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Delegate Council Meeting Minutes


Note: Meeting commenced at 12:11pm, Delegate Chair Justin Cobb presiding, no quorum recognized.

Note: Before beginning with the agenda for the day the Delegate Chair asked  if there was any objection to putting aside the normal orders of the day to focus on a couple of agenda items.  Hearing no objections the meeting began with the following.

Agenda Item: (Merit Max Meeting Update)

Note: The Chair recognized JoAnne Martone who presented an overview of the meeting that occurred just prior to this one.  Discussion ensued including the following;

  • All present at Merit Max meeting signed a Merit Max petition to go out for further signature by targeted groups for a July 1st deadline.
  • Web site presentation by Paul to go out to delegates also.

Agenda Item: (Negotiations Update)

Note: The Chair again recognized JoAnne Martone who provided an update and answered questions presented by delegates, assisting her was Jane Lynch-Gilbert.  As discussion & presentation ensued the following topics were included;

  • Two more dates set 6/21 & 6/26 for a hopeful July 1st deadline
  • Topics still on the table included Merit Max & Cell Phone Use (Mgmt)
  • Current economic proposal 2,1/2% COLA with 1% merit pool(still under discussion)

Agenda Item: (Dues Increase)

Note:  The Chair recognized Bruce Feldman to open this item up for discussion.  A couple of delegates indicated they had not received information but the majority present was aware.  After brief discussion Joanne Martone was recognized and indicated as of June 5th, as a Local Item this was still under discussion concerning how to proceed.

Agenda Item: (Delegate organization network)

Note:  The Chair turned the meeting over to the Organization / Education representative Bruce Feldman to open up discussion on this item.  Bruce began by stating some background noting the previous vote of the Delegate Council to stay in an Executive Area organization model.  He also indicated he was looking for a July seating date for the new delegates noting that there were still (3) seats vacant in Academic Affairs.  As Discussion began Justin Cobb was recognized and indicated that he would not be running again for Delegate Chair, and that after the new delegate body was elected they would have to elect a new Delegate Chair and probably a new Communications Chair.

Note: Bruce took the floor again to note that his Committee would be sending out an on-line survey concerning training needs and ask those present if they had any further suggestion.  Joanne Martone was recognized and indicated that MTA was also offering some training, and that there was a meeting occurring to discuss this as potentially a combined effort.  Topics presented by Delegates included the following;

  • PMP
  • Diversity
  • Leadership
  • FLSA (Exempt – Non Exempt)
  • Computer Technical Training

A member (Francis) rose to also indicate that there was still time to sign up for the MTA Summer Conference, and listed some additional training ideas.

  • Advanced Computer skills
  • Database instruction (File maker Pro)
  • How to utilize your Union (Structure, who to contact etc)
  • Offering an open house / Reception (Annual Maybe?)

Bruce Feldman then took the floor to list his E-mail address if any member has any other training ideas, and continued the discussion on organizing the Executive Areas with a goal of one delegate for every twenty members.  Discussion continued with delegates present agreeing that each executive area should decide how best to meet this goal and ensure each member is communicated to.  It was noted that the optimal would be a face to face discussion.  Consensus was also reached on holding off until after July when the new delegate members will be on board.  Discussion ensued with Delegate Chair Justin Cobb pointing out that meeting time was growing short.  Bruce took the floor to ask for representatives from each Executive Area  who after discussion would be willing to come up, get list of members in their area and organize a meeting to discuss with other delegates how to best reach these individuals. 

Note:  As discussion ended Organization / Education Committee members present indicated they would be available and willing to help facilitate any Executive Area meeting on this issue.  Membership listing packets were given out to the following;

  • Administration & Finance – Peter Volpe
  • Athletics – Kathy Boyd
  • Student Affairs – Judy Gagnon
  • OIT – Mike Gilbert
  • University Advancement – Peter West
  • Academic Affairs – Karen and Francis

Agenda Item: (One University System)

Note:  the Delegate Chair took the floor and gave a brief opening statement before recognizing Peter West.  Delegate West expressed what information he had concerning this item and that he was told some “positions” would have to be cut & the impact this would have on at least his office.  Since time was running short the Delegate Chair asked to keep statement short and that this would be an agenda item for the July meeting.  Peter West concluded his statement and it was agreed to adjourn the meeting at 1:07pm.


Respectively Submitted By

Justin P. Cobb


Professional Staff Union Delegate Council
Draft Meeting Minutes for April 18, 2007
(submitted by Colette Nadeau mostly)

I. Welcome – acknowledge new delegate council members
II. Committee and other reports
III. DC meeting facilitation proposal
IV. DC communication network proposal

Attendance: (Fran has the list for Justin)

Note: Fran Fortino facilitated today’s meeting, sitting in for DC Chair Justin Cobb.

