Guitar Study Center Contract Guarantees Union’s Health Plan

Volume CII, No. 11November, 2002

Local 802 and the New School University’s Guitar Study Center clinched a new agreement for the period Sept. 1, 2002 through Aug. 31, 2005.

Teaching artists organized there in 1999 and won their first contract in 2000. The effort followed the successful campaign at the New School’s Jazz Department and was the third group of music teachers to be organized by Local 802.

The new contract secures annual raises of 3.5 percent in each of the three years. The current health contributions of 4.5 percent remain in effect for teachers who meet the minimum course-load qualifications. However, in a significant gain, the employer will now guarantee a minimum health contribution of $400 annually. This will allow all teachers to earn Plan B coverage for six months out of the year, after which they can COBRA to achieve year-round coverage.

Pension goes up half a percentage point, to 4.5 percent. As with health contributions, teachers must fulfill a minimum teaching load in order to qualify.

Other gains include a $25 increase in the honorarium for Program Committee members, to $275, and a guarantee that teachers who return from a leave of absence will be entitled to the same number of course hours upon return.

Guitar Study teachers Ed Baker, Terre Roche and Steve Tarshis negotiated the contract assisted by Jazz Rep Natasha Jackson.

As Allegro went to press, musicians were to ratify the contract on Oct. 14 and 15.