Maria Estela Carrion
The Official Publication of the Massachusetts Community College Council / Volume 1, Issue 1 / August 1999
by Cathy Boudreau
The MCCC Classification Team received the professional staff interim report at the beginning of July. On July 18 it submitted its comments and concerns to the Board of Higher Education (BHE). As this newsletter goes to press, the MCCC Team anticipates that the final classification report will be completed and at the BHE around the third week of September. Once the report is received, the MCCC Team and the BHE will sit down to review the report and begin the process of impact bargaining over the recommendations. Presently, it is the Team's understanding that it would receive the final report but whether the report would contain recommendations to implement certain recommendation remains unanswered. Even if the consultants, DMG, did make recommendations, any recommendations that impact our contract have to be bargained.
As the MCCC moves into the final stage of finally receiving a classification report, the Chair of the BHE has changed, again. With the advent of James Carlin's resignation and Stephen Tocco appointment as the new chair, the MCCC finds itself working with the third BHE chair in just over four years. The Classification Team will meet with the new chair, Stephen Tocco, once the final report is received. At that time, the MCCC will give Tocco the bargaining history of how this classification study became part of the 1995-1998 contract. The Team remains committed to the wishes of the Annual Meeting delegates and the Board of Directors to keep classification negotiations separate from bargaining of the 1999-2002 successor agreement.
When impact bargaining begins, the MCCC expects that the presidents' bargaining team will be at the table. At this time, however, the MCCC has not been notified as to exactly who will impact bargaining for the BHE and/or the presidents. Within the next three weeks, most of these questions will be answered, and we will have a clearer picture of what this fall semester will look like for the Team and for membership vis-a-vis the classification.
The MCCC has centralized its operations in Auburn, MA. in Suite 200 at the Drury Square Professional Building, 319-A Southbridge Street (Route 12 North). The convenient location is just off Exit 9, Route 290. These offices remain a temporary solution to centralization strategy, but represent a quantum leap in efficiency according to Maria Estela Carrion, our new MCCC secretary.
The move was effective May 25, 1999. Equipment, records and furniture were moved from the home of Cathy X. Larson, retiring MCCC Treasurer to the new offices, under the direction of the newly appointed Treasurer, Maria Estela Carrion, Susan Dole, and Sarah Hovsepian of QCC, Worcester.
Sarah, a member of the MCCC Board of Directors, is credited with driving the search for an appropriate and economic location for the central office.
Daniel Dennis and Company, performed the audit known as the "OARC" or the 1996- 1997 Operational Audit of the MCCC. The OARC recommended the MCCC establish a central management information system to facilitate current operational needs and to help maintain an institutional memory. The management information system, or MIS, is a system that integrates all people, procedures, data, and equipment of an organization into a comprehensive system that produces all the required information for all levels of within the organization.
In order to achieve this end, the establishment of a central business office was recommended. A central contact point for the organization would consolidate much of the work now being produced in home offices by elected officers and hires of the MCCC. A small office with a fulltime office manager would more efficiently and economically maintain the MIS, particularly as related to membership records and day to day financial transactions.
The new Treasurer, Ms. Carrion, called for the immediate establishment of a hiring committee to produce a job description, and commence a hiring process for a first staff hire for the office. The result was the hire of office manager Sandra J. OConner, and data entry and billing person Aaron Poirier.
Carrion has been personally staffing the office from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. since its opening in June. On July 9th Sandra OConner and Aaron Poirier started, and judging by the flurry of activity when this writer visited on Thursday July 12, both "hit the ground running."
Ms. Carrion has sifted through boxes of long unexamined, unsorted records and was able to discard nonessential paper in the amount of half the volume which has been moved twice in the last two years. The remainder is encased in portable files stacked in the new space.
The office appears neat, tightly organized, and the energy level seems high as the new staff "take the bit in their teeth."
