Negotiations Roundup

Volume CII, No. 12December, 2002


Count Basie Enterprises, Inc. signed a pension contribution agreement with Local 802 for performances that took place in Japan between Oct. 13 and Nov. 1. The band and the union have been unable to agree on a new long-term contract since the last agreement expired in 1999. But the single-tour agreement allowed the employer to make contributions of 5 percent of scale wages for musicians on the Japan tour. This will provide a vesting credit in the AFM pension plan for each musician.


The Peniel Concert Choir and 802 reached a new three-year agreement, covering work performed between Sept. 12, 2002 and Sept. 11, 2005. It provides a wage freeze for the first year of the contract, but then brings wages in line with full freelance scale for years two and three. The first year of the contract pays $175 in performance wages, which were frozen from the previous one-year agreement.

In the second year, the performance wage increases to $200 and includes the standard increases in rehearsal wages, health and pension that are found in the Single Engagement Classical Wage Scales for that year. Since promulgated scales have not yet been established for the period covering the last year of the contract, both parties agreed that for that period “all terms and conditions of the then current Local 802 Single Engagement Classical Wage Scales and Conditions shall apply.”


A Year With Frog and Toad: Local 802 reached an agreement with the Children’s Theatre Company, Teresa Eyring, managing director, for the world premiere production of A Year With Frog and Toad. There are eight musicians in the show, which opened at the New Victory Theatre on Nov. 15. The minimum side musician scale is $820 for an eight-performance week and includes one double at 12½ percent. Premiums for music director and associate conductor are 50 and 15 percent respectively. The rehearsal/audition scale is $950 for a 40-hour/six-day week and the hourly rate is $35 per hour. Orchestra rehearsals pay $25 per hour. Both are minimum two-hour calls. The librarian premium is 12½ percent, additional doubles pay 6¼ percent and the synthesizer premium is 25 percent. Musicians are reimbursed for cartage. Health benefits are $54 per week and pension is 9 percent. Musicians earn one sick performance off for every 48 performances worked. Music preparation scales are at full Broadway rates including benefits. All musicians have identity with the product.

For information regarding Off Broadway, call Senior Theatre Rep Mary Donovan at (212) 245-4802, ext. 156.


This summer, Local 802 renegotiated additional terms and conditions for the Bard Music Festival, which had been organized and brought under the ASO contract in last year’s freelance negotiations.

After musicians had ratified the contract, Local 802 learned that ASO was hiring musicians for the 2002 festival at a lower rate of pay than in past summers.

On July 1, the union informed the employer that this was a violation of the maintenance of benefits provision which stipulates, “musicians shall suffer no loss of compensation or established past practices in effect prior to the signing of this agreement.”

As the summer festival approached, the orchestra committee informed Local 802 that management was assuming that the situation had been resolved, even though the ASO had not replied to 802’s letter.

In addition, management indicated it might change its night rehearsals to the daytime, a prospect not favored by the musicians, if Local 802 maintained its position. Although the deadline had passed for management to make such a change this season, musicians had concerns over future scheduling.

To address these issues, the union entered into talks with management resulting in an agreement that upheld the maintenance of benefits provision.

Section players’ hourly rehearsal wage was increased from $37 to $44.10 and section performance wage was increased from $186 to $210. Principal players received an increase in the hourly rehearsal wage from $44.40 to $52.92 and a performance wage increase from $223.20 to $252. Those wages will increase by 4 percent in each year of the agreement.

In response to the musicians’ rehearsal scheduling concerns, night rehearsals, at the summer Bard Music Festival only, shall be paid at the day rehearsal rate.

The agreement was overwhelmingly ratified by the musicians.


Local 802 recently negotiated three agreements with the management of Andrea Bocelli, the first under the newly-promulgated Run-Out and Tour guidelines which include tighter restrictions on service and travel conditions and greater compensation for mileage and overtime.

Bocelli management initially approached Local 802 to negotiate the terms and conditions of three run-out engagements to Connecticut and New Jersey, Buffalo and Detroit, and Atlanta and Philadelphia. The engagements were to take place in late November and early December.

Generally, engagements with travel to less than three cities outside of New York City are classified as run-outs and therefore exclusively under the jurisdiction of Local 802. Engagements with travel to three or more cities are classified as tours and require AFM approval.

Local 802 began several telephone negotiation sessions for these engagements with management representative Arnie Roth of AWR Music in Chicago. During the course of negotiations, however, a performance in Miami was added to the Atlanta-Philadelphia itinerary, thereby reclassifying the engagement as a tour. Local 802 immediately contacted the AFM to request authorization to negotiate the terms of the agreement, which the AFM granted.

The union and management reached agreement on Oct. 9 after several hours of telephone negotiation. Within days, the union reduced the deal to writing and faxed it to the employer.

But even as 802 musicians were being hired for the engagement, the union learned that Bocelli management had contacted the Las Vegas Philharmonic for the same engagements, which prompted the Philharmonic to get in touch with their local (Local 369).

Local 802 took immediate action. First, we issued a letter to Bocelli management warning them that if they failed to immediately sign and return the agreements, Local 802, acting with the authority of the AFM, would file an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

Further, 802 would petition the AFM to place the employer on the AFM International Unfair List and take all legal action necessary to obtain full payment to any 802 musician already hired.

Within hours of these actions, the employer faxed Local 802 signed copies of all three agreements. The AFM signed off on the tour agreement the following day.