New APA Documents

The Remote Work Arrangement policy, for when university work returns to a more traditional, in-person format post-COVID:

The BHE-APA MOA on COVID-related health and safety concerns, terminating upon the Commonwealth entering Phase 4 of its reopening plan or on June 30, 2021, whichever is sooner:

Appendix K (Position Characteristics) will be an an added appendix to the new labor agreement. It is intended as a guide to unit members and HR departments:

The Massachusetts State Retirement Board is hosting several SMART Retirement & Beyond Webinars, which are held exclusively for Massachusetts State Employees. They are sponsored by State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, the Massachusetts State Retirement Board, and the Massachusetts Deferred Compensation SMART Plan. The Social Security Administration participates when their schedule allows.

These online webinars are beneficial if a member is nearing retirement or just beginning their career. Eligible members learn about the features and latest updates on their pension benefit, the benefits of investing in the Massachusetts Deferred Compensation SMART Plan, and in some cases, an overview of social security benefits for which they may be eligible.

Please register if you are interested in any of these webinars:

NEW HIRE Webinars:



Additionally, you can Watch MSRB Educational Videos on YouTube 

(These include all of our Facebook “Weekly Coffee or Tea with MSRB” weekly episodes.)

For ongoing updates, please:

-Visit our website:

-Follow us on Facebook:

-Follow us on Twitter

-Watch MSRB Educational Videos on YouTube

-View & Register for Upcoming MSRB Webinars


The new Commonwealth's Paid Family and Medical Leave program starts in January.

Explanation of Benefits 

  • Beginning January 1, 2021, you may be entitled to up to
    • 12 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, or because of a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a family member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty in the Armed Forces;
    • 20 weeks of paid medical leave in a benefit year if they have a serious health condition that incapacitates them from work
    • 26 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year to care for a family member who is a covered service member undergoing medical treatment or otherwise addressing consequences of a serious health condition relating to the family member’s military service.
  • Beginning July 1, 2021, you may be entitled to up to
    • 12 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
    • 26 total weeks, in the aggregate, of paid family and medical leave in a single benefit year.

Your weekly benefit amount will be based on the employee’s earnings, with a maximum benefit of $850 per week. 

Job Protection, Continuation of Health Insurance, No Retaliation

  • Job Protection: Generally, if you take family or medical leave under the law you must be restored to your previous position or to an equivalent position, with the same status, pay, employment benefits, length-of-service credit and seniority as of the date of leave.
  • Continuation of Health Insurance: Your employer must continue to provide for and contribute to your employment-related health insurance benefits, if any, at the level and under the conditions coverage would have been provided if you had continued working continuously for the duration of such leave.
  • No Retaliation: It is unlawful for any employer to discriminate or retaliate against you for exercising any right to which you’re entitled under the paid family and medical leave law.  An employee or former employee who is discriminated or retaliated against for exercising rights under the law may, not more than three years after the violation occurs, institute a civil action in the superior court.

Contributions to the DFML Family and Employment Security Trust Fund

On October 1, 2019, contributions to the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) Employment Security Trust Fund will begin. An employer will be responsible for sending contributions to the DFML for all employees, though they may deduct a portion from employee pay. The contribution rate may be adjusted annually and can be found in the attached effective rate notice.

How to File a Claim

Employees must file claims for paid family and medical leave benefits with the DFML using the Department’s forms. Forms and claim instructions will be available on the Department’s website before January 2021.

Employees are required to provide at least 30 days’ notice to their employer of the anticipated starting date of any leave, the anticipated length of the leave and the expected date of return. An employee who is unable to provide 30 days’ notice due to circumstances beyond his or her control is required to provide notice as soon as practicable.

Payment for Concurrent Leave

Any paid leave provided under a collective bargaining agreement or employer policy and paid at the same or higher rate than paid leave available under this law shall count against the allotment of leave benefits available under this law.

Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) Contact Information

            The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave

            Charles F. Hurley Building

19 Staniford Street, 1st Floor

Boston, MA 02114

(617) 626-6565

More Information is Available

For more detailed information, please consult the Department’s website:

Per MassArt policy, each year the per-mile reimbursement rate for business use of a personal vehicle is to be adjusted to match the IRS published rate. The new rate for calendar year 2021 is fifty-six cents ($0.56) per mile.


