In Brief

Volume CIX, No. 9September, 2009

IATSE Supports Universal Health Care

It’s time for universal health care. IATSE became the 21st international union to endorse H.R. 676, the single-payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). Local 802 and the AFM have both endorsed the bill as well.

H.R. 676 would institute a single payer health care system by expanding a greatly improved Medicare system to everyone residing in the U. S.

It would save billions of dollars annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMO’s.

H.R. 676 would cover every person for all prescription drugs, hospital, surgical outpatient services, primary and preventive care, and every aspect of health care. There would be no deductibles or co-pays.

The bill has been endorsed by 555 union organizations in 49 states. For further information, see

Need financial help? We’re here for you

Are you facing eviction or a big medical bill that threatens to bankrupt you? Local 802’s Emergency Relief Fund (through the Musicians’ Assistance Program) may be able to help.

The fund gives limited grants to musicians in need.

To apply, contact the union’s social worker Cindy Green at or (212) 245-4802, ext. 180.

Cindy can also help you apply for other financial help from sources like the Actors’ Fund and other relief organizations.

Thanks to everyone who donated to the Emergency Relief Fund during our recent appeal. If you are in a position to help us, please contact the Recording Vice President at (212) 245-4802, ext. 110.

The financial report of the fund can be found in the printed version af Allegro.

ABT re-opens contract

The musicians of the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra ratified a contract re-opener on May 12.

The union and orchestra committee were approached by ABT management citing a financial need.

Union accountants were engaged (at the expense of ABT) to review ABT’s books. After our accountant presented his findings to the union and orchestra committee, it was decided to recommend some contract adjustments to the ABT orchestra musicians.

The terms and conditions of the American Ballet Theatre collective bargaining agreement were extended an additional year, until March 31, 2012.

The wages in the second year of the contract were frozen at the first year’s wages. Increases in the old contract’s second and third years were pushed forward to the new contract’s third and fourth years.

Mostly Mozart Ratifies New Five-Year Deal

The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra musicians have ratified a new five-year contract, which expires on Feb. 1, 2014.

Work week wages in 2009 will pay $2,145, which is a freeze from the prior year.

Wages will rise to $2,190 in 2010, $2,245 in 2011, $2,325 in 2012 and $2,415 in 2013.

The new agreement specifically addresses some time-off issues during the first week of the season and gives additional flexibility to the orchestra.

Also, musicians who exercise their right to a leave of absence in a timely fashion will now have the option of priority substitute status during their leave by having their names placed at the top of the substitute list for their section. (Some restrictions will apply.)

Longevity pay increases to $7.50 per week (from $6 per week in the old contract) for each year of service, in five-year increments.

Effective with the 2010 season, longevity pay increases to $9 per week for each year of service in five-year increments.

Beginning with the 2009 season, a performance may not exceed 2.25 hours without the payment of overtime, with the following exception: musicians may perform three programs per season of up to 2.5 hours, including one program per season of up to three hours of a single work.

Effective with the 2010 season and thereafter, a performance may not exceed 2.25 hours without the payment of overtime, except for one program per season of up to three hours of a single work.

Chamber music premiums increase by $25 in the 2009 season and by another $25 effective during the 2011 season.

The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra Committee was Martin Agee and Lee Soper (co-chairs) and Stephanie Fricker-Baer, Michael Gillette and Jack Rosenberg.

Daniel Engelstein served as legal counsel and chief negotiator.

Other negotiation participants were Karen Fisher, Jay Blumenthal, Harvey Mars and Mary Landolfi, who substituted for Blumenthal when he was out on medical leave.

Get a Free Degree

During a recession, sometimes the most strategic plan is to go back to school. You can retrain, retool, pick up a new degree and wait out the bad economy.

And now school is free for up to five lucky members of Local 802, or their children.

Lehman College ( is offering up to five full four-year scholarships for Local 802 members – or their children – who would major in voice, composition or instrumental music.

Music faculty includes John Corigliano, Morris Lang, Mark Adamo, Francisco Roldán and Alan Hollander.

