New Members

Welcome to the Professional Staff Union!

Our goal is to build a union that reflects the needs and desires of our members and connects those to the needs and desires of 100,000 other public education employees throughout Massachusetts.

Become a Union Member

Benefits that we have won though contract negotiation (and which we keep working to defend and extend every time we negotiate) include:

  • Vision and dental coverage premiums that are paid through employer contributions;
  • Extended Family and Medical Leave;
  • A sick bank for members to use in case of personal or family illness, and to ensure that all parents have a 6 month parental leave;
  • A minimum of 20 days vacation a year, plus paid holidays, personal and sick time;
  • Tuition waivers for staff, spouses and dependent children.

Union membership vs. agency fee payer status

As a UMass professional staff member, you may either join the Professional Staff Union or pay an “agency fee.” Benefits won in the union contract apply to — and the union is legally required to represent — all professional union staff, even if they are not union members. The agency fee covers member services rendered by the union but does not contribute to the union’s political advocacy to support public higher education. Even though union dues are slightly higher than the agency fee, most of the university’s professional staff join the union; the additional money paid by union members helps ensure a strong voice on Beacon Hill for higher education employees.

Union members also have access to a range of additional benefits. Below is a comparison of the two classifications:

Union members    Agency fee payers

Are covered by the union contract; can get help from union with contractual matters      

Are covered by the union contract; can get help from union with contractual matters

Can participate in all PSU votes

Can only vote on contract ratification. Cannot participate in electing union officers, union negotiating team or other leadership

Can serve on PSU committees and help set the union’s priorities.

Cannot participate in setting union priorities or hold union office

Are covered by $1M insurance policy which protects against lawsuits connected with your employment


Get MTA group purchasing discounts on auto, homeowners and life insurance, mortgage refinancing, tax preparation, gym memberships and more


Get  MTA discounts on admission to over 1,000 museums, theaters, stores, sports events, ski areas and more


Can get free legal advice and representation for employment discrimination, unemployment, retirement, civil rights violations, privacy issues, workers’ compensation


Can get help with legal costs incurred in defending against alleged employment-related legal charges


Get reduced-fee legal services for non-employment problems



Union dues, full-time employees: $847.23 per year*

Union dues, half-time employees: $435.12 per year*

Agency fee, full-time employees: $529.38 per year*, estimated†

* Both union dues and the agency fee are pro-rated for new employees depending on your date of hire.

† The final agency fee is not set until after the year ends, because it is calculated to reflect all actual allowable expenses the union incurs in bargaining and contract enforcement.

Join today