President’s Report

A Union of Unions

Volume CX, No. 1January, 2010

Tino Gagliardi

Working together, we can recognize our common bonds

As the newly elected president of our local, I look forward to the opportunity to get to know and to work with all of the talented musicians who comprise this great union.

Of course, I am also mindful of the enormous responsibility that comes with the leadership of such a vast and varied association of artists in every area of our profession. If I am to succeed, I will need the guidance and support of all of my fellow officers, union staff members, and you, the musicians of Local 802.

A key goal of my presidency will be to foster a broader understanding among 802 members of the underlying kinship that binds us all together as musicians, artists and professionals.

Like all of you, I became a musician first and foremost because of my love for music and gravitated to the idea of making it my profession. In the course of my career, I have encountered thousands of musicians in virtually every area of our profession. I’ve been struck both by the wide variations in the skills, knowledge and experience required in each musical genre and, at the same time, the underlying connection among all musicians.

We are sometimes focused on the aspects of our own careers that distinguish and separate us. While it is undeniable that successful musical artists in one musical field might not be able to function effectively in other areas, I believe that, different as the music we perform may be, there is an underlying characteristic that unifies us as artists and professionals. That is a major reason why 802 works as a union.

However, the most important reason that having one union for all musicians is workable is 802’s representative structure. This is accomplished through the local’s negotiation and administration of an array of collective bargaining agreements that are specifically tailored to the needs and standards of the musicians (and work) that they cover.

This amalgam of specific agreements for such different artistic and industrial models would not be possible, let alone effective, if it were not for this local’s committee system, the life-blood of a union like 802. This system blends the power and scope of a large union of all professional musicians in combination with the participation in collective bargaining of specific members and their elected representatives. Committees provide the experience, knowledge and priorities of those working in each orchestra, field and industry. The result is a synthesis of unity and autonomy for all 802 musicians.

Still, in our busy and diverse professional lives it is easy to lose sight of our common bonds and interests as musicians.

I take office in the hope that we can build an ever-growing awareness among all 802 members of the basic needs and interests which can unite all musicians who strive to live and work as artists and professionals in the greatest city in the world.