Candidates must prepare an audition, a one-page cover letter indicating areas of interest, and a transcript containing high school grades and SAT or ACT scores.

Applications are due Oct. 15 for the entering class of Fall 2010. Auditions will be in late October.

Applications are available by contacting Tara Donach at (212) 245-4802, ext. 101 or

Bylaw Updated

If a local 802 officer gets taken up on charges, how should those charges be heard?

The union last answered this question in 1985 in the form of a bylaw amendment.

But due to a mistake, the amendment was not included in the next publication of the Local 802 bylaw book, even though it was printed in Allegro and was properly passed.

The old procedure said that when officers are brought up on charges, they are tried by a committee elected by the membership.

The revised procedure mandates that an impartial arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association decides the case.

The bylaw also tightened the definition of “malfeasance,” which is one of the reasons an officer can be brought up on charges in the first place.

A full, comprehensive report of this issue can be found from the front page of this site by clicking “REPORT ON 802 BYLAWS”.

Let’s Paint the Town Green

Local 802 has joined the Broadway Green Initiative, a cooperative venture with the League and other members of COBUG to reduce the carbon footprint of the Theatre industry.

As our first step, the union has asked Con Ed to conduct an energy audit of Local 802 headquarters and suggest ways that we can reduce our energy usage. Local 802 member John Arbo has also volunteered to serve on the Pre-Production Subcommittee, which looks at ways to make new productions more environmentally efficient. (Arbo also wrote a piece on Earth Day and environmentalism in April’s Allegro.)

Counting the Country

If you get a census questionnaire in the mail, don’t throw it out! Fill it out and return it.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently contacted Local 802 and other community organizations to ask for our help for the 2010 Census.

It turns out that in the last census ten years ago, lots of info was missing, especially about residents in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Why is it important to take part in the census?

  • Every year, more than $300 billion in federal funds is awarded to states and communities based on census data.
  • Census data guide local decision-makers in important community planning efforts, including where to build child-care and community centers.
  • Community planners and governments rely on census data to determine where there is the most need for additional social services and who gets needed funding, such as community development block grants.
  • Census information helps determine locations for schools, roads, hospitals, child-care and senior citizen centers, and more.

The Census will also be hiring temp workers to canvas people’s homes. For information on applying for a Census job, call (866) 861-2010 or see

Lost and Stolen

The following violin and accessories were lost and stolen from a New York City subway train on Sunday, Aug. 9.

If you see these instruments for sale on Ebay, Craigslist, a music store, pawn shop or anywhere else, please contact Local 802 member Gregor Kitzis at (917) 584-7263 or

1) Heberlein violin (1920) – fantastic violin, almost looks like a Vuillaume

2) Hopf violin with a pickup attached to the bridge

3) Barbe viola bow in ebony and silver, mint condition, branded FN Voirin a Paris

4) Morizot viola bow in ebony and silver with a lift behind the head

5) Simon violin bow in ebony and silver with a repair behind the head

6) Thomassin violin bow in ebony and silver with colored hair

7) Bazin violin bow in ebony and silver, mint condition, branded Collin-Mezin

8) Cuniot-Hury violin bow in ebony and silver, mint condition, colored hair


Congratulations to this year’s Anne Walker Scholarship winners: Emily Olcott, Claire Gellert, Rudy Albach and George Sarpola.

SEM Renews

The musicians of the SEM Ensemble recently ratified a new contract that will expire May 14, 2012. Musicians will be paid the Single Engagement wages and benefits in effect at the time of service when performing in major venues.

Hearing Tests

Local 802 offers a free hearing test on Tuesday, Sept. 22. To make a reservation, contact Tara Donach at (212) 245-4802, ext. 101 or

Save big on Consumer Reports online

Do you use Consumer Reports online? If not, you should. A special discount program allows Local 802 members and other union members to save big on online subscriptions to

The special $19 annual online subscription to (an annual savings of $7) includes online access to:

  • All the content of the current issue of Consumer Reports magazine
  • All Consumers Union product reports
  • Online discussions with experts

Let and Union Plus team up to help you make the right choices and keep on saving by going to