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Massachusetts Society of Professors

The Union of Faculty and Librarians at UMass Amherst

Member Benefits

MSP works hard to improve the benefits for our faculty and librarians. We work closely with the MTA to be informed and active in changes to the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) which governs our health insurance. We also have representation through our MSP trustee on the Health and Welfare Trust which provides our dental insurance and optical discount. In addition to health, dental and optical benefits, there are numerous member-only benefits provided to us through our affiliations with the MTA and NEA. MSP also has a member-only grant program to provide support for member activities that advance the mission of the MSP.

Health Insurance

Benefited University faculty and librarians are eligible for insurance coverage through the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC). Employees choose their PPO, HMO, or indemnity insurance plan. The University currently pays 80% of the health insurance premium for benefited faculty and staff who were hired before 2003, and 75% for those hired after 2003. Coverage is effective the first day of the month following 60 days of employment. Enrollment can occur only when hired into a benefited position with the University, during open enrollment each year (April/May with changes effective July 1 of that year.), or upon birth of a child. Spouses and dependent children up to age 26 can be covered in a family plan.

Visit the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission website for more information.

Contract language:

Article 27.9, The Health and Welfare Trust

Dental Insurance

Benefited faculty and librarians can enroll in dental coverage at no cost through the Health and Welfare Trust Fund. Coverage is effective after a six-month waiting period.  Faculty and librarians' family members can also enroll in the plan at no cost. Dental insurance is provided through MetLife Dental.

View your dental plan summary
View Frequently Asked Questions

To print your ID card, review your dental coverage, find a dentist and check the status of a claim:

  1. Go to
  2. Choose Members.
  3. Choose My Dental Plan to access your personal MetLife Employee Benefits page. Once logged in you can print your ID card, review your dental coverage, find a dentist and check the status of a claim.

See also:

The UMass HR site on dental

MetLife MyBenefits and use the account sign in name:  MTA-Massachusetts Teachers Association.

Contract language:

Article 27.9, The Health and Welfare Trust

Optical Benefit

The Health and Welfare Trust Fund that provides dental insurance to benefited faculty and librarians and their families also includes a vision discount benefit through MetLife called the VisionAccess Program. Once enrolled in the dental coverage you gain access to the vision discounts with no additional enrollment.  Members and their eligible dependents can receive savings on eye exams, discounts on glasses, frames and laser vision correction.

MetLife VisionAccess Discount

To obtain discounts, simply provide the program code MET2020 when making an appointment or receiving services/materials from a participating MetLife private practice provider.  No claim forms are necessary.  

To print your MetLife VisionAccess card with the discount code, access a schedule of benefits and find a discount vision provider go to MetLife MyBenefits and use the account sign in name:  MTA-Massachusetts Teachers Association.

Contract language:


Article 27.9,The Health and Welfare Trust

NEA Liability Insurance & Member-Only Benefits

NEA Liability Insurance

Members of the union automatically receive full employment protection, up to and including free legal representation in most job-threatening situations, and $1,000,000 Educators Employment Liability insurance policy from NEA should you be sued by anyone in connection with your work.

NEA Member-Only Benefits

In addition to the programs offered below, the NEA negotiates through their Click and Save program dozens of discounts for members, ranging from cheaper car insurance rates to discounts on cell phone bills, appliances and car rentals.

  • Auto Purchase
  • Credit Cards
  • Home Financing
  • ID Theft Protection
  • Insurance (Term-Life, Home, Auto, Health-Related, Specialty and Pet)
  • Magazine Service
  • Personal Loans
  • Retirement and Savings Resources
  • Student Loan Assistance
  • Vacation and Travel

For more information about these and other NEA-sponsored benefits, please call 1-800-637-4636 or visit the NEA Benefits Website.

MTA Member-Only Discounts & Benefits

MTA member benefits discount guide and directory

Members receive substantial savings through MTA-sponsored discount group purchasing. Some examples of the programs currently offered are:

  • Alternative Health Care
  • Auto Insurance
  • Auto Rental
  • BJ's Wholesale Club Discount
  • Credit Cards
  • Disability Insurance
  • Home Heating Oil Co-op
  • Home Mortgage Program
  • Homeowners and Renters Insurance
  • Hospital Income
  • Hotel Discounts
  • Legal Consultant Discounts through Legal Shield
  • Life Insurance
  • Long Term Care
  • Tax Preparation Services
  • Tax Sheltered Accounts
  • Theme Park Discounts
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Travel Program
  • Vision Care Plan

Please see the notice on how COVID has impacted the 2020-2021 benefits discount directory.

MTA Benefits also offers monthly give-aways, nationwide discounts and some benefits and savings for family members. For more information about these and other MTA-sponsored benefits, please call 1-800-336-0990 or visit the MTA Benefits Website.

MSP Grant Program

The MSP grant program was established in 2010 as a way to provide support for our members’ activities that advance the mission of the MSP.  A call goes out annually to the MSP membership (in March) to let members know that the application period is open. The grant program is a member-only beneft. All active MSP members are eligible to apply.