This new rate is applicable for all travel in 2021.  The reimbursement rate for travel that occurred in 2020 remains at $0.575/mile.

Wellness Video Available

The Colleges of the Fenway is sharing a 21 minute Vimeo on-demand webinar. No log-in is required.

Please Join Us in Celebrating Good Health



Learn about...

  • Setting your home workspace up for weight success
  • How to manage hunger to prevent overeating throughout the day
  • Smart snacking and meal planning tips
  • Incorporating movement into your home work day

Webinar opportunity

Staff & Faculty Emotional Fatigue:

Provide Support During Burnout Conditions to Help Maintain Purpose, Resilience & Productivity

How to View the Recording

  1. Go to

  2. Type in the Passcode: Flourish7292

  3. Click View Recording

  4. You will need the Adobe Connect Application to view the recording.

    • If you already have the app installed, you will be prompted to open the on-demand training in the app.

    • If you do not already have the app installed, you will be instructed to download it. Follow the instructions to do so — once the app is installed, you will be able to open the on-demand training in the app.

  5. Once the recording is opened, the webinar will begin playing automatically. You can navigate through the presentation via the Events Index, play button and progress bar.

How to Access Materials

  1. After opening the recording in the Adobe Connect Application, locate the Download Your Materials panel on the left.

  2. Click on the handouts you would like to download

  3. Click Download File(s)

How to Claim Your Certificate

  1. After the webinar, go to

  2. Select the webinar from the dropdown menu

  3. Enter the Password: Flourish7292

  4. Enter the requested information

  5. Click Submit

Important Note

• Your registration includes 24/7, unlimited access for you and your department for one year from date of purchase.

(hosted by PaperClip Communications)

NUP vacation cap extension

BHE staff has issued this statement: 

For NUPS, the DHE has approved an indefinite suspension of the deadline to use vacation leave over 375 hours. This suspension of the usual deadline will continue throughout the pandemic. You will be notified when the suspension ends.

MSCA MOA on vacation caps

Agreement to extend vacation cap extensions was signed on December 11, 2020

APA MOA on vacation caps

We have now received the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the BHE and the APA agreeing to amend the present collective bargaining agreement to extend the deadline for use of vacation leave, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting operational and personal needs. 

Dear Supervisors and NUPs:


Attached please find the AFSCME 2017-2020 collective bargaining agreement. Also attached is the new one year extension, a 2020-2021 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Please keep these documents handy for easy reference.

The language of the 2017-2020 contract remains operative, except as noted in the 2020-2021 MOA. These documents may also be found in the Human Resources section of the MassArt wiki:


The language on evaluations has not changed. This information is just as a reminder to people who supervise AFSCME employees.

Article 31 of the contract, starting on page 83 of the 2017-2020 edition, describes the process supervisors should follow for employee evaluations. Appendix G includes the form for completing these evaluations. 

The timeline for AFSCME evaluations:

  • Probationary employees are evaluated at the completion of their first 3 months and then again at the end of the first 6 months.
  • All other AFSCME employees should be evaluated annually, within 30 days of their hire anniversary date or appointment to their present position.

Once the evaluations are completed, Human Resources should receive all evaluations from the immediate supervisor. We will retain these records in our employees' personnel files.

IMPORTANT:  Alexandra Palmisano in HR has been sending out AFSCME evaluations for supervisors to complete via email. HR is also making the transition to keeping files electronically this year, and we would appreciate it if evaluations can be sent back as an email attachment attn: Alexandra Palmisano (, when completed. 

From the president:

TO:                MassArt Faculty and Staff

FROM:          Kymberly Pinder, Acting President

                      Robert Perry, Vice President, A&F

DATE:           November 24, 2020

RE:               College Closing: Dec 24, 2020 through Jan 3, 2021 

Please be advised that MassArt will be closed Thursday, December 24, 2020, through Sunday, January 3, 2021. 

 This closure should not cause any negative impact on employees’ benefits. You do not need to use your accrued leave during this closure and will receive your regular compensation.

We must close and suspend all remote and on-campus operations to allow for maintenance of the HVAC, completing the last phase of the AEP project and updating and testing of our technology infrastructure (network, enterprise computing, integrations with Colleague). 

