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BYLAWS for Professional Staff Union UMA/MTA - UMA

Ratified September 13, 2006


We, the Professional Staff and Classified Supervisors at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, are dedicated to supporting the dignity of the individual, the empowerment of workers, democracy, diversity, and the promotion of social justice. 

We believe unions are the only vehicle to promote democracy in the workplace.  The union's mission is to empower members to participate in the decisions that affect our work lives. This begins with the pursuit of fair wages and safe and humane working
conditions, but also looks beyond conditions of employment in an effort to shape the University’s priorities and promote its mission. As a union of educational workers we aspire to be a part of an educational institution that offers an affordable and high quality education in service to the public.

Our mission will be accomplished only if the Union’s resources and power are directed to achieve the aims of the membership.  Members' needs and interests provide the incentive for collective action and change. Our individual talents and skills, as well as our opinions and ideas, are the conduit for this action.

To this end, we are committed to setting and achieving the highest possible standards of communication, technical expertise, member participation and widespread involvement in the governance of the union.  Whether it is an individual grievance, a contract negotiation or a political campaign, our union will wage a strong and principled fight for fairness and equity in public policy. The union is strengthened to the extent its members are empowered to participate in the defense of their own rights.

As part of the greater sisterhood and brotherhood of the organized labor movement, we share an historic commitment to diversity, social justice and economic democracy for all members of society - including the as yet unorganized.


Chapter Relation to Local:
The PSU-UMA and PSU-UMB Chapters are affiliated in a local that includes members of the professional bargaining unit on both campuses and the Classified Supervisors unit at UMA, in accordance with the articles and bylaws of the Joint Executive Council (JEC), as promulgated and amended from time to time.  Chapter officers shall participate on the JEC as provided for in its bylaws in addition to the duties stated in these bylaws.

Regular members shall also be members of the MTA and NEA; Inactive members shall be eligible for membership in MTA and NEA to the extent allowed by those bodies.

  • Regular membership:  Available to those employed in the bargaining units represented by the Local (PSU/MTA).  It shall also be available to those who are on unpaid leave due to an agreed-upon cost-savings plan related to a reduction in the bargaining unit workforce. 
  • Inactive/Retired membership:  Available to those formerly employed in bargaining units represented by PSU who have retired or are otherwise ineligible for regular membership but who wish to maintain their affiliation with PSU.  This includes those who have been laid off and retain recall rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and those who have been terminated and are litigating their termination before the relevant administrative or judicial bodies.
  • Rights: Active members have the right to attend and participate in meetings and events, to vote on all member issues and in elections, and to run for and hold office.  Inactive members have all the rights of active members except the right to vote and run for and hold office.
  • Dues: Regular members employed in bargaining units represented by PSU shall pay dues as established by the Chapter, Local, the MTA and the NEA.  New members shall arrange to pay such dues within 60 days of employment in the unit. The failure to make such arrangement or pay such dues shall result in termination.
  • Chapter dues for employed Regular Members to be established annually by the Chapter Executive Board (CEB) after completion of the budgetary process.
  • Local dues for employed Regular Members to be established annually by the JEC after completion of the budgetary process.
  • Inactive/retired members shall pay PSU as established by the CEB annually after completion of the budgetary process.

Membership meetings:

  • Powers to set general policy and revise or amend these bylaws, shall rest first with members.
  • Annual meetings shall occur between 4/15 and 5/15 each year.  Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting, with the agenda, shall be given to the members at least 7 days in advance.
  • Special meetings may be called by the CEB with the same notice requirement as the annual meeting.
  • The quorum for conducting official business at a membership meeting shall be at least 50 regular members in good standing present and voting. 

Delegates: (formerly known as area representatives)
This body is the backbone of the Union.  It is composed of elected representatives from geographic areas of the University, with a goal of 1 per 20 members in each area.  This body is empowered to:

  • approve the budget according to the bylaws for developing the budget below
    1. This requires a meeting scheduled 2 weeks in advance
    2. And also requires a quorum of  2/3rds of the delegate body present and voting
  • elect chairs of the committees who serve on the Chapter Board,
  • elect unit members to the Sick Leave Bank Board
  • elect unit members to the Salary Administration Appeals Board
  • elect PSU stewards and Chief Stewards
  • These require a meeting scheduled 2 weeks in advance
  • These can be done with 1/2 of the delegates present and voting

This body is further charged with keeping the Chapter Board apprised of the will of PSU members, and communicating to each delegates’ area of representation information from the Chapter Board.  This body shall meet at least 6 times per year.
Terms of delegates will be for 2 years, but the first constituted group will have half its members elected for 1 year so that future elections will be staggered, and half of the body may turn over every year.   Elections will be done in each geographic area individually; by email if possible or by campus mail, with the period of notice being 1 month and the election in 1 week.  Open seats may be filled by a special election called by the Election Committee when a candidate is identified.  Candidates should, but it is not mandatory, work in their area of representation.

