Minutes from Union Executive Committee Meeting

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

  1. Jackson made a motion to accept the minutes from the previous meeting and update the website. Peter seconded and the vote was unanimous to accept the minutes.
  2. Mike discussed the part-time meeting from Tuesday where Fernando and Lello discussed part-time issues regarding conversion and seniority. We have made an offer to bring them to the next Union/Management meeting, May 5.
  3. We discussed gender issues at Berklee. Beth made a presentation. With the recent events regarding the BTOT speech, this topic has been brought to the forefront. Broadening our discussion to include the larger issues of essentialism and other-ness may help us find ways to improve the situation for women faculty at Berklee. It is true that very few women and African Americans were working at Berklee 10-20 years ago. Equitable institutional policies, including hiring, were not in place.  The institution needs to set the tone, using appropriate language at official Berklee events.  Faculty attitudes are changing, but it is evolutionary; 15-20 years ago attitudes around the college were very different and significant changes have occurred. 
  4. We need to look at concrete things like salary – this man is making more than that woman for the same job – these are things we can address. When we look at a group of women that have been here a shorter time than a group of men, perhaps their salaries will be lower. When we look at the empirical view of salaries, there is not a complete picture.  Although addressing salary discrepancies can make improvements for a few individuals it does not address the larger issue. 
  5. We have an administration, deans, and chairs, who are running the institution – this is where the attitudes need to change. The moral compass needs to start at the top!
  6. We as faculty must set the standard for fair, sensitive and equitable treatment of all students in the classroom.  Likewise, college administrators should be models of fair, sensitive and equitable treatment of all members in the Berklee community, especially at community functions like BTOT, Opening Day, etc.
  7. Perhaps we can start a joint union/admin committee to look at these issues.