Be an active member
Remember the musicians are the union. That means you! Make sure you know what your union is doing. Participate in the governance of the union; vote on issues and in elections. Attend membership meetings; be an active participant on committees. Join demonstrations on behalf of musicians and other workers.
Membership and work dues
Without dues the union could not exist. Dues are the union’s only source of funding. The dues formula was set by the membership in a union wide vote. Your dues pay for organizing campaigns—the union must organize other musicians and their work in order to improve the standards for all workers—negotiation costs, legal services, public relations, staff salaries, office space, supplies, phones, etc. When hired, if you are not yet a member you are expected to join the union and pay dues and a one-time initiation fee. Income from dues makes it possible for the union to protect the wages, benefits and working conditions for all musicians.
Bylaws and constitution
The members of Local 802 have written and voted on a set of regulations by which they govern themselves. These regulations provide for the fair representation of the membership, the rights and responsibilities of the officers, and the rights and responsibilities of the members. As a member you are eligible to propose and vote on changes to these rules at scheduled meetings of the membership called for such a purpose.
Make sure that your job is a union job
This could mean forming a committee of musicians that you work with who may be both union and non-union musicians, whose goal is to turn your gig into a union gig. The Organizing Department, staff, officers of Local 802 and legal counsel are here to work with you in making this happen. Together, in a spirit of trust and solidarity between you, your fellow musicians, and the people who represent you at the union, we can bring more employers under union contracts that extend benefits like health insurance and pension. We need to win union contracts from all employers of musicians in every area of the music business. This helps all of us by creating a level playing field in which one employer cannot undercut another. Each situation is different but the common thread is: standing together in solidarity makes us stronger than standing alone.
Member participation is crucial
Increased member participation has proven to be decisive in bargaining for better contracts, settling grievances faster, more effectively organizing non-union venues and employers, as well as recruiting non-union musicians and lobbying successfully. Membership involvement reaffirms that the musicians are the union.