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Massachusetts State Employees' Association (MSEA). University of Massachusetts Chapter Records, 1955-1978
10 boxes (4.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 49

Abstract:
Group founded at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1943 to protest proposed changes in the Massachusetts state employees' retirement system. By 1969, the group became the exclusive bargaining agent for the University's administrative, clerical, and technical employees. Includes constitution and by-laws, Executive Board and general body minutes, correspondence, contracts, legislative materials, grievance records, hearing transcripts and decisions pertaining to job reallocations, subject files, newsletters, and press releases, that document the activities and administration of the University of Massachusetts chapter of the Massachusetts State Employees' Association from 1955 to 1978.

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research, with the exception of Series 4 (Personnel Actions).

Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Historical Note

The Massachusetts State Employees' Association (MSEA) was founded in 1943 to protest proposed changes in the Massachusetts state employees' retirement system. On May 21, 1964, the University of Massachusetts Employees' Association (UMEA) was chartered by the MSEA. The UMEA's relationship with the MSEA was loose. The MSEA local chapters were completely autonomous. Every chapter had an Institution officer who served as liaison between the MSEA and the local chapter. The UMEA's purpose was to protect the rights of employees at the University of Massachusetts in all matters affecting their employment. However, state employees in Massachusetts were not permitted to bargain collectively until the enactment of Chapter 149, Section 178F on July 1, 1964.

In 1966, the MSEA petitioned the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission (MLRC) to become the exclusive bargaining agent for all non-professional employees at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) also petitioned the MLRC to become the elected representative for the same group of employees. The result of this election was split and a run-off election was held in May 1969. This second election resulted in MSEA becoming the exclusive bargaining agent for the administrative, clerical, and technical employees at the University of Massachusetts.

The UMEA worked to improve wages, to increase job security, and to safeguard employee health insurance programs. The UMEA negotiated its first collective bargaining agreement in 1970. This contract expired in 1973. It was not until 1976 that the UMEA successfully negotiated its second contract. During the three year span in which members worked without a contract, the UMEA continued activity on such issues as job classifications, and fought to keep employee parking fees at a minimum. The UMEA also survived a decertification drive led by AFSCME Local 1776.

In January 1977, the MSEA affiliated with the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) to become the MSEA/NAGE. The UMEA officers opposed this merger and led a successful decertification drive against the MSEA/NAGE.

In December 1977, the Massachusetts Teachers Association was certified as the exclusive bargaining agent for the administrative, clerical, and technical employees at the University of Massachusetts. The local chapter is the University Staff Association.

Key figures in UMEA were Joseph Deschenes, who was the first president, and Bernard Turner, who served as president from 1972 until MSEA's decertification in December 1977.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Constitution and by-laws, Executive Board and general body minutes, correspondence, contracts, legislative materials, grievance records, hearing transcripts and decisions pertaining to job reallocations, subject files, newsletters, and press releases, that document the activities and administration of the University of Massachusetts chapter of the Massachusetts State Employees' Association from 1955 to 1978. Records are organized into four series, including Administrative (1955-1977, n.d.), Contracts and Collective Bargaining Materials (1964-1981), Subject Files (1963-1978), and Personnel Actions (1967-1977) (restricted access).


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research, with the exception of Series 4 (Personnel Actions).

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Massachusetts State Employees' Association (MSEA). University of Massachusetts Chapter Records (MS 49). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Leslie Horner, January 1986.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Language
English.