Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Massachusetts State Employees Association. University of Massachusetts Chapter

MSEA University of Massachusetts Chapter Records, 1955-1978.
10 boxes (4.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 049

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.

Historical Note

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.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

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).


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research, with the exception of Series 4 (Personnel Actions).

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Massachusetts State Employees’ Association (MSEA). University of Massachusetts Chapter Records (MS 49). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Leslie Horner, January 1986.


Additional Information

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Language
English.


Series Descriptions
1955-1977, n.d.

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.

1964-1981
Arrangement:

Copies of proposed articles exchanged during negotiations are arranged chronologically from 1969 to 1976.

Scope and content:

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.

Related material:

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.

1963-1978
Arrangement:

Subject files are arranged in topical order.

Scope and content:

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.

1967-1977
Arrangement:

The Personnel Actions series is divided into two subseries. Most cases are arranged by name of appellant; some are arranged by department.

Restrictions on access:

Restricted.

Scope and content:

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.

Contents List
Series 1. Administrative
1955-1977, n.d.
UMEA-AFSCME Correspondence
Box 1:1
Bargaining Unit List
Box 1:2
Constitution and Bylaws
1964
Box 1:3
Correspondence-General
1966-1977
Box 1:4
Deduction Lists
1969-1972, n.d.
Box 1:5
Executive Board Matters
1965-1975
Box 1:6
Library Correspondence
Box 1:7
MSEA Correspondence
1964-1977
Box 1:8
MLRC Decisions
1971-1975, n.d.
Box 1:9
Minutes
1974-1977
Box 1:10
Newsletters
1965-1977
Box 1:11-13
Representatives Manual
Box 2:14
Representatives Status
1972-1975
Box 2:15
University Correspondence
1964-1977
Box 2:16-17
Volunteer List
Box 2:18
USA Constitution
1977
Box 2:19
General
1955-1977
Box 2:20
Institutions Action Sheet
1972-1973
Box 2:21
Constitution, Bylaws, and Organization
1963, 1967
Box 2:22
Legislative Materials
1964-1974
Box 2:23
Meetings
1964-1977
Box 2:24-26
MSEA Newsletter
1959-1977
Box 3:27-29
Press Releases
1965-1976
Box 3:30

Series 2. Contracts and Collective Bargaining
1964-1981
Collective Bargaining–Contracts
1970-1981
Box 4:31-32
Collective Bargaining–Elections
1968
Box 4:33
Collective Bargaining Negotiations
1969-1976
Box 4:34-38
Collective Bargaining Publicity
1967-1968
Box 4:39
Collective Bargaining Research Material
1967-1973
Box 5:40
Rules and Procedures
1964-1974
Box 5:41
Unit Decisions
1969-1972
Box 5:42
Collective Bargaining–University Benefits
1969-1972
Box 5:43

Series 3. Suject files
1963-1978
AAUP
1972-1976
Box 6:44
Affirmative Action
1972-1975
Box 6:45
AFSCME Local 1776
1963-1977
Box 6:46
AFT Local 1359
Box 6:47
Blue Collar Upgrading 1974
1974
Box 6:48
Classification and Salary Study
1968
Box 6:49
Committee of Concerned Faculty
1973-1976
Box 6:50
Consultants
Box 6:51
Du Bois Papers
Box 6:52
Energy Conservation Committee
1974-1975
Box 6:53
Evaluations
Box 6:54
Graduate Student Senate
Box 6:55
Handicapped Accessibility
Box 6:56
Health and Safety Management
1970-1975
Box 6:57
xxx
Box 6:58
Health Insurance Material
1970-1977
Box 6:59
Job Descriptions
Box 7:60
Labor Laws
Box 7:61
Labor Unionism–General
1965-1974
Box 7:62
Layoffs
1971-1976
Box 7:63
Legislative Program
1973
Box 7:64
Managerial Positions
Box 7:65
Mass. Civil Service Handbook
Box 7:66
Maternity Leave
Box 7:67
NAGE Merger
1976-1977
Box 7:68
MSP/MTA
1975-1976
Box 7:69
Membership Audit
1973
Box 7:70
Membership Resignations
1967-1972
Box 7:71
MTA Today
Box 7:72
National Association of Governmental Employees (NAGE)
1977-1978
Box 7:73
Parking
1970-1974
Box 7:74-75
Pauma
1972-1975
Box 7:76
Personnel Department Notices and Policies
1964-1974
Box 7:77
Public Employee Alliance
1975-1977
Box 7:78
Public Employee Unionism–General
1969-1974
Box 7:79
Reference Material
n.d.
Box 8:80
State Administrative Bulletins
1965-1973
Box 8:81
State Agencies
1972-1974
Box 8:82
State Budget
Box 8:83
State Employees Manual
Box 8:84
State Pay Plan
1958-1968
Box 8:85
State Reorganization Plans
1969-1976
Box 8:86
State Retirement System
1971-1973
Box 8:87
Student Unions
1974-1976
Box 8:88
Tuition Waiver
1973-1975
Box 8:89
US Dept. of Labor Publications
1967-1974
Box 8:90
University Board of Trustees
1967-1973
Box 8:91
University Budget
1972-1975
Box 8:92
University–General
1968-1976
Box 8:93
Women’s Movement
1972-1977
Box 8:94
Miscellaneous Clippings
Box 8:95

Series 4. Personnel Actions
1967-1977
Restrictions on access:

Restricted.

Grievances (restricted)
1967-1977
Box 9
Reallocations (restricted)
Box 10

Subjects
  • Collective labor agreements--Education, Higher--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
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