Women's March photo by Walter Karling

The Bulletin Board – Local 802 support and procedure for sexual harassment abuse

Welcome to Bulletin Board, Local 802’s new blog, intended to contribute news and information relating to issues currently concerning our membership. Bulletin Board will be a space in which we will share information about topics that directly affect us and our careers, from workplace concerns and industry challenges, to legislation, pension, and health care information.

Have a suggestion about what we might address? Let us know!

Our union takes allegations of sexual harassment and abuse extremely seriously, and we work every day to ensure that all musicians have the support they need to thrive. In response to recent revelations concerning sexual harassment in our industry, Local 802 has strengthened its Sexual Harassment Response Procedure in order to allow members to report allegations of harassment directly to union representatives.

Though employers are responsible under both Title VII and their collective bargaining agreements to provide safe workplaces for all workers, many musicians nevertheless have been subject to sexual harassment and abuse, and have not reported what has occurred for fear of retaliation. To address this, we have strengthened our process to provide support for individual members who have experienced sexual harassment, while also providing the opportunity to address systemic issues in our industry through collective bargaining, contract enforcement, public disclosure, and/or workplace education.

Under our procedure, members may report complaints of sexual harassment directly to musicians in positions of authority such as committee chairs, delegates, or member leaders. Musicians who are not part of an ensemble with a committee or leader, or who are otherwise uncomfortable speaking with a committee chair, should contact a Local 802 business representative directly, who will then work to take the steps necessary to ensure that musicians have the resources they need to feel safe and thrive. (Call 212-245-4802 and ask for your business representative.)

This strengthened procedure is accompanied by proactive measures to address sexual harassment in the workplace. On February 7th, officials from the New York City Commission on Human Rights, as well as experts from the Actor’s Fund, will help lead a discussion about sexual harassment in the workplace and in the arts, as well as ways that our community can effectively address these issues. We invite all Local 802 members to join us in this discussion in the Clubroom at 5pm, 322 West 48th Street. Find details about this event on the website and RSVP on Facebook.

And in case you missed it, Local 802 member Camille Thurman bravely told her #MeToo story in December’s issue of Allegro. You can find it here.