The Local 802 election is Tuesday, Dec. 2. Voting takes place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 322 West 48th Street and 54 Sunnyside Blvd., Suite K (Plainview, Long Island). To be eligible to vote, you must have paid your third quarter’s dues by Sept. 30 and you must have joined or re-entered Local 802 no later than June 30 of this year. It is too late to request an absentee ballot – if you already have one, you must return it to the Recording Vice President’s office no later than Dec. 2. For election information, contact the Recording Vice President’s office at (212) 245-4802, ext. 110. Here are statements from candidates.
David Lennon, President
I am the Members Party candidate for Local 802 President. There will be important races in this election for Financial Vice President and Executive Board. My running mates, Tina Hafemeister and Bill Dennison, share my commitment to an administration that is inclusive and responsive to the membership. Our combined strengths will produce a solid and experienced team of top officers. The Members Party has assembled nine Executive Board candidates with extensive experience in all fields. I believe they are best qualified to guide our union in the critical years ahead. I urge you to vote for all of them.
Bill Dennison, Recording Vice President
I look forward to serving the membership of 802 as Recording Vice President. I believe the entire Members Party team, led by presidential candidate David Lennon, will provide sound and experienced leadership. The Financial Vice President candidate, Tina Hafemeister, has served as Financial Vice President for over three years, has a proven track record, and can be counted on to make informed and responsible decisions. The Members Party candidates for Executive Board have a wealth of experience across a wide spectrum of the music business that make them the most qualified team to lead our union in the period ahead.
Jay Blumenthal, Financial Vice President
I believe that an active and involved membership creates a strong and vibrant union. As a Local 802 Executive Board member I have fought for democratic union principles. Today, challenges such as a difficult economic environment and technological advances that threaten “live” music, though daunting, are not insurmountable. By listening to the membership, encouraging new ideas and carefully preparing for negotiations, we can prevail. Together we can build a union that will meet the hopes, aspirations and expectations of all our members.
Tina Hafemeister, Financial Vice President
As Financial Vice President I pledge to continue sound fiscal oversight of the union and to insure that the recently ratified dues increase will be appropriated responsibly. Through my education initiatives I have organized strategic planning for committees preparing for negotiation and delivered the MEMO program on a regular basis. In 2001, I was the union officer in charge of the freelance concert negotiations. If re-elected, I will work tirelessly with the orchestra committees to fight for the strongest contracts possible. I hope I can count on your vote.
John A. Babich
Bassist, acoustic and electric. New York City native. Graduate, New York City High School of the Performing Arts and Queens College, CUNY (B.A. in performance and education). 802 member since 1976. Freelance concert committee and strike committee for three contracts. CAC, seven years. Trial Board, seven years. Member, Long Island Philharmonic committee. Extensive experience in most areas of the professional music world including symphony, opera, ballet, Broadway (on and off), recordings, touring, cabaret and club dates. Member, American Symphony Orchestra and Long Island Philharmonic, and currently appearing at Radio City Music Hall.
A graduate of the Hartt School of Music, I have been a member since 1985.
A member of the Theatre Committee, I was elected to the Broadway negotiating committee. Because of these difficult negotiations, I was left with a feeling of urgency to continue the fight technology poses to live music.
I have a good understanding of issues facing our members, and the ability to tackle problems from a clear, objective standpoint.
As a Members Party candidate I will strive to become part of the tradition of diversity and experience that the party has represented for two decades.
Jack Gale played trombone with the bands of Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman, and the small groups of Kai Winding and Benny Goodman among many others. He has worked extensively on Broadway, recordings and club dates and has been on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music since 1981. Jack has long worked to promote musicians’ interests as an organizer of the Members Party in 1980, president of the New York RMA (1986 to 1990), and Executive Board member since 1989. He wrote the bylaws creating 802’s Strike and Building Funds in 1983 and the Legal Services Fund in 1995.
Maura Giannini has been an Executive Board member since 1993. She has participated in negotiations for Broadway, Disney, Livent, Broadway TV Network, Lincoln Center and City Center. She has also represented the union and members at Special Situation panels, grievances and AFM conventions.
As a violinist, she has worked in many areas of the business, including Broadway, recording, opera, freelance, club date and symphony.
She holds a B.M. and M.M. from Manhattan School of Music and a J.D. from Rutgers Law. She recently completed a two-year program on union leadership at Cornell School of Industrial & Labor Relations.
Al Hood, bassist, joined the Trial Board in 1988 and is currently serving as its chair. He received a bachelor’s degree from Butler University in his native Indiana and a master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. Al has played for Johnny Mathis, Paul Anka, Kai Winding, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. He has played with the top society bands including Mike Carney, Peter Duchin and Lester Lanin. He is currently on the Club Date committee and chairs the Coordinating Advisory Committee. He is part of the David Lennon team that is asking for your vote on December 2.
The last three years have highlighted our vulnerability to changing technology. We must:
1. Put more resources in organizing. A union that exists in a partly nonunion environment inevitably becomes weaker. We must reverse dwindling membership numbers that threaten economic strength and force dues raises.
2. Build stronger alliances within the labor community.
3. Improve efforts to develop Local 802 activists and leaders.
4. Become more involved in the electoral process. We must help elect political leaders who are reliable allies.
5. Continually examine methods of operation and change in response to new conditions. Old methods will no longer suffice.
Local 802’s leadership is about to undergo a major change. Two of the top officers are stepping down, and three Executive Board positions will turn over. Your union will be dealing with serious issues in the immediate future – replacement technology, orchestras going under, declines in recording, club date and hotel work, strengthening COBUG, to name a few. We need now, more than ever, to keep as many of the experienced people as possible. The Members Party candidates come from all fields of our industry and I believe will represent the membership fairly and fully. Please vote carefully on Dec. 2.
