Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions in American history. One new milestone for women at 802 came through the recent election. Membership voted in 11 women to serve in the current administration. This is a historic achievement, representing the largest number of women to serve in one 802 administration ever.
Local 802 will take the month of March to honor and recognize women’s contributions to the arts. Our administration has also been working hard to put together a group that will support and advocate for women’s issues year round. In this issue, please find an article written by the Women of 802, a new group that will be an important, powerful voice representing the amazing women of 802 throughout our administration. In the month of March, they will hold their first event: we’ll keep you posted.
BROADWAY NEGOTIATIONS: SPEAKING WITH A UNIFIED VOICE
Organizing Director Joy Winkler and I recently visited 25 Broadway pits to talk about the Broadway contract. Members of the negotiating committee also were there to meet musicians and answer questions before negotiations begin. The main purpose of our visits was to set a clear expectation from the beginning that Broadway musicians will hear from Local 802 consistently throughout the negotiation process.
The Broadway contract expires on March 3, and a critical part of our preparation is to ensure that what we are negotiating for is informed by and backed by the power of musicians playing under the contract. In talking to almost 300 musicians, we saw firsthand some of the realities and unique working conditions at each theatre. We also talked about what we expect to be brought up at the bargaining table, and we answered questions about the process.
Though we cannot control tactics management will throw our way during the negotiation, we know that we will be prepared. Broadway has seen a decade of unprecedented economic growth and we stand resolute that we deserve a fair contract. It was incredible to witness the energy from musicians in every pit, and we are excited to build on that collective energy going into bargaining.
Going forward, it will be more important than ever to demonstrate that even though we work in different pits across the theater district, we are united in our common goals. Our union’s real strength at the bargaining table will come from you, the members who are engaged throughout the process.
UPDATING LOCAL 802’S SEXUAL HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION RESPONSE AND REPORTING PROCEDURE
Local 802 takes incidents of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination extremely seriously, and wants to ensure that all musicians have the support they need to thrive. Though employers have responsibilities 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. In March, we will be announcing new 802 procedures to allow musicians to safely, comfortably and effectively report and address sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination in the workplace. We will provide a communication platform that includes a phone hotline, mobile app and website to report any incidents of sexual harrassment, bullying or discrimination. All three reporting options will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
CONGRATS TO GRAMMY WINNERS
Congrats to all of our members who recently won Grammys (or who were involved in Grammy-winning projects), including Jack Antonoff, Steve Gadd, Alex Lacamoire, Wayne Shorter, and the musicians who recorded the cast album of “The Band’s Visit,” which won Best Musical Theatre Album: Andrea Grody, Jeff Theiss, George Abud, Alexandra Farouk, Philip Mayer, Sam Sadigursky, Harvey Valdes and Garo Yellin. (If we forgot any of our Grammy winners, please let us know!)
CONNECTING TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF MUSICIANS
This coming month, Local 802 is launching our first ever college and conservatory outreach initiative, tentatively called “802: The Next Generation.” This program will connect Local 802 musicians and union staff with younger musicians who are currently attending colleges and conservatories around New York. The goal is to educate the next generation of professional musicians about the benefits of being part of a union and to form long-term relationships to build trust for years to come.
YOUR UNION AT WORK FOR YOU
In this issue of Allegro, you’ll notice several updates on new or renewed Local 802 contracts that protect musicians with guaranteed union wages and benefits:
- American Symphony Orchestra (see Karen Fisher’s report).
- Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (see Todd Weeks’ story).
- Michael Leonhart, trumpeter and producer, and owner of MLeonhart, Inc., has signed an extension agreement with Local 802, extending his CBA though the end of 2019. Likewise, Regina Carter, jazz violinist and bandleader, has signed an agreement extending her CBA though the end of this year. Both artists and their musicians are scheduled to enter into negotiations this spring.
Make sure that you’re earning the pay and benefits you deserve! If you’re playing a job that you would like to be covered under a union contract, contact the Organizing Department at (212) 245-4802. You can also call the Local 802 hotline anonymously at (212) 245-4802, ext. 260 to report a job or working situation.