Negotiations & Grievances

Volume CIX, No. 5May, 2009


The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Inc. has reached a successor agreement with Local 802. The new two-year agreement runs from Sept. 1, 2008 to Aug. 31, 2010. 

Musicians won wage increases of five percent in the first year and 2.5 percent in the second year.

Specifics of the contract include:

  • A 2.5-hour performance paid $285.52 in the old contract; it will now pay $299.80 in the first year of the new contract and $307.30 in the second year.
  • Rehearsals rise to $58.45 (first year) and $59.91 (second year) from $55.67.
  • Chamber music pay for eight or fewer musicians rises to $449.70 (first year) and $460.95 (second year) from $428.82.
  • Education, coaching and lecture/demos rise to $307.30 from $285.52.
  • Small instrument cartage rises to $20 (first year) and $21 (second year) from $19.
  • Bass cartage rises to $33 (first year) and $35 (second year) from $31.
  • Travel overtime will be paid at $58.45 per hour or 90 percent of the rehearsal scale, whichever is greater, in 15-minute increments.


Local 802 members have ratified a new agreement with City Center covering “Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert.” The popular series presented at City Center has resulted in the mounting of three successful Broadway productions, including the long-running “Chicago.” Later this year “Finian’s Rainbow,” produced as part of the “Encores!” series earlier this year, will begin performances at the St. James Theatre.

The new contract more than doubles the weekly health benefit contribution and includes modest wage improvements over its three-year term. The health fund contribution immediately jumps from a weekly cap of $73.50 to a cap of $150. There is no wage increase in the first year, a 2 percent increase in the second year and a 2.5 percent increase in the third year.

The contract also contains new language that provides the right of first refusal to musicians in the “Encores!” production should the show move elsewhere if City Center is the producer or has a controlling interest in the new production.


  • The musicians of the Merrick Symphony recently ratified a one-year agreement with Local 802 in which all terms and conditions of the previous agreement will be extended until Dec. 31, 2009.
  • Manhattan Concert Productions recently signed a three-year agreement that covers work until Sept. 11, 2011. All concerts performed in major venues will pay the current Local 802 freelance rate. Concerts performed in non-major venues will also pay the prevailing freelance wages with some modifications to health and pension payments.
  • Local 802 and Scandia Symphony have reached a three-year agreement, which was ratified on March 30, 2009. Compensation for performances at major venues will be the Local 802 freelance rate. There are increases in non-major venue compensation in the second and third years of the contract. Most performances take place at Trinity Church and are paid through the Music Performance Fund. Beth Miller and Sandi Billingslea serve on the orchestra committee. Concert Rep Karen Fisher and attorney Harvey Mars led the negotiations.


Local 802 signed an agreement with Lincoln Center for its production of “Happiness” at the 299 seat Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. There are five side musicians in the show and each will earn $109.22 per performance. The music director will receive a 50 percent premium plus each musician will receive 6 percent vacation.

Local 802 also won a three-year agreement in March for an Off Broadway production of “Toxic Avenger” being produced at New World Stages. The wages are based on the 350-seat Commercial Off Broadway Area Standards with a small overscale payment for the chaired musicians. Musicians will be eligible for a one-week paid vacation every 6 months. There are four musicians in the production.

For more details, e-mail Principal Theatre Rep Mary Donovan at


We first reported on the demise of Steven Scott Enterprises, one of the largest club date employers in the New York area, in the April 2006 issue of Allegro. After many hearings before the New York State Employment Relations Board and negotiations with former leaders, we are happy to report that all but one former Scott leader has signed a collective bargaining agreement with Local 802. Anthony Mills Music, Inc. signed the Single Engagement Club Date Agreement in 2008. Ike Walkover Music and Entertainment, Inc. signed onto the Jewish Club Date Agreement in 2007. Both continue to work, file engagement reports with the union and pay benefits. Marvin Austin Productions signed the Club Date Agreement in February of this year, leaving Todd Barrie the lone remaining Scott leader to sign. Talks are ongoing with Barrie and he is expected to sign very soon. 

Any questions regarding these employers should be directed to Business Reps Frank DeFilippi or Peter Voccola at (516) 576-9436.


When negotiations for the new Westbury Music Fair agreement began in late 2007 the venue was known as the Northfork Bank Theatre. It is now called the Capital One Bank Theatre at Westbury and is operated by Live Nation. The change in management led to long delays as Live Nation attempted to decrease Local 802’s presence in the theatre by proposing total control over contracting and a watered down definition of “self contained” acts, as well as a decrease in pension contributions. With input from members working there, Senior Business Rep Frank DeFilippi was able to hammer out a deal which included an 8 percent wage increase over the three agreement retroactive to January 2008, an increase in health contributions, and increases of 8 percent for both “in-costume” and “on-stage” premiums. The solo premium also increased by 8 percent. The pension contribution remains at 13 percent. All questions about the contract should be directed to Frank DeFilippi at (516) 576-9436.