In Brief

Volume CVIII, No. 11November, 2008


It’s official: in late September, the AFM’s International Executive Board voted to allow Off Broadway shows and some regional musical theatres (called LORT)* to utilize the AFM’s national Limited Pressing Agreement to record cast albums. This follows after Local 802 recommended a policy change earlier this summer.

A little more than a year ago, President Landolfi created the Limited Pressing Committee to study the issue. Local 802 presented the committee’s final report to the AFM, which outlined a number of possible options and courses of action.

One option, which the committee supported in its report, was to allow non-Broadway shows to use the Limited Pressing Agreement. After considering the full report and all the options it presented, the IEB adopted this course of action.

The full 1,500-word report was printed in the July/August 2008 issue of Allegro.

Also, pension in the Limited Pressing Agreement will rise to 11 percent for all recordings.

The Recording Department recently crunched some numbers and found that there were 29 show cast albums in the past 12 months, including full budget, low budget and limited pressing. That’s compared to only seven such albums in 1997.

* (Specifically, while some LORT theatres in other parts of the country may use this new schedule of the Limited Pressing Agreement, LORT theatres in New York, which produce musicals and plays that are Tony eligible, are NOT able to use the new schedule provision in the Limited Pressing Agreement after the expiration of the current agreement in January 2009.)


Local 802 has settled a grievance concerning the definition of full-time status on the Metropolitan Opera Musical Staff. The grievance first came to light when two part-time staff members were offered additional weeks during the 2006-2007 season which brought them to a total of 34 weeks of employment. That number of weeks put both on track for job security and entitled them to full-time benefits, the committee believed. Management asserted that this was not the case. The language of the contract was not clear, stating in one section that all regular staff members must accept at least 34 weeks in each season and in another that all regular members are guaranteed 40 weeks of employment. 

The grievance was settled by agreeing that an employee who is offered 34 weeks prior to the beginning of the season shall be deemed a regular member of the musical staff. During the first and second seasons as a regular staff member, individuals can be terminated at the end of the season. Once any new regular member is reengaged for a third consecutive season, he or she shall either be offered reengagement for the remainder of the term of the agreement or shall be terminated at the end of an additional fourth season.

Employees who are offered 34 weeks as a result of additional work offered after the season has begun shall not be deemed regular members of the staff, but shall receive additional medical, dental and pension benefits, as well as per service media salary and revenue sharing payments and a pro-rata portion of the research and study allowance.

The two individuals whose circumstances had prompted the raising of the grievance are each entitled to payment of $36,000 upon signing of a release.



If you have your money in the Actors Federal Credit Union, your money is safe. Accounts are insured up to $100,000 per individual account or $250,000 for joint accounts and IRA deposits.

ActorsFCU has never owned, invested, or originated any sub-prime mortgages. We maintain a net worth of nearly double the amount that would be required for a bank. Our return on assets, the amount of money we earn for each dollar of our overall assets, is more than double the national average of other credit unions.

As a federally chartered, not-for-profit financial cooperative, ActorsFCU (as well as all other federal credit unions) is far more strictly regulated and examined than commercial, for-profit banks. Our federal examiners are sticklers for making sure our members are never at a risk for loss.

Any musician may join the credit union, which has a branch on the fourth floor of the Local 802 building. For more information, visit


If you are on the union’s health plan, you are entitled to free, specially-designed musicians’ ear plugs every two years, from Radio Partner. Call the Health Benefits Fund at (212) 245-4802 for details. Radio Partner also offers a $100 discount on hearing aids for Local 802 members. Call (212) 967-7628 for details.


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 Nov. 21 from 9:30 to noon, Dec. 17 from 9:30 to noon, 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.

Also, free flu shots will be given on Nov. 17 at the Equity building, 165 West 46th Street, from 10 to 3.


Union Plus offers competitive scholarships to union members, their spouses and dependents. See


In May 2007, Local 802 obtained a $29,342.28 judgment against Vanjo Productions and Charles West for wages and benefits owed to copyists for work performed on Mr. West’s Off Broadway Production “If This Hat Could Talk,” a show depicting the life and times of civil rights activist Rosa Parks. To date this judgment has been unpaid. Local 802 is attempting to track down Mr. West and Vanjo Productions’ assets. Anyone having information that could assist Local 802 in this endeavor should contact union attorney Harvey S. Mars, Esq. at (212) 765-4300, ext. 16, or


If you work on Broadway, it is easy to calculate your health benefit contributions. For each show you perform, you are credited with $29.01. This includes actual payment from the show and an imputed credit required under the last Broadway contract utilizing funds from the merger of the old Theatre Sick Pay and Hospitalization Fund. Plan A+ with hospitalization requires an average of 5.7 shows a week during the qualification period. Plan A+ without hospitalization requires 4.3 a week, regular Plan A, 1.9 a week, and Plan B, 0.18 a week. If you keep track of the number of shows you played in a qualification period you should be able to predict your level of coverage.


Actors’ Equity members recently ratified their new contract, which runs through September 2011. Wages will increase by 11.25 percent over the life of the contract and the salary cap on pension and sick leave will also rise. Equity negotiated more flexibility in how and where producers can use promotional media footage while protecting the union’s jurisdiction and establishing an ongoing “media fee” for the use of actors’ images in new media.

The union also took a step to bring more touring productions under the Equity umbrella. The top tiers will remain in the master agreement while the lower tiers will be negotiated under a new touring contract. According to Equity, this move was made in an effort by both sides to address the needs of lower-budget touring companies without diluting the terms and conditions of the higher level tiers. 

Equity’s bargaining partners are the League, Disney and Key Brand Entertainment.