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April 21, 2015

Vol. 5  No. 3

Committee Elections

Thanks to all who ran for positions on Faculty Committees in last week’s elections, and to everyone who participated by voting. All the candidates were elected, with their terms beginning next fall. All committee members receive compensation at the rate of .25 of their base hourly rate. Being a voice for the faculty in meetings with representatives of the administration on issues concerning curriculum, planning for hiring, and the dispersal of faculty development funds is an important service to the faculty as a whole, and to the School. Please feel to contact any of the committee members with questions, comments or ideas you may have. 

Elected to the Curriculum Committee

     Na’ama Lion, Carol Mastrodomenico, John Morrison 

and Anne Trout. 

Elected to the Faculty Planning Committee

      Paul Brust, Tom Enman and Jeremy Van Buskirk.

Elected to the Faculty Development Committee

      Peter Evans and Tom Enman. 

An additional faculty committee, Labor Management, is made up of three members from the faculty appointed by the Longy Faculty Union Executive Board. Currently serving on LMC are Tom Enman, Jane Hershey and Jeremy Van Buskirk. These non-elective positions on the LMC are not compensated. This committee, which also includes three representatives of the School appointed by the President, discusses issues of concern as they arise to encourage communication and promote problem-solving.

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NLRB Posting

In the hallways of Longy’s at 27 and 33 Garden Street buildings where employee notices are found, there is a new posting by Longy, ordered by the National Labor Relations Board. This sign begins, “The NLRB has found that we violated Federal labor law and has ordered us to post and obey this notice.”

The notice declares that the School WILL NOT refuse to notify the Longy Faculty Union each time we employ a faculty member, and WE WILL tell the Union the name, job title and date of each newly hired employee within 10 days of the date of hire.”

This is an important finding in favor of our Union, which recognizes the importance of an informed faculty regarding the hiring of new colleagues, not only as general information but as an indicator of the direction and values of the School. This finding also allows the Union to contact new faculty members in a timely way, to welcome them and to inform them of their rights under our Collective Bargaining agreement. These new faculty have rights owed to them even before they are eligible to join the Collective Bargaining Unit, or the Union itself.

The second directive of the posting declares that the School WILL NOT tell faculty members that their employment is “at will” and can be terminated at any time when our contract with the Union provides that discharge shall be only for “just cause.”

‘At will employment’ is defined as management’s right to terminate an employee at will, for any reason, or no reason at all. Our current Collective Bargaining Agreement protects all faculty, in and out of the Bargaining Unit, from termination except for ‘just cause.’ Over a long period of time, Longy included this false ‘at will’ language in their hire letters to new faculty, language which mislead these individuals as to their rights, and their relationship to the Longy Faculty Union. The NLRB has demanded that the School stop this practice.

These two changes in Longy’s treatment of its faculty should lead to a more positive work environment, compliance with our Collective Bargaining Agreement, and an improved climate of understanding, open communication and respect at the School.

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Negotation Update

The LFU Negotiating Team, along with our American Federation of Teachers Representative, Michael Regan, have had nineteen meetings with Longy since March 2014 to hammer out a successor to our current contract Collective Bargaining Agreement. The 2011 contract was renewed on June 30, 2014 according to the ‘evergreen clause,’ the contract clause which stipulates that the CBA remain in force for one additional year after its three-year expiration, barring cancellation by either party. Criteria for reappointment of faculty had been left for further negotiation in the 2011 CBA, and so have continued to be negotiated both in Labor Management Committee meetings and in CBA Negotiation meetings throughout 2014, and going forward. In addition, significant hours of bargaining time were diverted from contract negotiations in December 2014 and January 2015 in an attempt to save the Longy summer programs from cancellation by the School in 2015.

The LFU, after conversations with Faculty in open meetings, presented a complete contract proposal in to Longy May 2014. The LFU Executive Board and Negotiating Team have continued to reach out to the Faculty to determine their priorities and desires for fair and effective working conditions and clear, well-articulated terms of employment.

The School has, starting in March of 2015, begun to present oral proposals regarding compensation, and the LFU Negotiating team looks forward to further substantive and written proposals, in addition to active negotiations ahead.

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Thanks to Jonathan Cohler

As of the beginning of March 2015, Jonathan Cohler has resigned from LFU’s Executive Board. As a clarinetist, teacher, coach, conductor, and instructor in a wide variety of courses at Longy over many years, Jonathan has served both the School and the Longy Faculty Union tirelessly. Jonathan was one of the Union’s founders, and played a vital role on the Negotiating Committee which won the LFU’s first Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011. He created and maintained www.longyfacultyunion.org, which contains the LFU’s current business, history and documents, as well as having managed and edited the LFU News. He also served on the LFU Communications Committee, the Labor Management Committee, and the committee which bargained with the School over the effects of the closing of its Community Programs. Most recently, he served actively on the Negotiating Committee for the successor to our current Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the fall of 2014, Jonathan was appointed to the office of LFU Treasurer, taking on another essential role, which ensured the vitality and security of the Union.

Jonathan’s incredible energy, thorough study and research in consideration of the LFU’s legal affairs in support of Longy’s faculty have carried the Union’s work forward on many fronts.

Jonathan remains a strong member of the Longy Faculty Union, and although he no longer serves on the Executive Board, the enormous volume and quality of the work he did on behalf of Longy’s faculty continue to sustain the efforts of our Union. We thank him for his many years of service to the Union and wish him the best in his continuing career at Longy. Back to top^ Hr

Thanks to Departing Staff

The Longy Faculty Union would like to thank the departing Longy School of Music of Bard College staff members Catherine Klenov, Caroline Musica Koelker and Grace Allendorf for their considerable hours spent working on behalf of Longy. As it happens they are all Alumni, who brought good humor, serious effort and abundant skills to their work undoubtedly out of fondness for and dedication to the School. As Faculty we all benefited from their dedication competence and efforts, and wish them well in their future pursuits.

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Regarding Summer Programs at Longy

The LFU and Longy are making progress in settling the summer programs issue, which would allow programs to continue on a firmer footing that keeps in line with our Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The LFU values these important programs, the Dalcroze Institute, the Historical Dance Institute and the International Baroque Institute at Longy, and hopes that these, as well as the El Sistema Summer Academy will be able to be re-instituted in 2016.

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Words by Thomas Enman

LFU Vice-President Thomas Enman recently was asked to contribute to Oregon Musician. You can read his article "Touching Beauty" here, starting on p.8.

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