Contact data for the new office: Mailing address. Post Office Box 376, Auburn MA. 01501-0376. Location 319-A Southbridge Street (Route 12 North) Auburn in the Drury Square Professional Buildings. Phone 1-508-832-4522. Fax 1-508-832-4564. Toll Free Phone 1-877-442-MCCC (6222). Business hours and telephone availability Monday through Thursday for now.
Directions. Take exit 9 (Auburn Street) toward Auburn. Left at the first light. Drury Square Professional building is 100 feet on the right. 319A is the darker brown building set back. Second floor, first door on left, Office Center Suite 200. A receptionist will direct you to the MCCC offices.
This Months Big Question?
What is the question fielded most frequently by central office staff? The caller is most often a new or recent DCE faculty who wants to know how to obtain a copy of the contract. The most expedient and economic avenue to access a contract for DCE faculty is off the MCCC Website http://www.tiac.net/users/mccc/. The material is downloadable in a PDF format. The PDF format software is available on the site.
PDF stands for Portable Document Format. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated. It allows a document to be viewed and printed at high resolution on any system, retaining original graphics and fonts, even if the fonts are not installed on the viewers system.
New Faces at the Central Office
Sandy J. OConnor was hired in June and began work as Membership Coordinator for the new MCCC central office Monday, July 9. She comes to us from Anna Maria College where she was most recently employed. She graduated from Anna Maria with a degree in Business Administration seven years ago.
Married 12 years, she resides in rural Barry, Massachusetts, some 27 miles northwest of Auburn.
Sandy is primary care provider for two differently-abled canines. One is a blind Pomeranian who needs help up and down stairs, but can see enough with limited vision in his right eye to stop short of running into large objects like walls or trees. She also has a deaf black labrador with whom she communicates with a system of idiosyncratic signs.
It is Sandy who most often answers the phone at the office. She has been a quick study fielding the concerns of, primarily thus far, DCE new hires.
Our data entry person, 22 year old Aaron Poirier is currently pursuing a degree in Business Administration at Quinsigamond CC where he also tutors in computer sciences and has accumulated data entry experience in the employ of the college.
Aaron is also a pet person, owning a cat and two ferrets. "The cats the boss, but the ferret duo enjoys tormenting the boss with antics like climbing on the kittys back."
From President Sue Dole, August 30, 1999
It is difficult to believe that we are beginning the last semester of the millennium. However, it is a fact. Are all beliefs fact? If we believe something, is it true or can we make it true? Where do perception, reality, motivation and action fit in the scheme of things? Interesting questions!
Rather than engage in what may seem like an abstract philosophical discussion, I will share with you why I believe in the MCCC and in our ability to meet and shape the future. On a separate sheet, I have provided you with an outline of some of the recommendations put forth in the Classification study. Also included in this packet you will find a letter from Chancellor Koplik regarding classification.
I believe that the MCCC is a POWERFUL union. There is power in our collective strength. There is power in our relationship with one another, and our dynamic relationship with the employer. There is power in our profession. There is power in our ability and willingness to make our choices democratically. There is power in our ability to distinguish between thoughts that are motivated by strength and those that are motivated by fear and illusion. There is power in our ability to act from positions of strength rather than reacting out of fear. There is the ultimate power: our belief in the strength of unionism.
The challenges we will face this year will demand from much from each of us. We are on the cusp of great change in our professional lives. The Leadership of the MCCC is accountable to you and we are vigilant in monitoring and shaping these changes. We are relentless in the pursuit of equity for all of us. We are always carrying your concerns foremost in all that we do as union officers.
In the upcoming year, we must, as an organization, focus on that which we can control and assert our collective energy in that direction. We must conclude the impact bargaining and provide the political action necessary to fund the results of the classification study. Classification must be implemented with the assurances of equity in the present and future. It is not enough to place people in the new salary system- such a structure must reflect necessary future enhancements and changes. Seventeen million dollars a year should keep us focused and motivate each of us into action.
