The Caucus for a Democratic Union believes FSU members should not ratify the tentative agreement on parking for the following reasons:
1) The agreement undercuts solidarity with our sister unions by weakening their bargaining position; It makes future joint union resistance more difficult.
2) The agreement sets a precedent for excessively high parking fees for other members of the community, including students. The urban mission of UMass Boston depends upon affordability. At a campus where over 90% of students are commuters, parking must be affordable.
3) This agreement constitutes a reduction in FSU members’ wages, and disproportionately harms lower earning members of our bargaining unit.
4) The administration should not be balancing its budget on the backs of the people who work and go to school here.
5) A YES vote will be a DEFEAT with long-term negative consequences:
- Ratification of this agreement will be interpreted by administration and the campus community as an endorsement of a process and outcome that is unacceptable.
- If we ratify this agreement, we will open the door to the imposition of future demands as administration struggles with debt accrued over decades of mismanagement and inadequate state funding; The union will have demonstrated an inability to organize meaningful resistance against such demands.
See also the following letter from our staff colleagues:
We write to tell you that your decision to accept a better parking deal for yourselves rather than bargain with the staff unions is, in our opinion, unconscionable. As has often been noted, the administration views faculty and staff very differently. They care more about the faculty and have more respect for them and their work. Well now the staff knows that you, the faculty, feel the same way. The decision to bargain separately, to only look out for yourselves, and to get the best deal you could even as it hurts others sends a very clear message: we are not your people and you are willing to sacrifice the good of the whole for the benefit of the few.
This is how the administration wins. This is how we get steamrolled again and again. Separating the unions is the first step in defeating them. The fissures that this will create in the relationships between faculty and staff will not be repairable. We will not forget that you were willing to abandon us in this fight in order to save some money for yourselves. You have helped to perpetuate a two-class system. We always knew the administration felt that staff are second class and when you vote to ratify this deal, we will know that you feel that way, too.
Finally, here is a statement passed by the Faculty Council this week:
“Be it resolved that the Faculty Council of the University of Massachusetts Boston moves that the parking rate increases the university plans to implement are an undue financial burden on many faculty as well as staff and students; it encourages faculty not to be on campus unless necessary and, for some, the entire proposed faculty salary increase will be consumed by parking. The proposed parking rate increases are reflective of rates at private institutions which is discordant with a public institution for education. We continue to assert that faculty, staff, and students should not be made responsible for the necessity of a new garage nor do we accept an obligation and burden for the garage costs and the debt service.”