Union notes from Union / Management Meeting

Present – Prince Charles Alexander, Rick Applin, Charles Cassara, Peggy Codding, Peter Cokkinias, Beth Denisch, Marti Epstein, Danny Harrington, Jeff Perry, Wendy Rolfe, Jackson Schultz, Mike Scott, Will Silvio.  

Management – Larry Simpson, Jay Kennedy, Kari Juusela, Jeanine Cowen, Chris Connors, Amelia Koch, 

1. Larry opened the meeting. We have the largest graduating class this year, 902.

2. Contract clarification points

a) Defined benefit eligibility, page 58. We clarified the language.

b) Seniority/approved leaves, if you are on leave, it still counts towards length of service. We have a case to look at and we will handle each on a case-by-case basis.

c) Wage renegotiation eligibility. We will look at each case individually, but the contract says every three years, that is the intent of the language. But the preference is to consider each case individually and not try to delay the faculty member an opportunity to re-negotiate their salary.

d) Part-time promotion to full-time status. Generally, these positions are being treated as outside hires, do they have to be in the same rank and receive a certain salary that they are at now? Larry: usually they are looking at a new status in regards to both rank and salary, there is flexibility, they may or may not move up, and we handle these on a case-by-case basis.

3. Gender issues at Berklee - Review of Committee Discussion. Beth started the discussion. The goal is to have no discrimination on campus of any kind but we need to find a way to achieve it. Administration and faculty can both model behavior to create the most comfortable environment for all the students, faculty, and staff. Wendy discussed two cases of students and lack of confidentiality with very personal issues, which brings up the concept of training and how to report specific events that occur on campus. Chris Connors talked about procedures and the desire to follow-up with the admin side. 

How do we go about changing the culture here at Berklee with the music industry as it is? Perhaps we can start a joint committee to look at the issues of gender identity and sexual orientation. 

It is not always about equitable pay and promotions, we need to make sure there is a certain level of civility, it does not make you less of a musician or teacher if you subscribe to the idea of fairness and appropriate behavior in an academic setting.

Larry: so much of the administrations work is in confidence, it may sometimes appear that we are not doing the work, but we just can’t talk about it.

Chris: we are working on a lot of different levels with committees that have faculty representation; we are working on a lot of specific topics but maybe not in the open, due to the nature of the topics. The specific incidents should NOT be dealt with in a committee. There is a difference between specific incidents and trying to change a culture.

Chris: we are creating a health room, it is complicated, but we are committed to create a couple of locations that people can use for lactation or other health issues (insulin shots, etc.)

Mike: we understand that changing the culture is not an easy thing, but we have succeeded to a certain extent, but we need to go further. We all feel that at the public events, all people involved should be sensitive to all issues as they work on their speeches. Also, elevating consciousness in the classroom is another way we can move forward. 

Chris: there is a BTOT presentation that creates an inclusive classroom that is going around to all the departments.

Danny: to change our culture it must be at the grass roots level, we just need to keep trying. 

Larry: we are all on the same page, we are committed to creating an environment for all. People must own their behavior and continue to make changes, hire the best people that we can to represent that mindset.