This year we are bargaining new contracts for both the DAY and DCE units. Within the next few weeks, representatives of our Day unit will be meeting with the new BHE Chairperson, Stephen Tocco, and the Chancellor to discuss all aspects of the classification study from impact bargaining through funding, and begin discussions about the next round of bargaining. Our DCE team is at the table. All reports indicate that the negotiations are progressing well. For a number of reasons, it is in the best interest of all parties concerned to conclude the collective bargaining on the contracts.
We are open to making the best deal for all our members. We will resist the temptation to specify and/or try to determine any specific outcome at the outset. When our employer, the Board of Higher Education, and the presidents ask what I want I say, "The best deal." When asked what the best deal, I say, " What do you have to offer?" I truly believe the cards are in our favor if only we have the collective strength to play out the deal. At the same time, we will remain steadfast in protecting our contractual rights. Attacks on our rights will not go unchallenged!
In closing, what is the most important thing to remember is that we are a powerful union. We are facing the future from a position of strength. I asked you to join with me over this coming year to put our best union foot forward and shoulder to shoulder do the best we can for ALL of us.
Susan T. Dole, President
Prepared by, Susan Dole MCCC President
Within the next few weeks, the MCCC anticipates the BHE will notify us that they have received the final report on the Classification Study and we will begin bargaining the impact of the results. As of July 18, 1999, the MCCC has reviewed the faculty and professional staff interim reports and has responded to each report with comments or questions. This update will provide you with as much information as possible without violating the embargo.
No. of professional staff evaluated: 403
Recommended Adjustments: $2,039,386
This salary system is based on points that have a dollar value. A minimum base salary is established for the faculty and from there the criteria within the point system would be added creating a new salary. The professional staff positions would be placed in one of seven pay grades and from there criteria with the point system would be added thereby creating a new salary. Given existing inequities, individual raises may vary widely.
This summary is intended to give you a brief sketch of the recommendations of the study. While on the surface some of the issues around classification may seem daunting, they are all subjects of impact bargaining. With the assistance of the NEA and the MTA, the MCCC has the skills and resources necessary to bring the entire process of classification, from impact bargaining through funding, to satisfactory closure.
You may ant to start visiting the MCCC web page, MCCC@tiac.net, on a weekly basis. We will start posting classification updates on the page as needed. It will serve as an excellent source for accurate and timely information.
The MCCC Board of Directors gave their stamp of approval to the appointment of Maria Estela Carrion, a Sociology Professor at Quinsigamond CC, to take over immediately for a year as Treasurer of the MCCC. Ms. Carrion replaces elected Treasurer Cathy X Larson who resigned effective June 1st. The treasurers position had been posted after Cathy extended responsibly adequate notice of her resignation. Interviews of applicants were thorough and the decision to hire Ms. Carrion was weighed carefully by the Executive Committee before the recommendation to hire was put to the BOD.
Ms. Carrion received an Ab.D. from the School of Arts and Sciences at BU, an M.A. in Counseling from UConn, and her bachelors from Hunter College. In addition to her current employ at QCC, she has taught at UMass Boston, Simmons, BU, and for the Hispanic Leadership Development Project. Her administrative resume is also substantial, including research projects and an assistant dean stint in Administration and Finance at UMass Boston, and directorships in the Hispanic Office of Planning and Evaluation, League of United Latin American Citizens, and as an Administrative Services Officer at Harvard, among others. Her extensive and expansive slate of publications include numerous works on themes of economics, employment, health care occupations, families, dropouts, public housing, class and unionism. Her committee services, consisting of appointments to academic, community and budgetary studies, defy enumeration.
Estela and her husband reside in Boston.
Ms. Carrion intends to reorganize the Treasurers office, in keeping with guidelines of OARC, to shift the duties of dues collection, billing, and data management, phone response and mailing to the office manager and data entry hires. The Treasurer post will become more freed up for oversight and planning as befits and organization of our current size.
