Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Resident Assistant/Peer Mentor Union reaches final agreement with University for Spring 2021 semester

All resident assistants and peer mentors will be offered positions for the Spring 2021 semester and the option to work remotely
McKenna Premus/Daily Collegian

All resident assistants and peer mentors who were offered positions for the 2020-2021 academic year will be offered a position for the upcoming semester, according to RA/PM Union Co-Chair James Cordero.

On Friday afternoon, RA/PM Union Co-Chairs Marco Maldonado, Iya Carney and Cordero sent an email to RAs and PMs stating that the union’s bargaining team had reached a final agreement with the University.

“We won. Over the past five months, every RA and PM has contributed to building enough power to win dignified working conditions,” the email said.

“We are pleased the University has prioritized safety and upholding our contract,” Cordero said in an email to the Daily Collegian.

The final agreement will be signed by the beginning of next week, according to Cordero.

RAs and PMs can expect to be notified of their position offers by Dec. 11, according to the RA/PM Union co-chairs. They will be notified of their placements toward the end of the month.

Currently, there are 70 RAs and PMs employed, according to Cordero. Between 300 and 400 are expected to work in the spring.

Remote work will be available as well, as “RAs may request remote work due to medical concerns” and “PMs may choose to work remotely,” according to the union’s email.

In the event the University reverses its reopening plans, RAs and PMs who choose to accept position offers will receive the “opt out stipend and campus housing if they need it,” according to the email.

All RAs and PMs working on campus will receive $225 in dining dollars and seven free masks for the spring semester, as well as free COVID-19 testing twice a week.

The University will honor the RA/PM Union’s employment contract pertaining to providing “maintenance of existing air conditioning and ventilation systems,” as stated in Article 19 regarding Health and Safety.

“A Health and Safety Committee of RAs/PMs will meet with [Environmental Health and Safety] to ensure UMass follows safe ventilation standards,” the email said.

International students and out-of-state students will be allowed to quarantine on campus. They will be able to make arrangements to do so once the RA/PM position offers are sent out.

Additionally, all RAs and PMs who are in need of a kitchen will be given access to one.

“I want to be clear: You won this,” said the co-chairs. “When you take action alongside your fellow RAs and PMs, you can make a difference on the issues that you care about.”

McKenna Premus can be reached by email at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @mckenna_premus.

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