Union notes from Union / Management Meeting

Present – Michael Abraham, Prince Charles Alexander, Dennis Cecere, Peggy Codding, Peter Cokkinias, Marti Epstein, Danny Harrington, Margaret McAllister, Jeff Perry, Wendy Rolfe, David Scott, Jackson Schultz, Jeri Sykes, and Will Silvio. 

Management – Larry Simpson, Jay Kennedy, Bill Whitney, Kari Juusela, Matt Marvuglio, Darla Hanley, Jeanine Cowan, Mac Hisey, Camille Colatosti, Brian Cole, Tim Pacquette, and Nikki Kirk.

1. Larry opened the meeting, first meeting of new academic year.

2. Valencia update – Brian Cole, Dean of Academic Affairs Valencia Campus. Currently fifty faculty – some staff teaching as well, mainly technology. 125 masters students and 75 study abroad students. Faculty exchange – several faculty have been switching locations between Valencia and Boston campuses (two or three a year).

3. Merger update – BoCo, there has been constant contact and discussions between both institutions as we consider the possibilities of the merger. Dance is a new possibility for Berklee with this merger. Currently preparing a strategic plan to go forward with merger. The BoCo board meets on Oct. 15, Berklee board meets Oct. 23, if both boards agree to merge they can begin to move forward. If all goes well there will be a closing on June 1. One institution – Berklee, Boston Conservatory @ Berklee, there are about 191-195 faculty to be brought in to the union, fall of 2017 is the target for bringing in the BoCo faculty. We will not have access to specific information until the merger is complete – most likely not until June 1, 2016.

Jackson – one thing we have discussed at length – no BoCo faculty should be harmed by coming into our unit, we must make sure that we work across admin and executive committee to ensure a smooth transition.

UEC – what about aligning salaries as they move into our unit? This seems quite complex – we don’t want to be impacted either.

Larry – there is a lot of work to do before we are fully merged as an institution. It is very complicated but we will work to make sure no one is harmed in this merger – only enhanced as our institutions are brought together.

Jackson – there is anxiety on both sides. With new faculty coming into our unit – promotions, raises, and conversions are on all our minds.

UEC – what about BoCo’s financial situation, are they in trouble?

Larry – no, they are on very solid ground with an increased enrollment this fall. They are fiscally sound. We are in the process of putting together a five-year plan of integrating both institutions – lots of work to do before it’s complete.

Mac – this is very complex, we are doing this for strategic reasons not financial.

4. 150 Mass Ave. update – Mac, project is on schedule and on budget so far. A lot of structural questions that we have been addressing as we have gone through. (he showed slides of work in progress). Fall 2016 is the targeted completion with the new entry in April.

160 retail space – pop up restaurants – style will change periodically, Italian, French, Brazilian, etc. – live music will accompany and change to fit the style.

5. Ed Health update – article on group health care, we are working to lower costs. We have 1800 at Berklee with this larger group we have the bargaining power of 20,000. Our pricing is based on our claims experience – that is one reason that we have been pushing the Healthy You programs etc.