Estelas persona is as impressive as her vitae. The MCCC leadership is confident that she has the savvy and grit to reorganize the Treasurers office according to the recommendations of the 1997 audit.
The annual MTA Williamstown Summer Conference had a visit from newly appointed chair of the BHE, Stephen P. Tocco. The MTA invited Tocco to come out and meet MTA higher education members, and to the surprise of many both in the administration and higher education, he accepted. On Thursday morning, August 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Chairperson Tocco talked to, and fielded questions from, about 50 higher education attendees. MTA leaders, including MCCC Phil Mahler, counted about 18 or so MCCC members at that meeting.
Tocco has participated in the Weld-Cellucci administration since the outset. Cellucci brought Tocco into the 1990 Weld campaign. Tocco served as a senior aid in the early years of the Weld administration, and became Welds secretary of economic affairs. "As secretary of economic affairs, he saw firsthand the importance of having a well-trained work force." He drafted the emergency plan to shrink state bureaucracy during the budget crisis of the early 90s. In 1993 he was put in charge of Massport, where he championed privatization.
Many in the Cellucci administration lobbied the Governor to choose someone else as the BHE chair because he is considered something of a maverick on Beacon Hill. Comment about his dearth of experience in education was made at the time of his BHE appointment. He had worked closely with Michael Hooker, the president of UMass before William Bulger, in examining the role higher education might play in bolstering the educational level of the workforce in the Commonwealth. He noted at the Williamstown meeting that he was an adjunct professor in higher education for two years.
MCCC leaders in attendance at the Williamstown meeting had an initial impression of the Chair of "a down to earth, concerned, committed individual. He spoke as if he genuinely cares about Mass higher education as if he genuinely respects it, and as if he is not interested in attacking academias institutions." Obviously only time will permit us to assess the accuracy of this impression.
The highlights related to MCCC interests and contract settlements, including classification
The Chair said he wants to settle the current negotiations. He doesnt want to waste anyones time wrangling in negotiations. He pledged to work hard to find middle ground. He isnt planning to give away the store but plans to set his own agenda as he reaches his stride.
He emphasized that he is still in a learning mode. It is believed that he already has been briefed on classification. He wants the BHE to spend more time on campuses, perhaps on the days of their meetings.
He personally wants to put himself in the life of a professor, and understand better what we do.
He stated that he wants to get rid of the sniping. He believes that reciprocated trust, in is very important and must be rebuilt.
He said "part of a key to working together will be the willingness, by all parties, to let go of the past."
He did not apologize for his political views, but he pointed out that he was on the staff of a democratic congressman as well as having worked very closely with republican governors. He stated his belief that generally people in the workplace need to be challenged to do better. He said he doesnt like the word privatization, but does believe in the benefits of competition. He noted that this may, or may not, apply to educators in higher ed. He noted that for as long as he has known Gov. Cellucci, two big issues have been important to the governor: domestic violence, and workforce development.
Several MCCC and higher education attendant speakers told the Chair that his willingness to meet and speak frankly and openly was a real breath of fresh air for us. The mood of those in attendance was cautious optimism. There was a sense that we may have a chair who acknowledges room for improvement in our states higher education systems, but also respects and values it, much as William Bulger has proceeded in working with the University of Massachusetts.
Susan Dole and the MCCC leadership have requested a meeting with him at his earliest convenience.
The new tabloid sized format is intended to create more space for reader/ member input in the form of contributions in writing to the newsletter. We welcome letters to the editor of up to 200 words, subject to editing and published if timely and appropriate. Letters submitted in electronic format will be favored, but fax or snail mail contributions are encouraged.
Things are coming to a head. Despite the best effort and intention of our leadership, the Classification study will be reported, and hence is likely to be negotiated, in the same time frame as we deal with the successor Day and DCE contracts. Some would surmise this is by design of the employer. The study will likely function in framing, in whole or part, the employers asking package.
