The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Provost Announcement of One-year MSP Agreement

Provost Announcement of One-year MSP Agreement

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that UMass President Marty Meehan has just approved an agreement reached between the campus administration and the Massachusetts Society of Professors (MSP) to extend the current collective bargaining agreement by one year with certain modifications.

The one-year agreement freezes salaries and other cost items at current levels and covers the period beginning July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. The contract extension includes innovative “crisis response” provisions that will facilitate the University’s carefully designed reopening plans. These provisions will ensure that much of our traditional in-person curriculum is transformed into high-quality, fully online courses that will incorporate significant student engagement and the academic rigor that UMass Amherst students have come to expect. The crisis response provisions include summer and holiday work requirements, a compression of the traditional academic work year and required compliance with University Quality Standards in the development and delivery of online courses.

We are grateful to the MSP and the faculty and librarians they represent for their collective dedication to our students and for their partnership with us during these challenging times. I want to publicly acknowledge the excellent work of the bargaining teams in reaching this agreement that will enable a safe reopening of the University this fall without compromising the student learning experience. The agreement also reaffirms our commitment to excellence in research, outreach and engagement by giving faculty flexibility in the future to refocus on their cutting-edge research programs and service to the community and profession through phased workload adjustments and enhanced sabbatical leave. Among other things, the agreement creatively repurposes existing collective bargaining funds to provide resources for technology and equipment necessary to transform our face-to-face instruction to high-quality online instruction and to offset child and eldercare expenses.

Implementation of the agreement is currently underway in consultation with campus partners. I encourage you to review the agreement as well as the summary of key changes and FAQ documents posted on the Provost’s website for more information.

Any questions about the agreement should be addressed to Academic Personnel at

John McCarthy
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs