Negotiations Roundup

Volume CIII, No. 6June, 2003


Musicians of the Center for Contemporary Opera unanimously ratified a contract that provides full retroactivity for all services performed since May 1, 2002 and covers all work though June 30 of this year. All wages and benefits increase 7 percent over the life of the contract (3½ percent in each year). In a significant gain, night rehearsals will be paid at the performance rate, effective in year two. The employer was granted some flexibility when presenting or co-producing an outside self-contained unit. In such cases the employer may petition the Executive Board, on a case-by-case basis, for exceptions to the right of first refusal rule.


Local 802 member and club date leader Gerard Carelli is the latest signatory to the Single Engagement Club Date Agreement. Carelli has been filing club date engagements with Local 802 for many years as a member-leader, which enabled him to pay health and pension benefits for his musicians.


All musicians in the following agreements have identity with the product for at least three years following the termination of their show.

“Menopause The Musical.” Musicians at Playhouse 91 won a new contract just hours before a threatened strike. The terms of the agreement meet and in some instances surpass the Off Broadway standards. Side musicians earn $670 inclusive of either the first double or assistant conductor premiums of 12½ percent. The music director receives a 68 percent premium which includes the 25 percent premium for synthesizer. Orchestra rehearsals pay $22 per hour with a minimum two-hour call. Doubles for rehearsals pay 12½ percent for the first and 6¼ percent for each additional, and 6¼ percent for additional doubles for performances. Vacation pays 4 percent. Health pays $7.25 per service, capped at $58 per week. Musicians earn one sick performance off for every 48 performances worked. Pension pays 9 percent. Wages increase 4 percent on Feb. 3, 2004, and the agreement expires Dec. 20, 2004. Musicians are now earning 18 to 21 percent more than when the show played Off Off Broadway, also under an 802 contract.

“Elegies A Song Cycle.” A new agreement was reached with Lincoln Center when “Elegies” was extended from a two-show week to a full eight-performance week at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. Side musicians earn a minimum of $670 plus a guaranteed 12½ percent double on top of their wages. Rehearsals pay $22 per hour with a minimum two-hour call. The premium for the music director is 50 percent. The rehearsal/audition scale is $875 for a forty-two hour week and $34 per hour with a minimum two-hour call. The first rehearsal double pays 12½ percent; each additional pays 6¼ percent. Pension pays 9 percent and vacation pays 6 percent. Health benefits pay $24 per service and are capped at $54 per week per musician.


“The Boyfriend.” A contract was negotiated with the 300-seat Bay Street Theatre covering five musicians. The side musician minimum wages are $650 for an eight-performance week and the music conductor receives a 50 percent premium. The rehearsal/audition musician receives $800 for a 40-hour, 6-day week and $34.13 per hour with a minimum two-hour call. The orchestra receives $23.05 per hour for rehearsals with a minimum two-hour call. Doubling pays 12½ percent for the first and 6¼ percent for each additional. The librarian earns a 12½ percent premium. The synthesizer player earns a 25 percent premium. The vacation premium is 6 percent.

“Streakin” A special agreement was reached with Streakin L.L.C. covering six musicians at the Babylon Supper Club for a cabaret style performance. Since Local 802 does not have a cabaret contract agreement to offer, the employer signed the basic Off Broadway agreement and was allowed the following exceptions in a side letter. For eight weeks the performances may be prorated on the basis of an 100-199 seat house. The musicians will work a total of three performances per week. The period of the agreement is limited to April 16 through June 7, 2003.

For information regarding Off Broadway, Off Off Broadway and developmental theatrical projects, call Senior Theatre Rep Mary Donovan at ext. 156.


The musicians of St. Lukes Chamber Ensemble/Orchestra of St. Luke ratified a tour agreement that covered a single performance in Mexico on April 28. Musicians received a daily tour wage of $300 for each day of the tour including travel days. In addition, continuo players received an additional 30 percent above scale. All other terms and conditions were in accordance with the touring provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.


Musicians in the Village Light Opera Group (VLOG) ratified a four-year contract that covers all work from Sept. 1, 2002 through Aug. 31, 2006.

Since VLOG is an amateur drama group, and performs almost exclusively at the Fashion Institute of Technology, performance and rehearsal wages have historically been calculated at 55.5 percent of full freelance scale. Therefore, wage increases are tied to increases in freelance scale. As freelance scale goes up, VLOG wages increase proportionately.

However, the contract contains 802s fair competition clause which requires payment of full scale wages if VLOG performs in any of the citys major venues.

Health contributions paid $10 in the old VLOG contract. They increase to $11 immediately and move to $12 in the last year. Pension, which paid 8.5 percent, now pays 9 percent in year one and increases half a percentage point in each year, ending up at 10.5 percent in the final year.

The contract pays wages and benefits retroactively to Sept. 1, 2002.