In Brief

Volume CIX, No. 1January, 2009


The fight continues to keep recording in New York. Last month, Local 802 sent out a petition to save Legacy Recording’s satellite studio at 509 West 38th Street, one of only a handful of rooms capable of accommodating a 100-piece orchestra. A new developer had purchased the building and was exerting financial pressure on the studio. In the end, Legacy decided to vacate its satellite studio and move all of its equipment to its main location at 168 West 48th Street.

Legacy’s large studio was such a fixture in New York that its closure leaves a void. So Local 802’s Recording Department, under the supervision of Jay Schaffner, has prepared a list of 20 studios suitable for recording larger ensembles. This list is available by e-mailing

The union continues to push for more tax incentives to draw recording projects to New York City. A production tax credit already exists; a postproduction credit is one of our goals.

For the very latest on Legacy or other recording news, e-mail Jay Schaffner at For the latest in our legislative efforts, e-mail Paul Molloy at BEAT CERVICAL CANCER!

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and the Coalition of Labor Union Women is joining advocacy groups in the United States and Europe in a new campaign to stamp out cervical cancer worldwide. The Pearl of Wisdom Campaign to Prevent Cervical Cancer ( does this through distribution of the “Pearl of Wisdom” pin and three key messages for the U.S.:

  • Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women around the world — in the U.S., 11,070 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3,870 will die of the disease in 2008.
  • Cervical cancer can be prevented — through programs that use the Pap test, the HPV test and the HPV vaccine. 
  • Working together, we can make sure that girls and women everywhere have access to these preventive technologies.

Anyone can show support for the campaign by wearing a Pearl of Wisdom pin and sharing the above three messages. The pins can be purchased for $6.95 each at Visitors can also send “virtual” Pearl of Wisdom pins to others, as well as post digital versions of the pin on their Facebook, MySpace or other personal web page.

CLUW, the only national organization representing union women, also runs the Cervical Cancer Prevention Works program. Founded in 2005, the initiative raises awareness among unions and union-member women about cervical cancer and the available tools to prevent it. To date its messages have reached more than three million union members.


Let thousands of other professional musicians know about you and your services. 

During a recession, it’s more important than ever that you invest in your own publicity. You can buy an ad in Allegro for as little as $34. Contact Allegro editor Mikael Elsila at or (212) 245-4802, ext. 179. And please support your fellow musicians: check out their ads in Allegro! You might find some surprising offers.


If you live in Queens, Brooklyn or Long Island, you will be receiving a survey in the mail from the Center for Performing Arts at the Long Island Jewish North Shore Hospital. Local 802 asks that you fill out the survey and return it to the hospital. Thanks for your cooperation.


After more than a year and a half of negotiations, the Stamford Symphony Orchestra and Local 802 have reached agreement on a three year contract. The new terms include wages that will be slightly higher than freelance scale in years two and three, a one percentage point rise in pension by year three, a 33 percent rise in health benefit contributions, a $5,000 health benefits shortfall fund, and mileage for all engagements requiring a separate trip to Stamford. New language has been added allowing for rehearsal releases, educational outreach engagements, recording, and health and safety. 

The musicians were represented by committee members Rebecca Osborn (Chair), Amy Wright, Sebu Sirinian, and Gabriel Schaff. Senior Concert Representative Karen Fisher and Local 802 Attorney Harvey Mars led the negotiations. Vic Vigdor of Local 52-626 (Norwalk, Conn.) also participated. The contract was ratified by the musicians at the end of November.


They’ll be more money for musicians during the next strike. For many years, the Local 802 strike fund has kept a balance of $500,000. During the last stagehands’ strike, the union realized that the fund must be made larger so that meaningful strike benefits could be paid. Therefore, the Executive Board submitted a bylaw resolution to increase the fund’s balance to $2 million. Also, the bylaw mandates that anytime the union’s general fund has a surplus, up to one half of the surplus will be transferred to the strike fund. The Oct. 22 membership meeting did not reach quorum, so as per union bylaws, the Executive Board unanimously passed the strike fund increase.


The Actors Fund will offer free flu shots for musicians, actors and other artists at the Aurora building, 475 West 57th Street. The shots will be administered on Dec. 30 from 1:30 to 4 and Jan. 7 from 1:30 to 4. No appointment or reservation is necessary: just show up. For more information, call (212) 489-1939, option 3.


If you are a Broadway musician and your show closes, can you apply for unemployment? Yes. While you are collecting unemployment, can you sub on other Broadway shows, teach lessons, and play other freelance gigs? Yes, but your unemployment check may be reduced.

For more information, see an article that Local 802 lawyer Harvey Mars wrote last year for Allegro: “Lose Your Gig? File for Unemployment, If You Can…” For help with filing an unemployment claim, Local 802 recommends that you first call the Workers Defense League at (212) 627-1931. If you still need help, call Local 802 counsel Harvey Mars at (212) 765-4300 or


Do you want to learn more about how music played a role in the labor movement? The National Labor College will be offering the Social History of Labor Music as an online course beginning in February. The instructor is Joe Uehlein, president of the Labor Heritage Foundation and a member of AFM Locals 1000 and 161-710 (Washington, D.C.). The course will examine labor music from 1850 to the present and how it played a role in the struggles of the times and served as a source of education and inspiration over the years. The course will include the music of Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, as well as the troubadours who are fanning the flames today! For more information, contact LaCandance Speight at