Press Release: Faculty Union to Demonstrate Unity at Berklee College of Music Opening Day, September 1, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 28, 2017

CONTACT: David Scott, Communications Director, Berklee Faculty Union dscott@berkleefacultyunion.org , (617) 833-3931

Faculty Union to Demonstrate Unity at Berklee College of Music Opening Day, September 1, 2017

BOSTON — The 600-plus Berklee faculty and 200-plus Boston Conservatory at Berklee faculty members will rally on September 1 to show unity in support of a fair contract for Boston Conservatory faculty. After months of contract negotiations, Berklee management is unwilling to treat the 200-plus new members from Boston Conservatory the same as the existing Berklee faculty.

At Berklee’s Opening Day on September 1 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston, faculty will be wearing Berklee Faculty Union t-shirts and buttons, with their motto, “Berklee Faculty Union: Staying sharp since 1986.” As they depart the event, they will be serenaded by a unity New Orleans-style band made up of Faculty Union members.

Contract issues include the following:

  • The Berklee Administration refuses to bring Conservatory faculty up to Berklee’s contract wage minimums.
  • The administration is offering only 1-year contracts to all full-time Conservatory faculty, including new hires, instead of the 3, 4 and 5 year contracts extended to full-time Berklee professors.
  • Berklee refuses to give any credit for years of service to Boston Conservatory faculty, effectively treating them all as new hires.

“Regardless of what happens in bargaining for the rest of the month, on Opening Day, September 1, we want the administration to witness a sea of blue Berklee Faculty Union t-shirts and buttons,” said Jackson Schultz, President of the Berklee Faculty Union. “This will either be in celebration of an agreement or a show of disappointment in the lack of one. Either way, we will stand together.”

"Thirty years ago, I was an Assistant Professor at Berklee. I have since taught at Boston Conservatory for the past 28 years,” said Sara Goldstein, a long-time Voice Faculty member at Boston Conservatory. “To be considered a ‘new hire’ after a lengthy career of dedicated service to the Conservatory and several years on the Berklee faculty is incomprehensible!”

“This is quite a slap in the face,” said Monique Phinney, a Boston Conservatory Voice Faculty member. “After 24 years serving on the voice faculty at BoCo, being told that I'm going to be compensated like a first year teacher is discouraging to say the least!”

The Berklee Faculty Union has represented Berklee College of Music full-time and part-time faculty at its Boston campus since 1986. As a member of the Massachusetts American Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 4412, the Union is led by an elected 15-member executive committee headed by Schultz, a Professor of Jazz Composition.

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