Financial Vice President's report

Volume 124, No. 7July, 2024

Karen Fisher

As we head into July, many of you are getting ready for tour or festivals, taking some well-deserved time off — or, as we do at 802, continuing to work through another hot, humid NYC summer. This year we have added an important and enormous undertaking to our long laundry list of things to do. Local 802 will be temporarily moving its entire operation to the 10th floor of 25 West 45th Street in mid-August for the duration of our upcoming building renovation. That means not only packing up decades of files, personal objects and important documents, but sifting through, cleaning up, scanning, and shredding hundreds of thousands of old papers and files. It’s an enormous task, but it must be done…and soon. The payoff will be a lovely, environmentally friendly, newly renovated and updated building that we will be proud to call home.

As we prepare for that task, I want to also let you know some of things Local 802 has accomplished in the first six months of 2024:

Membership: First, some good news. If you attended the June membership meeting, you heard that our membership numbers have been steadily rising since our pandemic low of 4,483 members in September 2021. In the first quarter of 2023, our membership was 5,786. In the first quarter of 2024, our membership was 5,909, an increase of 2.13 percent.

IT: I reported in October that we were looking into putting a new IT security policy in place. This was needed for several reasons, but above all to prevent anyone — including outsiders, members, staff and officers — from jeopardizing the security of our systems and data. The policy has been distributed to all employees and will be updated as needed. Our move to the cloud is about 95 percent complete. Additionally, we are also working on a training module for the staff so that we all remain as up to date as possible with using the technology.

Concert: As of this writing, in 2024, we concluded negotiations with the New York Pops, American Composers Orchestra, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, New Jersey Festival Orchestra, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. I had not previously reported that the American Classical Orchestra recently ratified a new, five-year agreement based on the Pops/Single Engagement rates, and following a year of negotiations, we have finished the first full CBA for the ABT rehearsal pianists.

In other news, I’m sorry to report that the Center for Contemporary Opera seems to have closed shop. Despite efforts to contact management over the past few years, there has been no response and their Web site has disappeared. The Victor Herbert Renaissance Project is currently on hiatus due to lack of funds, as are the Oratorio Society of Queens and the Sacred Music Society of Queens.

There is still much to be done. We are in negotiations with ABT for a new orchestra contract, as well as with Orpheus, Orchestra Lumos, Riverside Symphony, and the Village Light Opera Group.

Health Benefit Shortfall Requests: The shortfall form will be open to all eligible, rostered musicians at 9:30 am on July 22. Please be aware that this is the last contribution period in which musicians may request the old contractual amounts of $250 to $750, depending on which contracts you work under. As mandated by the trustees of the Local 802 Musicians Health Fund, the maximum amount that may be requested will be $250 starting Jan. 1, 2025.

New Hire: We recently hired Keith Otani Howard to work as a new business rep in the Concert Department. Keith comes to us with experience in the performing arts and worked for several years at Actors’ Equity. Please contact Keith with all concert related issues. He can be reached at (212) 245-4802, ext. 276 or

I will be out of town a bit myself at the end of July, attending the ROPA conference in San Francisco. I always expand my “repertoire” of knowledge when I attend player conferences and I’m looking forward to giving you a full report in the fall.