Negotiations Roundup

Volume CIII, No. 4April, 2003


A first-time three-year collective bargaining agreement has been reached with the Atlantic Chamber Symphony. For a number of years, the symphony has consistently filed single engagement contracts for a string of summer concerts upstate. The new contract will cover all work from Sept. 12, 2002 through Sept. 11, 2005. Because of difficulty in securing funding for the symphony’s future work, it was agreed that the contract could lag behind full freelance scale by one year, with performance wages of $200 and rehearsal wages of $39 an hour beginning in the last year of the contract instead of September 2003 when the new freelance scale begins. All health and pension contributions lag a year behind the freelance rate as well. The employer agreed on a primary hiring list, made up of most of the 27 orchestra members who have consistently performed with the group in the past. The agreement has been approved by the union’s executive board and is pending approval by the orchestra.


An agreement was reached between the EOS Orchestra and Local 802 for a tour that took place from Feb. 15 through March 2. The agreement followed full freelance scale, with a few modifications. One of these modification was a “Higher Scale to Prevail” clause which stipulated that if the scales and conditions of the AFM local in whose jurisdiction the rehearsals or performances are played are higher than the contracted tour wages, the musicians will be paid those higher wages and conditions. Another modification was a provision that stated that for the purpose of overtime, “travel time shall be calculated from the time a musician is required to arrive at the appropriate departure site, to the time of arrival at the destination.” The tour itinerary included New York, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida. The agreement was ratified by a mail ballot election conducted before the tour took place


A one-year agreement was reached between Local 802 and L’Opera Francais for all work between Jan. 1, 2002 and Dec. 31, 2003. The performance and rehearsal wages as well as pension and health are one year behind current freelance scale, with wages ending at $186 per performance and $37 per rehearsal hour for the entire 2003 year. Since L’Opera Francais has not performed in a number of years and has been struggling to get back on its feet, a one-time waiver of its contractual employment guarantee was agreed to. That guarantee required that a minimum of 35 musicians be employed for one production each year. The agreement has been approved by the union’s executive board and is pending approval by the orchestra.