Negotiations Roundup

Volume CI, No. 9September, 2001


Nearly two years after the Pierre and Four Seasons hotels withdrew from the Hotel Committee for Hotel Users of Music and Local 802 was forced to negotiate with them separately, agreement was reached for a three-year contract that parallels the larger agreement reached in 1999 with more than 20 hotels in Manhattan.

Early meetings with the Pierre and Four Seasons centered on the hotels’ demand that they be allowed to change format on a seasonal basis whenever they wished. Local 802, a committee of the hotels’ musicians and members of the larger Hotel Committee made it clear that the union would not enter into an agreement with the two hotels which diminished the standards established in the Hotel Users Agreement. Additionally, the union refused to enter into any agreement that would jeopardize the employment of the tenured musicians already employed.

The resulting agreement resolves both of the union’s issues while addressing the hotels’ need to experiment seasonally with musical formats on a limited basis. The hotels may change format on a seasonal basis for no longer than two weeks on any one occasion. If a second layoff occurs during a 12-month period the affected musician will receive one-half her/his regular pay for the length of the layoff.

In the event of a permanent change of format that results in the layoff of any musician, the musician will receive six weeks’ written notice (or pay in lieu of notice) in the case of a musician employed for less than 13 months, or nine weeks’ notice (or pay) for musicians employed for more than 13 months. Currently, tenured musicians in hotels must receive six weeks’ notice or pay in the event of termination due to a change in format.

The agreement reached with the Pierre and Four Seasons mirrors the larger Hotels Users of Music contract in every other respect. Musicians will receive wage and pension increases retroactive to March 1, 1999.


The Justice for Jazz Artists campaign continues its efforts to seek voluntary collective bargaining agreements with bandleaders and corporations, to ensure that musicians receive pension contributions and health benefits. The bandleaders themselves may act as the employers of musicians, or they may employ individuals through a corporation.

Vincent Gardner of Muttbone, Inc., is the latest employer to sign such an agreement for the first time. Other musicians who participate in the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign by acting as employers and who have recently renewed their contracts include Dave Taylor of Dove-Tayl Inc., Jimmy Owens of Jay-Oh Productions Inc., John Mosca of Sixteen As One Music, Inc., Howard Leshaw of Jotas Corporation, Wayne Goodman of Tailgate Music, Inc., Ahmad Jamal of Mayah Publishing, and Blossom Dearie of Blossom Enterprises, Ltd.


The Rise and Fall of Isabella Rico: A noncommercial reading at Theatre Three for the Director’s Company, Veronica Bainbridge, producer, provides a wage of $650, inclusive of premiums, for the side musicians, for 40 hours of rehearsals over one week, including one presentation. The music director/conductor or leader receives $1,500 for two 40-hour weeks and one presentation. Overtime is time-and-one-half per 15 minutes or part thereof. Premiums include 12_ percent for the first and 6_ percent for each additional double, and 25 percent for synthesizer. The two musicians receive reimbursement of all cartage expenses, health benefits of $54 per week and 9 percent pension. They do not have identity with the product.