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November 1, 2023

Community college union faculty rally in Worcester for salary increase

A photo of a sign for QCC sitting on a slightly sloping lawn Photo | Grant Welker Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester

Members of the Massachusetts Community College Council, a Worcester-based union representing faculty and staff at the state’s 15 community colleges, are rallying Wednesday and Thursday in Worcester and five other municipalities to demand a pay raise.

Members are calling for what they say is fair and equitable treatment from the state legislature, as they say they have not received the same raises offered to other public higher education unions. 

MCCC says the legislature has yet to honor and fund ratified contracts containing pay raises dating back to 2021, according to a press release issued by the organization on Tuesday.

“It’s frustrating to know that the money has been settled, but nobody has seen a change in their paychecks since 2020. That becomes demoralizing,” Claudine Barnes, president of MCCC, said in the press release. 

MCCC members will rally at 1:30 p.m. in front of Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester on Thursday. In addition to the Worcester rally, events are planned for Fall River, Lowell, Bedford, Lynn and at the State House in Boston.

MCCC is circulating a petition demanding Gov. Maura Healey take action to give community college faculty a pay raise. The petition states Healey offered most public workers and other higher education units an 8% pay increase but is insisting the MCCC agree to renew a 2% increase that was part of its last contract negotiated with the former Gov. Charlie Baker Administration. 

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the petition has collected more than 5,600 signatures.

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