Day Contract Memo - 3

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From: Joe LeBlanc []
Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 10:50 AM
To: Philip Mahler
Cc: Sullivan, John;; BR Donnie Mcgee - Home;; Margaret Wong; GR Rosmarie Freeland;; MB Joe O'Neill; MBCC.Faculty; MBCC.UnitProfessional
Subject: Re: Day contract-related news


I am on vacation this week, so briefly...


Our x-com recommended a "just say no" approach at last week's meeting.  This motion will now go to the board next week. I detect little to no appetite for re-opening our Agreement. I have no appetite whatsoever to return to the table.


Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 11, 2010, at 4:30 PM, Philip Mahler <> wrote:

Thank you for sharing your opinion, John.
I will let the President or Vice president respond on behalf of the MCCC. It would be inappropriate for me to do so, I believe.
I will give you my personal opinion on all of this in a nutshell: Just Say No. That was the MCCC position in 1991 as well.

On 1/11/10 3:38 PM, "Sullivan, John" <> wrote:

TO:     Members of the MCCC Executive Committee
From: John Sullivan, Mass Bay
Date:  1/11/10
RE:       Mandatory Furloughs and Re-opening negotiations.
Dear Colleagues,
 I would like to share my concerns with you regarding the recent news that the DHE is trying to re-open negotiations and force mandatory furloughs on higher education faculty.
1)     The MCCC  spent years and a great deal of money in successfully pursuing a lawsuit against Gov. Weld in the 1991 Furlough law. On April 19, 1995  the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of the union that the Commonwealth “impaired our contract and violated Article I, Section 10, Clause I of the U.S. Constitution. This is the law and precedent. The governor, the legislature, the DHE, the college presidents, and the MCCC itself cannot violate that decision. To do so would invite a measure of civil and/or criminal liability for the participants of such an action.

2)     Our current contract has been negotiated and ratified, although unfunded, in good faith by both the union and the DHE. We are now operating under that contract for the next four years. The union and particularly, the Executive Board, have the legal obligation to protect the wages and working conditions of the membership who now pay over $900 per year in dues. To even think about re-opening negotiations and imposing a furlough on the membership would be a legal and moral outrage and might very well trigger legal action by the membership against the union itself should the union decide to agree with the DHE’s wishes. I believe that these are fragile times for both the local  here at Mass Bay and for the statewide union. We all share a responsibility not to precipitate actions that could impact on the vitality and existence of this union.

       3) The DHE’s and the governor’s requests for a mandatory furlough are disingenuous and arbitrary.
             a) A Mass. state trooper in my January intercession class has told me that his union is not being asked to take a furlough, only a freeze.
             b) The governor had no problem last summer coming up with $1 million for the Tall Ships coming to Boston.
            c) The governor also planned to use over $9 million of bailout money for his friend Robert Kraft to build a walk bridge at Gillette Stadium.
             d) In recent news (Dec.17, Globe) the governor said that the new state revenue estimates mean that there will be no need for further
                 budget cuts          
             e) On Jan.17 (Globe) the governor said that he will restore $14 million to AFDC poor families because revenue estimates look so much better.
             f) In the Fall 2009, the governor authorized the DHE to give approval to the college trustees to award a 7.17% pay raise for all the college presidents
                 so that the presidents’ salaries would keep pace with national averages. Our classification, meanwhile, lags by over $13,000.
          4)Now is the time for this union to stand by this contract, as puny as it is. Now is not the time to let ourselves once again be victimized while the   
             state troopers and others (college presidents, et al.) are not asked to sacrifice equally. I have been a member of this union since the 1970’s    
            and I have been very worried about its continued health and vitality for some time. I fear  that any rash action by the Executive Board in re-
            opening negotiations and imposing mandatory furloughs  could imperil the very existence of this union.
Thank you for your time.
John Sullivan, MassBay

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