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PSU/MTA’S position on Article 18

(“Work Schedules”)

There has been misleading information put forward by both the UMASS Amherst & Boston Human Resources Departments regarding Compensatory Time and hours of work, and the Negotiating Team for PSU/MTA would like to clarify our understanding of member rights under our new contract. 

We negotiated a standard work week, only.  We did not negotiate your work day.  Here it is, line by line.

18.1 (first sentence) The University’s standard business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The does NOT mean that a member’s work week will now be the above stated hours.  The hours stated are the Massachusetts statutory hours of business for state offices.  Your department may keep other hours, longer or shorter, or entirely different, (as further clarified in the second sentence.)  This statement should have virtually no effect on your Department’s current practices.

18.1 (second sentence) However, the parties recognize that, as professionals, the members of the bargaining unit have responsibilities that may require work at times other than the standard business hours, including nights and weekends.

This language is simply a rewrite of previous contract language, and so will also not affect your day.  Language from the previous contract is as follows: 
18.1 A.  Given the wide range of services the University provides, the parties recognize that work schedules for bargaining unit members vary widely within the standard payroll period, and certain individual bargaining unit members have schedules, consistent with the needs and goals of their department or program, that require them to provide services as part of their duties at night or on weekends…

18.1 (third sentence) Further, subject to the provisions contained in Section 18.2, the parties recognize that, as professionals, the members of the bargaining unit may occasionally be required to devote additional time to the completion of their work. 

This statement means that members may, on occasion, and clearly NOT on a regular basis, be required to devote additional time to complete a given task.  It should not be used as a reason to justify members working more than the regular work week on a consistent basis.  It also refers to Section 18.2, which covers Compensatory Time for exceptional and limited situations.

18.1 (final sentence) For the purpose of basic scheduling needs, as well as leave accrual and hourly base rate calculations, the regular work week of members of the bargaining unit is defined as 37.5 hours per week.

In most circumstances, the Union believes that this statement will have no effect on members.  There are some members who are currently required to work 40 hours per week, and so these members will have their schedules reduced.  Under no circumstances will a member be required to regularly commit more than 37.5 hours per week to work.

This makes no mention of a lunch period, nor is the lunch period mentioned at all in Article 18. 

Example 1:  you previously worked 8:30 – 5:00 and took a half hour lunch break, your schedule will be reduced.  Your department may require office hours of 8:30 – 5:00, but you can only be asked to regularly work 37.5 hours per week.  Subject to departmental needs, you may end up leaving earlier, or coming in later.

Example 2:  it was clarified during bargaining that a working lunch is not considered a lunch period. If you are doing work while you hold your sandwich or eat your salad, that is considered work time, and will be counted toward your 37.5 hours of work. However, if you are reading a book or magazine, or surfing the web, or off to the mall, it will be not be considered work time.

Collection of Compensatory Time data


Certain compensatory time will be considered “official” and will be recorded on your “time and attendance” sheets, and on your paystubs, after July 1, 2006.  Departmental compensatory time that you currently hold will not be converted to the new system.  The new system will start everyone out at 0, so your departmental recording system will have to remain in place until all of the time is used up or expires. 

The institution of “official” compensatory time will not prohibit the continuance of unofficial compensatory time.  Departments may continue any unofficial compensatory time scheme that they currently have, or may convert their current policies to official compensatory time.


This is a unit wide message. Please do not reply to this email. If you have questions or concerns call your campus Union office.

PSU Amherst      413 545-4509    
PSU Boston        617 287-6515    

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