It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since my administration and I have been at the helm again at Local 802. So much has happened not only this year, but in the past month. Let me report on some of the highlights.
First of all, we recently re-opened our doors at Local 802 to a Monday night jam session, something which Local 802 had hosted with the Jazz Foundation for decades. We hope that this is the first of many more. Please see some great photos here, and for information on when our next session might be, contact Organizing Director John Pietaro or Jazz Rep Todd Weeks.
You’ll see in the photos of the jazz jam that many of our staff and visitors aren’t wearing masks. The Local 802 Executive Board has revised our Covid building protocols. Effective immediately, the following rules apply when working or conducting business in the building:
- Health screening forms for visitors will continue.
- Masks are now optional but respect the wishes of others regarding their preference for masking.
- If you have tested positive for Covid in the last week, please refrain from entering the building unless you have been symptom free for at least five days.
- You must have received a Covid vaccine primary series: two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
- Maximum occupancy of 150 for Club Room meetings.
- Maximum occupancy of 50 for Club Room rehearsals.
We hope that these new protocols strike the right balance between a welcoming environment that also respects everyone’s personal desire for safety. For more information on renting out the Club Room for a rehearsal or a meeting, click here.
LABOR RALLIES, NEGOTIATIONS & PROTESTS
- Our members proved this month that when they raise their voices together, they can achieve big things. First of all, the musicians of DCINY successfully pressured their employer to make progress at the negotiating table by staging a hugely successful rally across from Lincoln Center with Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and dozens of supporters from the New York Philharmonic, Met Orchestra, NYC Ballet and elsewhere. As most of you know, these musicians voted for union representation with Local 802 three years ago. But their employer has so far refused to sign a first contract that offers meaningful job security and hiring provisions, fair wages, pension and health contributions, recording payments, and more. We are standing up for professional standards, especially when an employer hires musicians to perform at iconic major venues like Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center. The latest news is that the employer has agreed to meet with a federal mediator. We hope that this will lead to a fair contract soon.
- The musicians of “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish” won a contract with the help of Local 802; please see Fiddler musician Peter Saleh’s report in this issue of Allegro.
- Local 802 is supporting the part-time faculty at the New School who are striking for a fair contract. These workers are represented by ACT-UAW Local 7902 and do not include Local 802’s jazz instructors; nonetheless, our jazz instructors are honoring the picket line. For more on the strike, click here.
- Actors’ Equity is negotiating for a fair contract with the Broadway League in a campaign that they’re calling “It’s about time, Broadway!” Their issues include safe workplaces, fair wages, sensible rehearsal schedules and sufficient coverage for actors and stage managers. For more information and how you can help out, click here.
- All around the country, workers are fighting for their rights, including workers at Starbucks, Amazon, UPS, railroads, universities and more. Please check out the “strike map” at https://aflcio.org/strike-map. Stay informed and help out in any way that you can.
- Lastly, Local 802 recently ratified contracts covering musicians at the Kaufman Music Center (both faculty and accompanists), Big Apple Circus and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus.
I want to thank Harry Connick Jr and his management for doing the right thing and covering the band under a Local 802 union contract for his recent performances at David Geffen Hall. Harry is a longtime union member and we appreciate it whenever bandleaders and employers do the right thing and pay their musicians the pay and benefits they deserve. If you’re leading a band, contact the Local 802 Organizing Department and ask how you can cover your musicians under a union contract.
STREAMING AND YOUR RIGHTS
Local 802 presented a special info session at the beginning of November where we discussed film/television streaming the future. The session was hosted by RMA-NY, Marc Sazer and Joanna Mauer. For more, read the story in this issue of Allegro.
HEALTH PLAN CHANGES
By now participants in the Local 802 health plan have received a Summary of Material Modifications in the mail. That mouthful is your official notification of changes to the health fund and how they affect you. There are some significant changes that will be going into effect, and we’d like to share with you some more details and background. Click here for an article written by Martha Hyde and Sara Cutler, two of the fund’s trustees.
- Congrats to the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on earning four Grammy nominations for “A Concert for Ukraine,” “Verdi’s Requiem: The Met Remembers 9/11,” “Blanchard: Fire Shut Up in My Bones” and “Eurydice.” The awards will be announced on February 5, 2023.
- Congrats to the women of the New York Philharmonic, who were recently featured in this New York Times story: “In a ‘Sea Change,’ Women of the Philharmonic Now Outnumber the Men”
- Congrats to the Local 802 musicians of “The Lion King,” who were recently featured in this Playbill interview: “These Musicians Have Been With Broadway’s The Lion King Since Day 1”
BYLAW RESOLUTION FOR FEBRUARY MEETING
Click here to read a bylaw resolution that will be presented at our February 2023 membership meeting. Among other things, this bylaw would permit hybrid membership meetings, including electronic voting. Please familiarize yourself with the bylaw language now so we can have a civil and informed debate and vote in February.
LS-1 DEADLINE IS JANUARY 15
For those of you who submit LS-1 contracts, the next deadline for submitting is January 15, 2023. Our LS-1 web page is designed to provide a guide to successfully submitting these agreements, allowing you the opportunity to maintain or supplement your current health and pension benefits. If you have not yet done so, the time to prepare your agreements is now. Please review our LS-1 web page, including the step-by-step instructions. As always, if you have questions, your business reps are here to help. If your last name ends between A-M, please contact Marisa Friedman at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your last name ends between N-Z, please contact Mary Contini at email@example.com.
Happy holidays and a happy new year to all, and I’ll see you in these pages in 2023! Stay posted for an e-mail about our annual holiday party.
P.S. If you’re looking for a holiday gift, the “Musicians Cookbook” (organized by Local 802 member Reva Younstein) is still on sale at https://www.musicianscook.com. The recipes in the book were submitted by Local 802 members and all proceeds are donated to the Local 802 Emergency Relief Fund.
SOCIAL MEDIA SNAPSHOP