWC) - The PVWC builds power with low-wage and immigrant workers, especially food service and farm workers in Western Massachusetts. PVWC holds trainings for workers and activists, and organizes the Sanctuary in the Streets network for immigrants’ rights.
  • Raise Up Massachusetts (RUM) - Raise up Massachusetts is a grassroots coalition of community organizations, religious groups, and labor unions committed to building an economy that works for all of us. RUM is focusing on passing legislation providing paid leave, a $15 minimum wage and the Fair Share Amendment.
  • Science for the People (SftP): Western Massachusetts - Science for the People is an organization dedicated to building a social movement around progressive and radical perspectives on science and society. SftP is STEM workers, educators, and activists who believe that science can be a positive force for humanity and the planet.
  • US Labor Against the War (USLAW) - USLAW is the organized voice within the labor movement fighting for peace and new priorities, to secure human needs and to demilitarize U.S. foreign policy.