A highlight of this summers reading was Sebastian Dungaree's The Perfect Storm, an account of the 1991 storm in which the Gloucester longliner Andrea Gale was lost with all hands. The storm was a confluence of two tropical storms creating a weather event of colossal and, for the unprepared, destructive parameters. The metaphor is compelling.
Seasoned sailors are proactive, a function of natural selection. Sailors anticipate the weather and trim the vessel before conditions overcome them. Keeping an eye to the weather is perhaps the most fundamental factor in successful voyaging.
The leadership has been dutiful in preparing the membership with information and suggestions over the last months. The MCCC webpage contains extensive coverage of the history of the Classification effort and the best manner of preparing for political action.
In these waning days of summer, the weather is seductively balmy and lulling. But storm clouds gather on the horizon.
A prudent sailor stands ready. Some storms skirt us by and some hit with their full fury - sometimes a storm is what best clears the haze, and brings on a bright tomorrow. But a prudent sailor stands ready.
Long after the reader puts down The Perfect Storm a single chilling phrase resounds in the preconscious of the reader, "Shes coming on boys, and shes coming on strong."
Arlene Isaacson of MTA Governmental, was the featured guest at an MCCC Strategic Action Meeting on Wednesday, May 26 at the Ramada Inn, Auburn, MA. MCCC VP and Statewide political Action Coordinator Phil Mahler has called the meeting in response to requests of local campus political action coordinators. Coordinators and chapter presidents or their representatives were invited.
The meeting opened with a round-the-table report on campus activities to that date. Attendees shared gleanings from spring meetings with legislators. The importance of personalizing the issue by the presence and testimonials of underpaid faculty and professionals was a recurrent theme. Some chapters had individuals step forward and point out their rung in the 28 step scale accompanied by their years of service.
The dearth of knowledge of the MCCC of guest legislators was also repeated regularly.
The effectiveness of the PowerPoint presentations was noted. Both the form and content added to the overall impression. Charts and graphs highlighting salary inequities were frequently a point of comment.
MCCC Vice President Mahler shared a compilation of the states legislators accompanied by his best tally to date of those who had been contacted. Eighteen of the 40 senators, and 48 of the 153 representatives had been contacted at that date. Some redesignation of pols and colleges to the end of maximizing coverage was accomplished. A goal of total coverage by summers end was suggested.
The MCCC had a pre-meeting get together with MTA leaders on May 20th to insure MTA support. MTA presence included Attorney Ira Fader, Higher Ed Director Priscilla Lyons, Communications Coordinator Jerry Spindel, Governmental Consultant Arlene Isaacson, and Vice President Cathy Boudreau.
Arlene Isaacsons report to the Strategic Action Summit emphasized MTA support, but warned the difficulty of funding negotiating the legislature would be proportional to the amount requested. She also cautioned the legislature is loath to fund anything retroactively.
The dollar amount of funding will be necessary to press political action. It was noted by attendees that many legislators interest in the issue seems to wane when they understand the dollar amount is not yet determined. The determination of this amount will likely be known in the Fall of 1999. All efforts to date, though essential, must be regarded as preparatory. The maximum thrust of political action will hinge on formulation of legislation containing a dollar amount.
MCCC Web site
MTA web site
MTA Info Center
Track Mass. Legislation
Track Federal Legislation
Fed and state legislators by zip
Mass Board of Higher education
Commonwealth of Mass reference shelf
General Court (contact info for legislators)
DCE bargaining has commenced for the successor agreement. The MCCC/DCE Collective Bargaining Agreement salary increase provisions extend until December 1999. The MCCC has assembled a new DCE bargaining team to negotiate the agreement. Marcia Blanchette of STCC chairs our team. Lorraine Murphy of Bunker Hill, Scott Oury of Holyoke, Tom Salvo of NECC, and Nancy Morello of Mass Bay are the essential team. Joseph Rizzo serves as an MCCC consultant and MTA Consultant will be Michelle Gallagher. MCCC President Sue Dole and VP Phil Mahler will be ex-officio.