Cellist. Negotiating committees: Mostly Mozart (1982), City Center “Encores,” MSG, Broadway. Author or co-author of several bylaw resolutions, including the steady engagement bylaw.
Recordings in the classical, new music, jazz, rock, pop, film, jingle, radio, and television fields. Performances with the Arden Trio, Met, City Ballet, City Opera, ABT, ASO, ACO, Speculum Musicae, NY New Music, NY Chamber Symphony, Mostly Mozart, City Center, and Broadway.
I will work for the professional re-evaluation of 802’s staffing and business practices championed by our late colleague Richard Simon, with the goal of providing more efficient and effective service for the professional musician.
Jay Schaffner, who has supervised the Recording Department since 1992, is an active member of the RMA. His work, and his analysis of recording agreements and trends, have won the confidence of recording musicians: the RMA designated him the rank-and-file representative in the last national videotape negotiations. Jay has participated in national negotiations for nearly every recording agreement – Phonograph/Sound Recording, Film, Jingle, Public Television, NPR, VH1 and MTV. He has also negotiated local agreements. Jay – a Members Party candidate – has been a member since 1997 and also maintains membership as an industrial artist in Local 829, United Scenic Artists.
As a drummer who has worked in the club date, night club, hotel, Broadway, television and recording fields, I have been an outspoken advocate for musicians and a union activist for 30 years. Today’s music business challenges are awesome. Multinational entertainment corporations and technology threaten our profession’s very existence, while anti-labor sentiment permeates our government and culture.
In these difficult and complex times I am committed to protecting the careers and improving the lives of all musicians in all fields of music. I ask for your support so that I may continue to serve you as an Executive Board member.
As an Executive Board member for 10 years and Club Date Committee chair for 19, I’ve learned to LISTEN – to my fellow players, and to fellow officers who have years of diverse experience to share.
We, officers and members, must use our experience in finding creative solutions to workplace challenges: new technology, negotiating with powerful corporations and the current anti-labor climate and stagnant economy.
Essentials: Expanding our public relations campaign, and supporting our interrelationships with other unions. Lastly, we must continue to vigorously represent ALL of our musicians: the successful, and those who are temporarily experiencing hard times.
Active in both concert and Broadway fields, I bring over 15 years’ experience in writing and negotiating contracts that will help build on the emerging labor union coalition. In an era where changes are driven by large corporate employers and antiunion government policies, I will work to help 802 protect benefits, wages and working conditions. If elected, I will work tirelessly to further the democratic process within Local 802. I want to continue to help create an environment that improves communication and active involvement from our rank and file, insuring membership of inclusion and a voice at the table.
I’m a music copyist, arranger, orchestrator and low brass player, and was on the Broadway negotiating committee for the last two negotiations. I helped negotiate the Broadway computer copying hourly rate in 1993. I also helped restore the option of page rates to the Broadway contract in 1998, and helped keep copyists in the bargaining unit in 2003. I’m the former treasurer of American Society of Music Copyists and am on the organization’s Executive Committee. I will do my best to help keep and further advance live music in New York to the benefit of our members.
The Trial Board is the primary venue for satisfying members’ grievances. The main qualifications for Trial Board service should be knowledge of the union’s bylaws, thorough experience in a wide cross-section of the music business, intelligence, honesty and an open mind. I trust that my 35 years’ membership in Local 802 has allowed me to retain all of these in good measure. Added to this, I bring service on numerous rank-and-file committees — Broadway, New York City Ballet, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Princess Theatre Orchestra, etc. A vote for me will not be wasted.
I have been a performing musician in all major venues, symphony, theatres, studios and recording my entire playing career. My union activity has been as a member of the Executive Board for ten years and as a full time elected officer for eleven years as Treasurer and Recording Vice President. My only agenda has been the interest and care of the membership, the health and strength of the union and of the labor movement. I am a candidate for the Trial Board to continue to utilize my experience in union activity
Carline Ray, a native New Yorker and graduate of Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music, has been a member of Local 802 since 1945. As a concert chorister, she has performed with Leonard Bernstein and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. As a bassist, her many jazz credits include the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Mary Lou Williams and Doc Cheatham. As an educator, Carline has taught at Medgar Evers, William Paterson and Hunter colleges, Jazzmobile Workshop and, presently, the New School. She has served on the Ethnic Minorities and Jazz Advisory committees and the Trial Board for nine years.
Michael Roberts, pianist, received his bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1973 and his master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music in 1977. He has worked as a pianist and singer on steady engagements in various New York City hotels. Michael has been a member of the Hotel Musicians Committee (chair from 1988 until the mid-1990’s) and served on four hotel musicians’ contract negotiations. He joined the Local 802 Trial Board in 1990.
Andy Schwartz, guitarist, and 802 member since 1972, feels privileged to have served his first term as a Trial Board member. His credits include Broadway (most recently “Flower Drum Song”), recordings, and concert tours. He earned an M.A. from the N.Y.U. Music Business program, and brings extensive recording industry experience to the board, having worked in the Copyright, Business Affairs, and A&R departments of a major label. Andy hopes to continue serving a membership contending with dramatic changes in the workplace, seeking to ensure a board that provides open-minded, reality-based solutions and assistance in dealing with issues effecting musicians’ livelihood.
A Trial Board member should be an impartial juror in cases that the union or other member brings against a fellow member. I have been active in many aspects of the music business. I have toured with opera, ballet and with well-known entertainers. I have worked on Broadway, in presentation houses and in the jingle industry as a percussionist. As a music copyist I have prepared music for all fields. Having a reputation as being fair-minded and impartial, I feel uniquely qualified for re-election to the Trial Board. I have served on the Trial Board for six years.