Minutes from Union-Management Meeting 10-3-19

Meeting:           Berklee Faculty Union and Berklee College Administration

Date:                October 3, 2019 at 1:00p

In Attendance:  Will Silvio, David Scott, Andrew Shryock, Wendy Rolfe, Michael Abraham, Dennis Cecere, Peggy Codding, Marti Epstein, Paul Masters, Denise Pons-Leone, Utar Artun, Alicia Bower, Peter Cokkinias, Michael Johnson, Stephanie Reich, Nicholas Urie, Darla Hanley, Jay Kennedy, Matthew Nicholl, Ron Savage, Bill Whitney, Scott Edmiston, Melinda Thomas

Call to order 1:05p.

1. College Admissions

SILVIO observed increased concern among faculty regarding reduced enrollment in Spring 2020 semester, with specific emphasis on implications for part-time faculty with respect to workload and three-year contract status; KENNEDY responded noting increase in anticipated spring in-take over last year based on applications and deposits (i.e., 150–60 for Spring 2020 vs. approx. 140 for Spring 2019) while also cautioning enrollment status of current students remains uncertain until Spring registration occurs and Spring tuition is paid; KENNEDY further noted Admissions considers diverse recruiting needs, including desires of various departments (e.g., brass, which doubled enrollment this year) as well as other considerations (e.g., desire to increase number of female students).

On department needs, SAVAGE discussed ensemble personnel, specifically noting that scholarship assignments are also used to attend to disproportion and need; SAVAGE further noted process of populating ensembles was impacted this year by a staff change-over, which resulted in some ensembles lacking necessary personnel during first month of the semester.

On teaching assignments, KENNEDY summarized priorities of chairs determining course assignments, which include desired workload of part-time faculty but, principally, needs and best interests of students; SILVIO reiterated wish that enrollment fluctuations not be used as a mechanism to revoke three-year contract status of part-time faculty; KENNEDY reserved managerial rights on this matter, as negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement.

Discussion followed.

2. Classroom facilities

SILVIO observed concerns over nonfunctioning, malfunctioning, and obsolete technology; illogical and unsuitable classroom furnishing and design; and delays in (and absence of) classroom support; KENNEDY responded with request for specific problems and needs.

Discussion followed, including recommendation to collect and review data on support requests, especially at the Conservatory, and increased attention to spaces that require frequent support and/or repair.

Meeting adjourned 1:54p.

Minutes From Union Executive Meeting 9-26-19

Meeting:           Berklee Faculty Union

Date:                September 26, 2019 at 1:00p

In Attendance:  Will Silvio, David Scott, Andrew Shryock, Elizabeth Seitz, Wendy Rolfe, Prince Charles Alexander, Dennis Cecere, Peggy Codding, Marti Epstein, Paul Masters, Denise Pons-Leone, Utar Artun, Alicia Bower, Peter Cokkinias, Michael Johnson, Stephanie Reich, Nicholas Urie, Vanessa Morris

Call to order 1:06p

1. Review of Minutes (Sep. 12 and Sep. 19, 2019)

MOTION:         “To approve minutes of Union Executive Committee meeting on 

Sep. 12, 2019.” (EPSTEIN)

SECOND:         CODDING

VOTE:              unanimous approval, motion carries

MOTION:         “To approve minutes of Union Executive Committee meeting on 

Sep. 19, 2019.” (EPSTEIN)

SECOND:         CODDING

VOTE:              unanimous approval, motion carries

2. College response to Union concerns on Sick Policy

SUMMARY: College denies Union concerns to Sick Policy, with specific emphasis on 

- unwillingness to itemize reasons for sick leave, 

- desire to preserve chair prerogative to require faculty to make-up classes, and

- separate (and yet to be announced) procedure for Conservatory faculty, who cannot follow current procedure due to non-integration with OL. 

Discussion followed, including a recommendation to include a religious observance clause in Agreement, to make explicit faculty right to take off on such occasions.

3. Budget, FY2020

Discussion of line items “working meals,” “legal counsel,” “interest income,” and “equity report.” 

MOTION: “To postpone consideration of FY20 budget until October 3, 2019.” (PONS-LEONE)

SECOND: (ROLFE)

VOTE: unanimous approval, motion carries

Meeting adjourned 1:51p.

Minutes From Union Executive Committee Meeting 9-19-19

Meeting:           Berklee Faculty Union Executive Committee

Date:                September 19, 2019 at 1:00p

In Attendance:  Will Silvio, David Scott, Andrew Shryock, Elizabeth Seitz, Wendy Rolfe, Prince Charles Alexander, Michael Abraham, Dennis Cecere, Marti Epstein, Paul Masters, Denise Pons-Leone, Peter Cokkinias, Michael Johnson, Stephanie Reich, Vanessa Morris

Call to order 1:04p

1. Review of Minutes (Sep. 12, 2019)

SUMMARY:       Action delayed due to confusion over distribution.

2. Appointment to Union Executive Committee

SUMMARY: Will Silvio identified Nicholas Urie (Associate Professor, Harmony and Jazz Composition) as a potential candidate to fill a vacant Councilor position on the Union Executive Committee. Discussion followed.

MOTION:         “Motion to appoint Nicholas Urie to Union Executive Committee in the position of Councilor” (ROLFE)

SECOND:         COKKINIAS

VOTE:              unanimous approval, motion carries

3. Sick Leave Policy

SUMMARY: On Tuesday, September 17, Union leadership met with College administration regarding newly implemented Sick Leave Policy. Union presented itemized list of concerns, produced in coordination with counsel. College will respond at a later date.

4. Climate justice strike on Sep. 20, 2019

SUMMARY: Use of the term “strike” by event organizers prevents Union from articulating a position on issue. Discussion followed.

5. Department chair evaluations

SUMMARY: This semester, Union will administer to faculty an evaluation of department chairs. Administration wishes to review results, while reiterating that faculty review is not part of the evaluation procedure for department chairs.

6. Access Committee Update

ROLFE summarized recent activity within Campus Accessibility Committee: 

a)     Lawsuit brought against the College concerning admissions procedures, specifically inaccessibility of website;

b)     Health and Wellness Center and Counseling Center will re-locate. New location (161 Mass Ave, Level 4 ) is expected to open before Spring 2020 semester; 

c)      Accessibility of performance spaces – specifically 1140 Boylston, Room 1W – is under review and, where feasible, remediation.

Further discussion of performance space accessibility followed, including a recommendation for possible discussion at a future Union-Management meeting.

7. [confidential topic redacted]

Meeting adjourned 1:50p