Minutes from Part-Time Meeting

Present UEC – Michael Abraham, Prince Charles Alexander, Dennis Cecere, Peter Cokkinias, Beth Denisch, Marti Epstein, Rich Grudzinski, Danny Harrington, Teodros Kiros, Jeff Perry, Wendy Rolfe, Jackson Schultz, Will Silvio. 

  1. Jackson opened the meeting. Danny made a motion to accept the minutes and update the website, Dennis seconded and the vote was unanimous to accept the minutes. We will be bargaining the next contract next summer, (2013) and we wanted to touch base regarding part-time issues. The college is currently overleveraged by 15 million dollars. The college owes 15 million more than the endowment is valued at. This will not affect our stance during bargaining, including our raises etc… That is our stance.
  2. Wendy discussed part-time issues and priorities for the next bargain. Last bargain issues were benefits, 3-year contracts, retirement 403b, and disability. One current concern is pay for extra duties and training. We have 12 conversions coming next year with over 300 part-time faculty. 
  3. Jackson: the part-time faculty are bearing the brunt of the current financial situation. We wanted the conversions to be this year and management said no, “because we can”. Jackson discussed the classes being held back for the fall and the effect on 3-year contracts. Management does not care about how this affects the part-time faculty and their morale. This is the first time that this has happened here at Berklee. There will be a 5.9% tuition increase this fall and we have received a report that students have started a petition to see the financials of the college, including administration salaries vs. those of faculty. They need 2000 signatures and got 300 in two days. Management will listen to the student body and the parents; they want them to be happy. If the faculty are happy, the students will be happy – there is a spillover.
  4. College re-accreditation and part-timers getting paid for their time, most departments are paying; some departments are doing the work during department meetings.
  5. Voice department meetings are not happening as regularly as they should be. The contract states that there are four meetings minimum every semester.
  6. Tuition increase – what is the reason for the increase? As management would say, “because we can”. 
  7. All contracts should be issued by May 1. Please read the entire contract, Juliana Horton has left the college, so make sure everything is correct! 
  8. The Executive Committee introduced themselves and we discussed the Union Leadership Tree, the division reps, and the importance of communication. 
  9. We discussed the top-heavy nature of management, here and throughout academe. A lot of information has been presented in the Chronicle of Higher Ed.