I.  Welcome

Fran welcomed the newly elected delegates and thanked them for volunteering:
(Acad. Affairs) Wes Blixt, Lu Butler, Nancy Condon, Karen Hayes, Sally Nichols, Risa Silverman; (A & F) Sam Welson; (OIT) Beth Ebacher, Debbie Sampson; (Advancement) Carol-Ann Batchelder; (Athletics) Kathy Boyd, Jeanie Orr; (Chancellor) Oscar Collins

II.  Committee and Other Reports

PHENOM (Ferd Wulkan briefly spoke and appealed to DC members to):
* Join the bus to Boston next Wednesday, 4/25/07, to visit each state legislator’s office.
* Fill out and submit yellow cards today in order to get the cards ready for next Wed.
* Help at work parties on 4/19 & 4/24/07 after work in Hampshire House room 121 to sort the PHENOM cards.
* Send emails to for more info and electronic cards.

Salary Administration Program (SAP) Committee (Wendy Matys, Chr.):
* Appeals Board - we need 1 or 2 more elected to this board so submit nominations. Any PSU member can be nominated or nominate themselves.  It is helpful if the nominees have some personnel experience related to SAP policies, off cycle and equity reviews for position levels and salary, etc.  Nominations to Wendy:
* Wendy sent a memo to Human Resources about outstanding reviews.  Also, we want to improve the review process and get rid of discrepancies.  Will follow up soon.
* SAP stewards – 6 members have volunteered and the SAP committee will hold a summer training on being a steward; all delegates will be invited.
* The SAP committee is reviewing the salary schedule cap of merit maximum. This issue is at the bargaining table.

Membership Committee (Roland Giguere, Chr.):
* Weekly PSU orientations following immediately on the Human Resources’ New Employee Orientation program on Tuesday mornings have restarted as of March 6, 2007.
* Have since then signed up 50 of the 130 members on the PSU list that had been missed.


Elections Committee (Fran Fortino and Colette Nadeau co-Chrs.):
* Malabi Choudhuri, Jim Hunt, Colette Nadeau, Andrew Vernon, and Peter Volpe have agreed to serve on the elections committee.  Thanks.
* We will hold elections in June for half of the delegates who will then serve a 2-year term. Half of the first group of delegates is serving a 1-year term that ends 6/30/07 allowing future elections to be staggered.

Communications Committee (Andrew Vernon a.k.a. Vern):
* PSU Website was redesigned; take a look:
* Some links/pieces are missing from site; contact Vern with questions and suggestions.
* We are revising the mailing list for real time accuracy; if you have trouble getting emails, then contact Vern.

III.  DC Meeting Facilitation Proposal
* The Organizing/Education Committee (Colette Nadeau) presented a DC meeting organization and facilitation proposal, which was sent to the DC members for review prior to this meeting.
* Each of six points was read, discussed, revised and accepted as below by majority vote of DC members present. 

Proposal for PSU Delegate Council meeting organization and facilitation:
1. AGENDA - Any DC member may submit agenda items to the DC Chair prior to the regular meeting date, or, may make a motion to add an urgent item to the agenda at the meeting. The DC Chair will send the draft agenda to the Communications Committee for posting on the PSU website prior to the meeting date. (

2. DATES - Future dates for regular DC meetings have now been set with DC member input:  meetings will be scheduled for the 3rd Wednesday of every month, avoiding school vacation and other academic vacation weeks when possible. Next meetings have been set for May 16 and June 20. Additional meetings may be scheduled as needed; meetings may be canceled if there are no agenda items. Conference Services will be contacted to release the room if meetings are canceled.
3. NOTICE - The DC Chair will send meeting notices and/or reminders to the DC Members in a timely fashion at least one workday, preferably one work week, in advance and include a link to the draft agenda and draft minutes of the previous meeting.

4. MINUTES - A DC member selected by the Communications Committee in advance will take minutes at each meeting. The Communications Committee will send the draft minutes to the DC Chair and post them on the PSU website. Minutes of the previous meeting will be amended and/or approved at the start of each meeting by vote of those DC Members present.

5. ATTENDANCE - The DC Chair will use sign-in sheets to document DC Member attendance.

6. FACILITATION - The DC Committee Chairs, when present, will sit up front with the DC Chair in order to give reports, answer questions, etc.

IV.  DC Communication Network Proposal
* The Organizing/Education Committee (Bruce Fieldman) submitted a communications/ organizing network proposal, which was sent to the DC members for review prior to this meeting. The proposed network has about 20 members per delegate based on either/both building location and department/executive area affiliation. The committee initially had attempted to structure it so that delegates would only contact members in their executive area. However, in many cases the large physical distances would not allow easy personal contact for delegates to provide information to PSU members.
* There was much discussion and time ran out so this agenda item is to be continued at the next regular meeting.

