Thanks to all the Local 802 musicians who came to the first membership meeting of the new administration on Feb. 27! The room was packed with well over 100 members – not only did we reach a quorum, but we enjoyed a lively and participatory discussion about the future of our union, Broadway negotiations, and organizing the greater community of musicians in New York. If you didn’t get a chance to make it, we hope to see you at the next one on June 26.
Following our first day of negotiations with the Broadway League, I reported back to the membership and introduced our negotiating team. This includes our hard-working Negotiating Committee and legal team who will be sitting at the table, along with the 802 staff assisting in negotiations and the delegates of the Theatre Committee who meet throughout the year to keep the Broadway community connected. Broadway Negotiating Committee Vice-Chair Tom Monkell presented the results of their bargaining survey, revealing the issues that Broadway musicians hope to prioritize in our negotiations.
New website features Broadway musicians
Executive Board member Pete Donovan is putting together a website that will feature our talented Broadway musicians. The site will remind audiences about the valuable work union musicians do behind the scenes of their favorite shows every week. It will help Broadway musicians connect to the Broadway community and audience in new ways and will be a useful tool for many years to come.
802 uses new texting tool to connect to members
To help get the word out about the recent membership meeting, 802 utilized an exciting new texting tool. We’ll be using this tool to communicate with our members going forward – starting with Broadway negotiations. If you’re interested in receiving text updates but haven’t gotten a chance to opt in yet, please register at www.bitly.com/802-texting-tool or send an e-mail to Maria DiPasquale.
“Speaking With One Unified Voice – #802Strong”
We recently introduced our long-term community building initiative: “Speaking With One Unified Voice – #802Strong.” Our administration is committed to bringing together and organizing the many musicians who are already in our union with musicians who have historically not felt included in our union’s mission – including jazz musicians, indie musicians, Latin musicians and others. Reconnecting the community of musicians in New York will allow 802 to grow our collective power as a union. That power will build leverage for collective bargaining, organizing work in our community and furthering our policy goals.
For our effort to be successful, we need your help and participation. We’re counting on you, the musicians who work on stage and in the clubs and pits and studios of NYC every day, to help us shape that community. A unified community will make our union that much stronger. If you’re committed to putting in some work to make this exciting #802Strong initiative a reality, please contact Joy Winkler.
802 Next Generation Initiative
As I mentioned briefly in my last column, 802 will be launching the Next Generation Initiative. The mission is to rebuild Local 802’s connection with the next generation of musicians with the goal of expanding membership. Building a bridge to younger musicians and making sure they have a place in the 802 community is an important step.
One part of this initiative 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.
Another part of the initiative will establish the first-ever 802 Next Generation Committee. The committee will help organize and unite musicians who are new to Local 802 with those who have navigated the ups and downs of their first decade as 802 members.
Lastly, we will launch the Next Generation social networking series to bring everyone in this community together. This will be a series of events hosted by 802 and the Next Generation Committee for 802 members and college and conservatory students in and around New York.
802 Coffee Hour
I’m happy to report that our administration will continue with an updated version of our “Coffee with Candidates” series that we started during our election campaign. These informal, smaller meetings with members will help to shape our thinking on important issues that 802 musicians across New York face every day. The program will be called 802 Coffee Hour. Once a month, we will meet with members at coffee shops and restaurants around town to sit down and hear directly from members.