Group founded at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1943 to protest proposed changes in the Massachusetts state employees' retirement system. By 1969, the group became the exclusive bargaining agent for the University's administrative, clerical, and technical employees. Includes constitution and by-laws, Executive Board and general body minutes, correspondence, contracts, legislative materials, grievance records, hearing transcripts and decisions pertaining to job reallocations, subject files, newsletters, and press releases, that document the activities and administration of the University of Massachusetts chapter of the Massachusetts State Employees' Association from 1955 to 1978.
The collection is open for research, with the exception of Series 4 (Personnel Actions).
Background on Massachusetts State Employees' Association (MSEA), University of Massachusetts Chapter
The Massachusetts State Employees' Association (MSEA) was founded in 1943 to protest proposed changes in the Massachusetts state employees' retirement system. On May 21, 1964, the University of Massachusetts Employees' Association (UMEA) was chartered by the MSEA. The UMEA's relationship with the MSEA was loose. The MSEA local chapters were completely autonomous. Every chapter had an Institution officer who served as liaison between the MSEA and the local chapter. The UMEA's purpose was to protect the rights of employees at the University of Massachusetts in all matters affecting their employment. However, state employees in Massachusetts were not permitted to bargain collectively until the enactment of Chapter 149, Section 178F on July 1, 1964.
In 1966, the MSEA petitioned the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission (MLRC) to become the exclusive bargaining agent for all non-professional employees at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) also petitioned the MLRC to become the elected representative for the same group of employees. The result of this election was split and a run-off election was held in May 1969. This second election resulted in MSEA becoming the exclusive bargaining agent for the administrative, clerical, and technical employees at the University of Massachusetts.
The UMEA worked to improve wages, to increase job security, and to safeguard employee health insurance programs. The UMEA negotiated its first collective bargaining agreement in 1970. This contract expired in 1973. It was not until 1976 that the UMEA successfully negotiated its second contract. During the three year span in which members worked without a contract, the UMEA continued activity on such issues as job classifications, and fought to keep employee parking fees at a minimum. The UMEA also survived a decertification drive led by AFSCME Local 1776.
In January 1977, the MSEA affiliated with the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) to become the MSEA/NAGE. The UMEA officers opposed this merger and led a successful decertification drive against the MSEA/NAGE.
In December 1977, the Massachusetts Teachers Association was certified as the exclusive bargaining agent for the administrative, clerical, and technical employees at the University of Massachusetts. The local chapter is the University Staff Association.
Key figures in UMEA were Joseph Deschenes, who was the first president, and Bernard Turner, who served as president from 1972 until MSEA's decertification in December 1977.
Constitution and by-laws, Executive Board and general body minutes, correspondence, contracts, legislative materials, grievance records, hearing transcripts and decisions pertaining to job reallocations, subject files, newsletters, and press releases, that document the activities and administration of the University of Massachusetts chapter of the Massachusetts State Employees' Association from 1955 to 1978. Records are organized into four series, including Administrative (1955-1977, n.d.), Contracts and Collective Bargaining Materials (1964-1981), Subject Files (1963-1978), and Personnel Actions (1967-1977) (restricted access).
This collection is organized into four series:
Includes correspondence between the UMEA and the University, 1964-1977. The Administrative series also includes general correspondence, limited minutes of UMEA Executive Board meetings, and UMEA newsletters, in addition to more routine union business. There is also correspondence between the UMEA and MSEA, as well as MSEA newsletters. The correspondence between the UMEA and MSEA document the relationship between the two organizations. A copy of the UMEA Constitution and Bylaws is included.
Copies of proposed articles exchanged during negotiations are arranged chronologically from 1969 to 1976.
Consists of the 1970 and 1976 contracts signed by the UMEA and the University. This series also contains research materials used in formulating contract proposals; information concerning MLRC unit decisions; and rules and procedures of the Massachusetts Bureau of Personnel and Standardization regarding collective bargaining for the years 1964-1973.
Copies of the 1970 contracts between the University and AFSCME Local 1776 have been moved to the University Archives, Record Group 40/5/S4, AFSCME Local 1776.
Subject files are arranged in topical order.
Comprises the bulk of the collection. Among the numerous subjects covered are affirmative action, public sector unionism, and women's issues. The subject files contain information about AFSCME Local 1776 as well as materials on the faculty unionization drive on campus. Parking problems at the university are well documented. In addition, there are documents on other state institutions and employees.
The Personnel Actions series is divided into two subseries. Most cases are arranged by name of appellant; some are arranged by department.
Subseries one contains grievance case materials, including evidence, correspondence, and decisions. Most cases are filed by name of the grievant. The second subseries concerns job reallocations. These materials include appeals forms, correspondence, supporting documents, hearing transcripts, and decisions.
Processed by Leslie Horner, January 1986.
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Cite as: Massachusetts State Employees' Association (MSEA). University of Massachusetts Chapter Records (MS 49). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.