On March 2, the Broadway Theatre Committee unanimously adopted a new set of bylaws that will govern its operations for the future.
Paragraph one of the bylaws, titled “Purpose,” reads:
“It shall be the function of the Broadway Theatre Committee to act as the liaison between Local 802 AFM and the regular and substitute musicians working in Broadway shows and Tony eligible productions. The Theatre Committee shall participate in contract negotiations as set forth herein.”
The new bylaws offer two ways to become a delegate with voting privileges on the Broadway Theatre Committee. Each orchestra from a currently running Broadway show and each orchestra from a Tony eligible production shall elect two regular delegates and one alternate delegate to the Theatre Committee. Delegate status can also be achieved by Broadway musicians, regulars and substitutes, by meeting the regular attendance requirement, which is defined as attendance at 12 or more of the last 24 Theatre Committee meetings.
Although the bylaws state that each elected delegate’s primary responsibility is to the regular orchestra members and subs in the show from which the delegates were elected, when asked to do so these same elected delegates are expected to act as a liaison between all of Broadway’s musicians and the Theatre Committee.
The bylaws require that at least twice a year the Theatre Committee shall distribute a newsletter which shall include a complete list of the delegates to the Theatre Committee. This list is intended to make it easy for musicians to know who they can approach other than the delegates from their own shows to raise their issues at Theatre Committee meetings.
A very important safeguard in the bylaws intended to remove anxiety about raising issues that deserve to be dealt with at Theatre Committee meetings is the provision instructing delegates that they shall protect the anonymity of Broadway’s musicians at all times.
Any Broadway musician is welcome to attend Theatre Committee meetings, although contractors can attend only by invitation.
There are two articles in the new bylaws that deal specifically with negotiations and negotiating committees. These provisions give specific instructions to the Theatre Committee and its negotiating committees as to what their roles are, and how they are to conduct themselves during negotiations.
The new bylaws are the culmination of the efforts of a subcommittee that was comprised of Nancy Billman, Tino Gagliardi, Maura Giannini, Jan Mullen, Bill Rohdin and myself.
Larry Rawdon is chair of the Broadway Theatre Committee.