Negotiations Roundup

Volume CVI, No. 12December, 2006

Jazz. The Jazz Department recently negotiated three agreements. Michael Davis, the proprietor of Hip Bone Music, agreed to a two-year contract beginning Sept. 1, 2006. Musicians who work for him will earn $1,000 per tour of five performances or less and $250 for each performance beyond five. Single engagements will pay club date scale. Pension pays 15 percent and health benefits pay $50 per week.

Another contract was with Sixteen As One Music, which covers the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. This two-year contract is retroactive to July 1, 2006. Wages pay $60 per performance. Pension is 20 percent and each musician earns 802’s Health Benefits Plan B.

Finally, the Jazz Department negotiated an agreement covering performances of David Berger and the Sultans of Swing on Tuesday nights at Birdland. The contract runs from Sept. 30, 2006 through June 30, 2008. The scale is $50 per performance; pension pays 15 percent and musicians earn Plan B.

New York Collegium. The musicians of New York Collegium have ratified a new one-year agreement. This agreement continues the payment of full freelance scale. Job security has been extended to two additional musicians who have been added to the primary hiring list.

New York Scandia. The musicians of New York Scandia have ratified a new two-year agreement. This agreement includes wage increases of 6.7 percent and 7 percent for non-major venues. The contract already includes current single engagement wages for any engagements that take place in a major venue. During each year of the agreement, to maintain tenure on the primary hiring list, each musician must perform one engagement if offered a minimum of three engagements. If fewer than three engagements are offered, there is no attendance requirement.

Village Light Opera Group. Negotiations with the Village Light Opera Group have been difficult. Management has insisted on a reduction of the primary hiring list down to 10 from the current 19. Management’s intention is to supplement the orchestra with amateurs if the reduction is achieved. The union and orchestra committee have been extremely resistant to this reduction. Unable to come to any agreement on this issue, management suggested an extension of the current contract through Dec. 10, 2006. The union and orchestra committee agreed to the contract extension because it maintained the minimum number of musicians at 19 and in the hope that management will come to their senses when negotiations resume.