Negotiating Committee (Kathy Rhines)
* All proposals have been submitted, but yet to see money offer from UMass.  Updates are on the Website, which is working.

Status of Women Council (Joanne Levenson)
* You are invited to attend the conference on “Creating and Maintaining a Family Friendly Workplace at UMass Amherst” to be held on Friday, April 27 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. in the Cape Cod Lounge, Student Union Building. Free Lunch! No need to RSVP.  Featured speaker is Nancy Folbre. Release time is being requested from HR.

Quick questions and Answers
Union Dues (Kathy Rhines)
* Joint Executive Council JEC voted to adopt a $3.00 per week increase in union dues.  PSU Amherst Chapter Board agreed; we are now waiting on Boston’s reply.

Dental/Vision Benefits (Kathy Rhines)
* We will retain our current dental and eyeglass coverage; we are staying in the Massachusetts Public Employee Fund.


Delegate Council Meeting Minutes


Note: Meeting commenced at 12:11pm, Delegate Chair Justin Cobb presiding, no quorum recognized.

Agenda Item: (important reminder)
Note: The Chair recognized Joanne Martone who presented a reminder to all that the new vacation leave accumulation policy will take effect this November with the new max being 480hrs based on the 7.5hr day.

Agenda Item: (Elections Committee report and welcome for new delegates.)
Note: The Chair gave a brief update indicating that nominations and elections were held, and asking that any new delegates present please stand and introduce themselves.   After introductions were made, the Chair then notified those present that he would be stepping down as Delegate Chair at the next meeting indicating that this body would have some vacancies in the committee chair positions also, and asked that delegates present consider nominations for these leadership positions.  The next meeting is schedule for 09/19/07.  Committee Chair Fran Fortino was then recognized to provide the remainder of the report and a round of applause for all the new delegates.  He indicated & passed out a new delegate list noting one vacancy in Academic Affairs still remaining and suggested that delegates reach out and provide some suggested nominations.

  1. Action Item: Fran & JCobb to ensure that new Delegate Council List gets listed on WEB page

Agenda Item: (Negotiations update)
Note:  The Chair introduced Kathy Rhines who gave an update on this item noting that management had cancelled the 07/18/07 session, and that progress was being made but the economic package was still being determined.  The Union’s last offer and management’s current offer were listed, broken down in terms of a % raise, merit raise, Health and Welfare fund contribution and Professional Development money.  Discussion ensued concerning the remaining items still under consideration.  Negotiations Committee members present heard suggestions from delegates concerning how to progress.

Agenda Item: (W.I.L.D Report)
Note: Francis Corgnati was recognized and presented a report on her recent attendance to WILD. She noted the friendships made, the incredible level of diversity and that this was money well spent, she also indicated that she would like to attend again with other members from the delegate council.  Dale Melcher was recognized and congratulated Francis for her recent election to the MTA board of Directors.  After a congratulatory round of applause the next item was introduced.


Agenda Item: (Old Business – “One University System”)
Note: The Chair introduced this item as an open discussion, recognizing Peter West to provide what information he had to begin the discussion.  Lengthy discussion ensued involving many members on a range of topics including the following;

  1. Keeping the Database in Anherst rather then a move to Shrewsbury
  2. Will some or any jobs be lost?
  3. Truth to a Two Year Window
  4. Any interim changes
  5. M.O.U that Alumni has for access to databases
  6. What impact will any form of centralization have?

Kathy Rhines was recognized to provide an indication on what the union was currently doing concerning this item, including what the Campus Coalition was discussing.  It was noted that the information was changing and that reliable facts and information were hard to get.  One of the new delegates suggested the union get involved in the selection of the next Chancellor. 

Note: As time was running down the Chair asked council members to please use their eyes and ears and let the leadership know of any information or any ideas they may have to help sort this all out.  Kathy Rhines then indicated she was having a meeting with Vice Chancellor Joyce Hatch and would add this lack of information to her list of frustrations.  Hearing no further discussion on this item the meeting was adjourned.

Note: meeting adjourned @1:pm

Respectively submitted by,
Justin P. Cobb, Delegate Council Chair



Hot Topics:

Educators for a Democratic Union


FLSA (overtime eligibility)

Labor-Management Workplace Education Program

SERV: State Employees Responding as Volunteers Program

MTA Member Benefits

PSU Structure:

Joint Executive Council

Executive Committee

Chapter Board

Delegate Council

Negotiating Committee



Organization & Education

Elections Committee

Salary Administration

Sick Leave Bank Committee