For the employer Labor Counsel will be Cynthia Denehey, and NECC Assistant Dean Steve Fabrucci, Mt Wachusetts Dean of Academic Affairs Frank De Sorbo and Anthony Pelligrino, Vice President of Con Ed Community Service will serve.
The DCE team has been successful in reaching initial agreement on interest based bargaining format. The parties have identified numerous issues to be discussed over the next several months. The DCE team is sending out a detailed bargaining survey to all members by the end of September.
Any questions or comments may be directed to MTA Consultant Gallagher via the MCCC website: http://www.tiac.net/users/mccc
The Boston Municipal Court ruled in favor of MCCC DCE member Keyvan Karbasioun of Holyoke Community College. John A. King, the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training, sued Karbasioun seeking to reverse the finding of eligibility for unemployment benefits.
Although unemployed between semesters, Mr. Karbasioun was denied unemployment benefits by the DET on the basis that he had reasonable assurance of employment in the subsequent semester. The position of Mr. Karbasioun was that DCE assignments are tentative and he had experienced courses being cancelled due to under enrollment.
He appealed the initial denial with MTA legal assistance. This appeal was denied and the case was then appealed further to the Board of Review within the Department of Employment and Training. This is the highest level of review concerning unemployment claims. Since the early 1990s, there have been scores of MCCC DCE unemployment appeals. Of those, approximately a half dozen were brought to the Board of Review. In all but one of these cases, the Board found favorably for the claimant.
The Board of Review ruled in favor of Mr. Karbasioun. He was then deemed eligible for unemployment compensation because he lacked reasonable assurance of future employment. Commissioner King then sued Mr. Karbasioun in order to challenge the determination of his own agency. This action not only attempted to find Mr. Karbasioun ineligible for unemployment benefits, it also asked for the return of the money (benefits) that were paid to him in the claim. In finding for our member, the court determined that the DET Boards finding of eligibility was consistent with the evidence and the law.
MTA Attorney, Ira Fader, represented Mr. Karbasioun. Commissioner King was represented by the Office of the Attorney General.
In the summer of 1995, the MLRC found the actions of Northern Essex and Massasoit Community Colleges to be in violation of state law for failing to provide reasonable and necessary information to the MCCC. It was a strongly worded rebuke of management practices that impede our associations duty to administer the collective bargaining agreement. In this case, each college refused to furnish requested information, or inadequately furnished administrative personnel information that was requested by the MCCC. The disputed material was needed by the union in order to police the contract and to enforce a finding of an arbitrator. Management appealed the ruling of the administrative law judge to the full Commission. Now, four years later, the Commission has upheld the original ruling and ordered Northern Essex and Massasoit to provide the requested information. It has also ordered that there be an all college - system wide posting by management notifying employees that they have violated the law and will cease and desist from these actions in the future.
At issue was the provision of the contract that excludes from teaching those employees who hire, fire and/or evaluate DCE faculty. At Northern Essex, the issue involved DCE Coordinators who appeared to have effective hiring power. This matter appears to be resolved by virtue of a reorganization and change in those positions.
The problem at Massasoit is ongoing. In 1991, the MCCC filed a grievance concerning a number of administrators at Massasoit and other colleges who were teaching in DCE in violation of the contract. In the fall of 1992, an arbitrator ruled that the administrators must cease teaching in DCE effective January 1993 and that the union be paid damages and any lost agency fees. The award totaled approximately $30,000. One individual administrator was named in that case at Massasoit Community College.
In the spring 1993 semester, a compliance investigation found that all of the administrators in question had stopped teaching in DCE except that individual. When questioned on this, the college claimed that the Deans responsibilities had just changed and therefore he was no longer precluded from teaching in DCE. The MCCC then requested documentation of his new duties and the college refused to comply with that request. A grievance was filed on the substantive issue of the partys teaching and a charge was filed with the MLRC concerning the refusal to provide information. The grievance arbitration was cancelled numerous times because of the inability to proceed without the necessary information concerning his duties and responsibilities.