MassArt will reopen on Monday, January 4, 2021 with current telework arrangements still in effect.

Thank you for your cooperation and please have healthy, safe and enjoyable holidays.

Update from HR


Dear Colleagues:

Greetings to you all. Below please find a brief update from our department of human resources.

Health and Safety

As you have seen in the regular covid-19 updates and the MassArt COVID-19 Campus Dashboard, we have been doing a good job mitigating the spread of the virus in our community. Thank you for keeping up your defenses: wear a mask, wash your hands, keep physical distances, and stay home if you are sick. Let us know if you have questions about your benefits if you are advised to isolate, quarantine, or become ill.

Telework update 

Our community has done a great job de-densifying the campus to make safe spaces for our students. For those of you working remotely, it seems like the telework agreements are going well. If things come up and you need to revise your telework arrangement or if working at home has become difficult and you would like to spend more time working on campus, please let us know or talk to your supervisor. 

Comings and goings

At our last meeting of the MassArt board of trustees, President Pinder and VP Perry discussed the FY20 and FY21 college budget. Our current FY21 budget is a responsible deficit budget that includes 25% minimum reductions across all departments, including reductions in travel, supplies, food, and consultants. We have been keeping many employee positions vacant or parttime to save money and that has continued. We thank all of you for stepping up and filling the gaps in areas where positions have not been replaced immediately. In these uncertain times, we are being very thoughtful about how vacancies are filled. They are prioritized due to their direct impact on the learning, safety, and health of students. These active positions are:

  • The paused 2019 search in Fashion Design (MSCA) has been re-started and candidates were told that interviews would take place in February.

  • A launch meeting is being scheduled for the search for the executive assistant to the VP of Student Development (NUP).

  • A launch meeting is being scheduled for the search of the director of counseling and wellness (APA).

  • The filling of the custodial area supervisor (AFSCME) vacancy in facilities has been approved and the search process is beginning.

  • The filling of the maintainer I (AFSCME) vacancy in facilities has been approved and the search process is beginning.

More on searches

One of our goals is to streamline and simplify the search process. We are reviewing the hiring guide and we are trying to make NeoGov easier to use. We are creating a reference library of user guides to make NeoGov processes and functions more accessible: our new and evolving NeoGov User Guides can be found on the MassArt Wiki here

Snow days

It’s hard to believe we’ve already had a substantial amount of snow in October. Clearly, winter is on the way. Be prepared! In the event of an emergency on campus or school closing, MassArt uses RAVE-Emergency Notification System for mobile text, voice, or email for notifications. Make sure your information is added or updated to the system by using this link:

Unemployment benefits fraud

A few employees have had questions about unemployment claims fraud. If you believe someone is using your identity for such scams, the Department of Unemployment Benefits has a useful site:

Virtual employee lounges

Do you miss walking down the hall and saying hello to a random group of MassArt colleagues? Or talking about your morning to a few friends waiting in line for coffee at Peet’s? Or joining your work friends for a quick lunch? Well, miss it no more!

  • Every Monday, 10:30am through 11:30am, the optional virtual employee lounge is open. The Google Meet link (and a poem of the day) is on your MassArt calendar. 

  • Every Friday,  12:30pm through 1:30pm, the optional virtual break room is open. The Google Meet  link (and a poem of the day) is on your MassArt calendar. 

So come and go and say hello.

Working together to enhance our human resources

In October, President Pinder made staffing changes to reflect the unique pressures placed upon certain areas during these uncertain times. These changes include having HR report to the President’s Office and having Payroll report to A&F, although we continue to work together to ensure the smooth workings of the HR department. Currently, we are reviewing HR operations, working with our unions, and considering some potential new projects. We are also working on a posting for a new head of HR as soon as possible.

We are also updating and refining our wiki resource page. Your feedback on this site is welcomed:

On a final note, we wanted to let you know that our HR director of benefits and payroll, Kathryn Oram, is completing her service at MassArt this week. She has been a valued member of our team for the past 18 years and will be missed. Thank you, Kathryn, for your years of service to MassArt, and we wish you much success in the future!

All the best,


Susana Segat

Chief of Staff