Freelance Negotiations Wrap Up

Contract Includes Ban on Machine

Volume CV, No. 9September, 2005

Pending ratification, a tentative agreement has been reached with the Queens Symphony Orchestra. The agreement has the same terms and conditions (including economics) as the other major freelance orchestra agreements Local 802 has negotiated in New York City.

The Queens Symphony agreement includes a provision for an employer-sponsored health insurance shortfall fund. The purpose of the fund is to provide additional health fund contributions for those Queens Symphony musicians who just miss qualifying for one of Local 802’s health plans. There is a $400 limit per musician with a maximum employer liability of $4,000 annually for all Queens Symphony musicians on the primary hiring list. Queens musicians should request this shortfall health contribution if needed. The American Ballet Theatre has a similar shortfall fund.

“This contract includes a virtual orchestra machine ban,” said Financial Vice President Jay Blumenthal. “If the musicians ratify this agreement, such machines will be banned in all the major single engagement freelance orchestras in New York City. This is a significant accomplishment for which every single engagement freelance musician can take credit.”

The QSO negotiating committee included Frank Donaruma, Larry Fader, Jules Hirsh, David Moore, and Andy Seligson, assisted by Vice President Blumenthal and. legal counsel Lenny Leibowitz.