Chapter Board:  (Composed of the 4 Chapter Officers plus 6 committee chairs)

Shall have executive powers of chapter, including preparation of annual budget for the chapter and recommending budget to delegate body; establishment of dues; interpret and enforce decisions of Membership; to name officers and members of committees in accordance with bylaws; to make special rules as needed to govern the affairs of the chapter; and to call special meetings of the Membership.

  • Shall be subject to recall like officers, and replacement upon resignation or recall. 
  • Shall have the power to remove, by two-thirds vote, a CB member elected to a specific position on recommendation of the Co-Chairs if s/he fails to perform the duties of the position to which s/he was elected.
  • If a Chapter Board seat is not filled by election, or the person in such seat resigns, the delegates or Chapter Board may nominate a member to fill such seat until the next election for the position, subject to confirmation by the delegate body.
  • Shall meet at least once per month and at least twice over the summer months (June-August), and as called by a Co-Chair.
  • Quorum: one-half of current CB members.
  • CEB shall establish other committees as needed in its judgment.

Chapter Officers:  (all elected unit-wide)
            Executive Board:   (This group is composed of 4 officers)
                        2 Co-Chairs
            Duties divided equally – each to discuss and decide

  • organize  and attend labor/management committee, including Sick Leave Bank reports
  • attend and actively participate in campus and higher education labor coalition
  • seek, maintain, and participate in political coalition, including human and civil rights issues
  • perform contract negotiation and ongoing CBA monitoring duties, co-chairing the bargaining committee
  • alternate the chairing of CEB meetings, and oversee the agenda development

                 Treasurer – oversee that funds are managed and expended consistent with the mission and objectives of the Chapter and all applicable laws, are held in account in an appropriate financial institution; fiscal year to be July 1 through June 30.  Duties -

  • Chair finance committee
  • Organize and monitor budget development
  • Records dues collection, monitors disbursement of funds
  • Maintain financial records, and make such reports as necessary
  • Remit funds to MTA and NEA as required

                                            Grievance Officer – monitors the effective processing of    
                        grievances and workplace problems, monitors contract enforcement

  • Organize and maintain network of stewards and chief stewards
  • Provide for training and support for above networks
  • Works closely with staff (chapter and/or MTA) to assure members needs are met fully and efficiently
  • All executive officers shall be elected at large and to three year terms.  All officers shall be elected in the same year. 
  • Terms run from July 1-June 30 of all officers.

Recall of Officers:  Upon petition of 20% of the regular membership, presented to the Chapter Board, a membership meeting will be called with a minimum of 20 days’ notice, and with a copy of the petition’s text.  The officer subject to recall shall have the right to notice of grounds for recall and opportunity to defend her/himself and to question petitioners.  The officer is recalled by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at meeting with quorum.

Resignation:  If an officer resigns or is recalled as above, CEB shall appoint a replacement, with the approval of the delegates, to serve until the next election for that position.

Six Committee Chairs (serving on the standing committees as currently established below and elected by the delegate body):

Committees: (Standing Committees, consisting of elected delegates and members appointed by CEB, whose chair is elected by delegates and serves on Chapter Board)

  • Communication – chair is CIO and serves on CB

- responsible for minutes, web page, email, E-news letter

  • Organizing/Education – chair serves on CB

- responsible for internal organizing, educating members about Union
- establish Elections committee, plan and run elections

  • Membership – chair serves on CB

- responsible for welcoming/orienting new employees/members
- data lists for MTA and local

  • Salary Administration Program (SAP) – chair serves on CB, works with staff (currently consultant)

- monitors member’s reviews
- establishes ‘SAP steward’ committee (delegates or appointed members)

  • Delegates – chair serves on CB, works with staff (prep training/agenda)

- composed of delegates
- responsibilities include planning/organizing meetings,
- communicating with delegate body, to and from CB

  • Unit B officer – sits on CB; responsibilities for unit B development and organization (allows for their own structure)

- communication with stewards and contract teams

  • Bargaining

– elected by membership prior to expiration of CBA. Number to be determined in consultation with PSU-UMB.


  • In unit-wide elections, a list of nominees shall be presented to annual membership meeting, and seek nominations from floor.
  • Elections to be conducted by secret ballot, 7-14 days after annual meeting, at places and times to be accessible to members.  Absentee ballots shall be made available to regular members upon written request.
  • Delegate elections shall be done in each area separately, either by mail or email

Standing Rules and Orders.

  • Meetings to be conducted by standing rules to be determined, with exceptions to Roberts’ Rules.
  • CEB and Membership shall have power to adopt, amend and repeal any standing rules and orders, consistent with the provisions of these Bylaws.

Adoption and Amendments:

  • These Bylaws shall be adopted by a 2/3rds vote of the members voting in secret ballot, after notice as specified herein and a public meeting/hearing for questions and comments form membership.
  • Amendments shall be made only by the Membership at a duly called meeting with notice of proposed amendment, with quorum, upon 2/3rds vote of those present.


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PSU Structure:

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