In the MLRC case, management claimed:
The MLRC rejected these arguments and unequivocally stated that this information must be provided to the MCCC. Plans are underway to schedule the arbitration hearing. Chapter leaders should monitor the MLRC ordered posting. In the meantime, the individual continues to teach in DCE and refuses to pay agency fees. The MCCC was represented by David Rome of Pyle, Rome and Lichten.
Please monitor your local campus that the MLRC order is appropriately posted.
The current status for the buyback retirement option bill for former "03" employees is as follows: The House Bill formerly known as #394 in the previous legislative session is now House Bill #714.
It was heard before the Committee on Public Service on 6/1/99 and remains there awaiting action by that committee.
For this bill to pass, it is crucial that direct communications with members of that committee, in particular the chairs, Senator Brian A. Joyce (Rm. 520, 617-722-1643) and Representative Paul C. Casey (Rm. 473-B, 617-722-2230), take place.
If you would either send a letter or call these chairs to indicate that you support Bill #714, the Retirement Buy back Option Bill for former "03" employees, the chances of this bill passing would be greatly increased. Please do so as soon as possible. I did not find out about the bills June hearing until recently, so it is important to communicate our support to these chairs right away. Otherwise, the bill could die in this committee.
Also, if you would like to push for elimination of the "two year clause" in the bill, now would be the time to do that as well. "Patrick" from Joan Menards office, he indicated that letters would be the more effective way to communicate any support. But whatever works for you will be most appreciated and certainly helpful. If you choose to write, please address letters to the chairs individually. Be sure to include their room numbers and forward mail to the State House, Boston, MA 01233.
The MCCC is aware of the need that some part-time unit members have for health insurance coverage. The MCCC is trying to achieve this goal through several vehicles.
The day grievance coordinator is working to clarify the situation on contractual rights for those part time unit members who work under the day contract. The MCCC bargaining teams will also be aware of this issue during the bargaining for the upcoming day and DCE contracts.
The MCCC initiated a questionnaire from the MTA which was sent to all higher education part-time members in 1997. This survey showed a clear need for help in this area for our part-time colleagues. These results will be helpful in bargaining, and we also hope it will lead to the creation of an affordable health plan for those without other recourse.
Massachusetts has a non-group health insurance program, and the open enrollment period is upon us. Massachusetts residents who are not eligible for employer-based health coverage can purchase non group healthcare insurance or coverage from any carrier offering plans. Carriers offering this coverage may not refuse any applicants based on their health nor impose preexisting condition exclusions or waiting periods. The open enrollment period is September 1st through October 31st for coverage to be effective on December 1st of that year.
You and your dependents are eligible for this coverage if: you are a Massachusetts resident; you do not have access to group health coverage through your workplace your spouses workplace; you are not or are no longer eligible for continuation of group health coverage under COBRA or other continuation of coverage laws; you are not enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid; AND you are not self-employed. (Under Massachusetts law, self-employed persons are not eligible for non group health coverage because they may buy coverage from any insurance carrier which offers coverage to small businesses.)
For information about the standard plans you can contact the Division of Insurance Consumer Section in Boston at (617) 521-7777 or in Springfield at (413) 785-5526 or write to the State Division of Insurance; Consumer Service Section, 470 Atlantic Ave., Boston, 2210, or visit the web site at www.state.ma.us/doi/ .
Some additional information, including last years pricing information is on line on the MCCC web site at www.tiac.net/users/mccc. Follow the Health Insurance link.
The MCCC Newsletter is a publication of the Massachusetts Community College Council. The Newsletter is intended to be an information source for the members of the MCCC and for other interested parties. The material in this publication may be reprinted with the acknowledgment of its source. For further information on issues discussed in this publication, contact Peter Flynn, Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA 01950, e-mail email@example.com.