New School jazz teachers say: ‘We got a great contract…’

Volume 111, No. 11November, 2011

The New School and Local 802 have reached a four-year successor collective bargaining agreement, which covers the work of 70 part-time faculty members employed in the jazz department.

Negotiations this cycle revolved around health benefits, and the impact of the school’s ability to maintain current levels of coverage while also meeting the part-time faculty’s demands for wage increases.

The new agreement features 12.04 percent wage increases over four years, compounded. It also includes:

  • Longevity bonuses

  • Improved compensation for committee service

  • New, stronger reappointment and seniority language

  • Provisions for sick days

  • Intellectual property language

Trumpeter Jimmy Owens, who has participated in every contract talk since 1997, was pleased with the results.

“We got a great contract this time around,” Owens told Allegro. “We impressed upon management that by supporting the 802 faculty, they support the jazz tradition, and by supporting the tradition, they are giving the students what they need to survive and flourish in the world of professional music.”

Owens added, “This brings visibility and recognition and, in the end, guarantees more students will come to the New School. It’s a win-win scenario.”

Owens was among the original group of organizers at the New School. This year’s negotiating team included part -time faculty members Owens, Janet Lawson, Gene Perla, Charli Persip, Amy London, Diane Moser, Charles Tolliver, Arun Luthra, David Lopato, Bill Kirchner and Armen Donelian.

Negotiations were led by Harvey Mars, with assistance and support from Mike Donovan, John O’Connor, and Leon Bell, who conducted much of the research. Jazz Rep Weeks facilitated the talks.