In Brief

Volume CIX, No. 6June, 2009


The Senior Concert Orchestra will perform its annual free concert on Wednesday, June 17 at 2 p.m. at Merkin Hall, 129 West 67th Street. Get your free tickets at Merkin Hall during regular box office hours, or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Senior Musicians Association, Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. Tell us how many free tickets you want — and if you include your Local 802 union card number, we can get you superior seats! The program includes a Mozart violin concerto performed by Jin Woo Lee, winner of this year’s Waldo Mayo Memorial Violin Competition. For more information, call Stan Koor at (212) 222-7651.


Summer, outdoor music and union musicians: the perfect mix. Local 802 is contributing money to help pay for Bryant Park’s free “Piano in the Park” series, which this year includes evening and trio performances on a grand piano with amplification. At left, Local 802 member Terry Waldo performs. For schedule information, see and click on “Calendar” from the left-hand menus.


Nearly $10,000 was paid by the Park Lane Hotel in benefits for a solo pianist working at the hotel’s lounge.

The musician, who worked an abbreviated schedule, was never informed by the signatory hotel of his rights under the Local 802 Hotel Agreement.

When the job was discovered by Manhattan Senior Business Rep Richard Schilio the hotel was notified of its obligations under the contract.

“Not much in the way of club dates goes on at the Park Lane, so it’s not one of our regular field visits,” said Schilio, “and before we found this job there hadn’t been steady music there for several years.” Collected was more than $4,200 in pension, over $3,000 in health and nearly $2,000 in hospitalization benefits.

The musician was also paid more than $500 in sick pay.


Holding onto health insurance just got a little easier. Let’s say you subbed on a Broadway show and earned the union’s health plan. But then the Broadway show closed and you fell off the plan. Under President Obama’s stimulus package, the federal government may cover 65 percent of the cost of maintaining your health insurance, for a limited amount of time. Under a separate program, the state of New York may cover some of your payments. Both programs will be handled through the existing federal COBRA law. For more information, contact the Local 802 Health Department at (212) 245-4802. 


In late April, Gov. David Paterson issued an order that would make it easier for unions to organize.

The directive applies to any employer who receives assistance like loans, tax breaks or property leases from state agencies or public authorities.

Such employers will have to sign “labor peace agreements,” which will allow unions the right to organize workers using a card check instead of having to go through an NLRB election.

In exchange, unions would pledge not to strike, boycott or engage in other actions that would disrupt business or deprive the state of revenues.

The New York Times, in a story about the governor’s order, reported that it was the first time a governor had issued such a directive.

The Times also said that the new rule signifies a major victory for Unite HERE, the hotel and restaurant workers union, which had been pressing Mr. Paterson and his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, to issue the directive for more than a year.


As reported in Allegro last month, Todd Barrie Entertainment was expected to sign the Club Date Agreement and did so in late April. Barrie is the last of the former Steven Scott leaders to sign. Charges against the current entity, SS1, doing business as Steven Scott, continue. At this point it appears the National Labor Relations Board will assert jurisdiction after months of pursuing the matter through the New York State Employment Relations Board.


If you don’t play enough union gigs to get on the Local 802 health plan, you may still have some options for health insurance:

  • Call our Musicians’ Assistance Program at (212) 245-4802, ext. 180. 
  • Visit the new and improved Web site of the Artists Health 

Insurance Resource Center at

We’d like to hear about your efforts to get health insurance. E-mail your stories to Allegro editor Mikael Elsila at