Successful grants enhance the union’s work in areas such as membership involvement, political action, improving working conditions, internal organizing, coalition building and addressing diversity issues. Funding can be used to support events and campaigns, as well as research projects.

In order to apply, a 3-5 page grant application must be submitted via email to the MSP office. All projects are to be completed within a year, and a six-month status report must be received by the MSP. Upon completion of the project, MSP and the grantee will discuss how the results of the project are to be disseminated, and how the work has advanced the union’s mission.  Recipients of a grant award must serve on a future MSP Grant Committee.

Complete applications include:

  • Your name, title and department
  • A description of the research and/or other activity the grant will support (2-3 pages)
  • Explanation of how the project specifically advances MSP goals (1 page)
  • An itemized budget that clearly shows how requested funds are to be used
  • Plans for publication/dissemination of the results

Current Application Deadlines (2024-2025 Academic Year)

  • May 1st, 2024: Applications due to MSP
  • May 31st, 2024: Applicants are notified by committee if project is funded
  • Dec 1st, 2024: Status reports for funded projects are due to MSP
  • May 1st, 2025: Deadline of notice to MSP of funded project’s completion and plans for publication/dissemination

Examples of Previously Funded Grants


  • Investigating Overwork in Massachusetts Schools
  • Workplace Social Environment Improvement Initiative
  • Librarian Council retreat focusing on community building and information sharing


  • Expansion of the UMass Mutual Aid Project
  • Uncovering how UMass Faculty experience work post-pandemic


  • Sociocracy training for everyone at librarians
  • Asian and Asian American Studies Certificate Program lunches/dinners discussing advocacy and mobilizing
  • Evaluate perspectives from UMass undergraduate students of color and teens of color affiliated with youth groups and mentoring programs in Mass
  • Understanding Faculty and Librarian Perspectives on Umass Carbon Mitigation Efforts


  • Support for campus involvement with labor and film conference
  • Librarian learning circle with Emergent Strategy book
  • Workshops and panels on political education for social justice work of educators
  • Examine faculty salary information on gender wage gap and impact of faculty unions


  • Research on the effect of faculty unions on the gender wage gap and how the gender wage gap varies at comparable universities


  • Examining non-traditional African American males at public higher education institutions in MA
  • MSP database improvements, including security and digital filing


  • Analysis of MSP Advocacy/Grievance Cases 2000-2015
  • College affordability forum
  • Demystifying the UMass budget
  • Cultivating Communities of Support for Faculty of Color, for consideration
  • Evaluation of the section 60 pension reform
  • Workshops for colleges and schools regarding open access


  • Diversity sensitivity training for library employees
  • Researching the implication of Vermont's universal healthcare policy for MTA
  • Workshops for personnel committees about community-engaged scholarship


  • Study of the causes and consequence of mounting student debt in MA


  • 2 forums around issue of diversity and to coordinate efforts between faculty senate and MSP for faculty-wide initiative
  • Research on member mobilization in unions of professionals
  • Research on role of trade unions in financial regulatory policy making


  • Research of how single payer health insurance system would eliminate the state’s budget gap

The MSP Connection

The MSP is your union. As a member-driven organization, the MSP works with faculty and librarians at UMass Amherst to make sure we have the resources we need to succeed in our research, teaching, and service. Together with our parent organization, the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA), we are the most powerful advocate in the state for UMass, our students, and public higher education. In addition to bargaining, problem solving, and advocacy, the MSP brings together faculty and librarians for orientations, training, workshops, and social activities.

Families and friends are welcome at all events! Please RSVP to to reserve your seat.

Career Workshops and General Membership Meetings Spring 2024

  • Pre-Tenure Workshops
    March 4 and 6, Noon, RSVP for details
  • Retirement Prep Workshops
    March 11 and 14, 2:30pm, RSVP for details 
  • Spring MSP General Assembly Meeting
    April 10, 12-2:30pm, RSVP for details

Social Events Spring 2024

  • Movie & Discussion with casting director Cindy Tolan - West Side Story
    April 20, Amherst Cinema; 12:30pm Seminar, 1:30pm Film Showing
  • Theater - Twelfth Night
    May 4, 7:30pm, Rand Theater, Fine Arts Center UMass
  • End of Year Reception
    May 9, 4:00pm, Boltwood Inn, please RSVP 

Buy Local & Save*

  • Broadside Bookshop, Northampton- 10% Discount on trade books
  • Berkshire East Ski Area and Zip Line Tours- Discounts for MTA member/family
  • Catamount Ski Area and Aerial Adventures- Discounts for MTA member/family
  • Zoar Outdoor Rafting and Canopy Tours- Discounts for MTA member/family
  • Historic Deerfield, Deerfield Museums- FREE admission with MTA card
  • The Pilates Studio, Hadley- 50% off membership
  • Office Depot and Office Max online- Discounts from 15% - 75% off
  • Naumkeag or Normal Rockwell Museums- FREE admission with MTA card
  • UMass Fine Arts Center- 15% Discount on tickets

*Must show MTA member ID card to get discounts. See more on MTA member benefits and discounts.