It’s already shaping up to be a busy fall season at Local 802 and there’s lots to report this month. First of all, as most of you know by now, Local 802 and AGMA announced the details of an agreement with the Metropolitan Opera. Our joint statement said: “We, the musicians and musical artists of the Metropolitan Opera, believe in the future of opera and are deeply committed to collaborative efforts to guarantee the stability and artistic vibrancy of the Met. Throughout this process, we have worked to achieve a favorable economic agreement, including compensation and benefits improvements that support artistic excellence and help to ensure that musicians are able to live, work, and raise a family in this great city. Demonstrating a continued willingness to invest in the Met’s long-term stability, we have agreed to add Sunday performances, which we recognize will reach new audiences, while also securing important protections and improvements that will safeguard artists’ work-life balance. Additionally, going forward, musicians will have a stronger voice at the Met as members of the continuing Efficiency Task Force, a newly created Artistic Advisory Committee, and a new Public Engagement committee tasked with exploring innovative ways to creatively interact with fans, increase revenue, and modernize the institution. We are heartened by the fact the Met is prioritizing the artists who bring grand opera to life for audiences around the world and look forward to an artistically vibrant season.”
The Metropolitan Opera’s product is the talent of its skilled musicians and musical artists, who consistently deliver excellence with every performance, both on stage and in the pit. The committees negotiated a favorable economic package that will allow the Met to maintain its high standard of musical excellence, balancing compromises made to ensure the institution’s long-term viability with protections for hard-working musicians. The musicians of the MET Orchestra can now turn their attention to bringing the joy of grand opera to New Yorkers and visitors from around the world.
I am pleased to report that I was recently chosen by City & State as one of the 50 most powerful leaders in New York’s labor community. City & State is the leading media company covering government and politics in New York, and the Labor Power 50 list honors the 50 most influential people in government relations, labor unions, business, culture and social services as it relates to private and public sector unions. I was profiled in the Sept. 3 issue of the magazine and was honored at a reception in early September along with the other Power 50 leaders. On its site, City & State said this about me: “The music industry is vital to New York City’s identity and economy…Tino Gagliardi has advocated for the ability of musicians to make a fair living and protected live performance and recording industry standards.” This recognition is not just about me personally: it’s a tribute to Local 802 as a whole and how our union is perceived as a strong force for musicians’ rights. For that, I’m pleased for our entire union.
RECORDING SEMINAR A SUCCESS
Assistant Supervisor John Painting reports that the Local 802 Electronic Media Services Department’s recent contract seminar was a success. This was the first in a series to aid musicians in navigating the often difficult and confusing world of recording agreements. The department staff was on hand to discuss the intricacies of AFM film agreements, including the Theatrical Motion Picture and Television Film Agreements. This included session payments, multi-tracking rates, sidelining, report form filing, and secondary market residuals. If you were unable to attend the event, but are interested in more information, the meeting’s notes are available to download as a PDF at www.bitly.com/film-seminar. Join us for our next contract seminar on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. as we discuss the Sound Recording Labor Agreement and its alternatives, including Demonstration Recordings and Limited Pressings.
If you’re passionate about diversity and inclusion, come join the newly formed Local 802 Diversity Committee. Chaired by Local 802 member Steven Cuevas, who is a diversity and inclusion activist, the committee aims to create and foster a diverse and inclusive environment where no voices are silenced – and all of us can thrive. Musicians of all backgrounds have the potential to disrupt and transform entrenched practices and thinking. If you’re interested in this empowerment mission and want to be added to our list, contact Marlena Fitzpatrick, staff liaison of the Diversity Committee, at (212) 245-4802, ext. 158. A meeting will be scheduled in early October.
And please remember that Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. In this issue of Allegro, see our story about how Broadway celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month. See www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov for more.
WHO WILL CONTROL CONGRESS?
Americans will determine who will control Congress in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections. And on the local level, it’s vital that we have allies who support artists and all working people. These elections have never been more important. Election day is Nov. 6, but you must be registered to vote by Oct. 12. For more information – including how to find your voting location – see www.elections.ny.gov. Local 802’s latest endorsements can be found on our Political Action page. (And see Martha Hyde’s story for a fascinating look at how the New York State AFL-CIO makes its endorsements.)
A CALL FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
I want to end with a personal note. Over the summer, the headlines of children being separated from their parents shook me – and many others – to the core. Now the New York Times has reported that the detention of migrant children is at its highest level ever. Nothing can be worse than children being separated from their parents. I urge all Local 802 members to use their music to add compassion, love and social justice to the world – in whatever way you can. Artists have always had a higher spiritual calling. Let’s use our art to help heal the world and make it a better place. The world surely needs our help, now more than ever.