Preparations have been under way since December for the negotiation of the 12 major freelance symphony orchestra contracts, which will set industry-wide freelance concert scales. The orchestras, which together employ more than 500 musicians, include American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Bronx Arts Ensemble, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Little Orchestra Society, Long Island Philharmonic, New York Chamber Symphony, New York Pops, Opera Orchestra of New York, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Riverside Symphony Orchestra and St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble.
Local 802 and the orchestra committees have received detailed input from the bargaining units of these orchestras. And on April 23 the first of several strategic planning seminars was held, for freelance orchestra committee members. The program, developed by the Cornell University School of Industrial & Labor Relations in conjunction with the 802 Education Department, is designed to enable the rank-and-file committees to develop a strategic approach to the upcoming negotiations.
The seminar was led by Ken Margolies of Cornell University, 802 Financial Vice-President and Education Department Supervisor Tina Hafemeister, Assistant Director and Concert Department Supervisor David Lennon and legal counsel Leonard Leibowitz.