Local 802 has big plans for the summer

President's report

Volume 124, No. 7July, 2024

Sara Cutler

My summer report is packed with news. First, we recently held our June membership meeting and yet again we achieved quorum. I’m thrilled by this. I don’t know if the biggest factor is the hybrid nature of our meetings now or that we are all getting that much more engaged with our union. Either way, it is very gratifying, and I’d like to thank everyone sincerely for showing up.

At the meeting, we presented an overview of our new reporting app, #NotMe. It is a very user-friendly way to report anything a member wants or needs to report to the local. After a fair amount of research and discussion, 802 understood that reinstituting our previous harassment reporting hotline would not be productive. It got almost no use when we last had it up and working and was surprisingly expensive. We no longer live in a world where we pick up the phone and CALL when we have a problem. We use other platforms, and those other platforms actually allow us to pile on a lot more functionality. While this app will be an easy way to report, anonymously or not (member’s choice), it also allows the local to post relevant docs, like our bylaws and our anti-harassment policy, useful links, and newsworthy articles and announcements. There is also an online version of the app for members who are not smartphone savvy. The onboarding process is extensive, and we are knee deep in that process now. We hope to launch in just a few weeks and will keep you posted. The one requirement for members is that they download the app from all the usual places, create an account, and link that account to 802’s. All easily done.

Separately, please note that our current “nonunion gig hotline” is still active as of right now and is currently accessible three ways: or 212-245-8227 or . This hotline is checked daily.

We also heard a report at the meeting from AI committee member Ken Hatfield about some specific risks and possible solutions to/for our community from Generative AI. Our AI series in Allegro has elicited lots of feedback and responses. Please see the following three articles in this issue:

We are still actively seeking to fill out the AI committee (send an e-mail of inquiry to Chief of Staff Dan Point at if you’re interested). We’d love to hear from members who routinely use AI as a creative tool now and who would be willing and interested to educate the rest of us on the dangers inherent in the use of GAI and the direction the union should follow to protect its members from those dangers.

In building project news, the union has found a new temporary home! We are negotiating an agreement to move to the 10th floor of 25 West 45th Street in mid-August. We are hoping our relocation will last just six months, but the lease will be extendable up to nine months. It is a nice, fully furnished space just east of Sixth Avenue (close to the B and D trains) on 45th St that is just under 9,000 square feet. For context, our building is 29,000 square feet. We do believe that it will accommodate everyone on our staff who must work in person full time, including those who can be hybrid and those who may work fully remotely. However, we will all be working together in much closer proximity than we are used to and are trying to look at it as an adventure! The local will probably need to pause work for a day or two on either side of the move. We will keep you posted with email blasts and updates.

On the negotiation front, we are still waiting for dates from the League to begin Broadway, we are still resolving recognition issues with the new Met Title Callers bargaining unit, and we are still waiting for the AFM to conclude media negotiations with the Perelman Arts Center. We are also prepping for the NYC Opera negotiation starting in July. We do have two weeks of dates in September for the NY Philharmonic on the schedule and I will be representing the local at the Live TV/Videotape negotiation that begins right after Labor Day. We have agreed to a six-month extension on the Encores! CBA, with a wage hike, and we are considering agreeing to a request from the Off Broadway not-for-profits for an extension there. And some good news: the New York City Ballet Orchestra’s new health plan (designed with lots of help from 802) has launched — and so far we haven’t heard any complaints.

In staff news, we have appointed Melissa Chucalarao, one of our payroll auditors, to replace Logan Dolamore, who has, sadly, left us, as our Off Broadway rep. If you work Off Broadway, please welcome and get to know Melissa.

Finally, we are in the process of moving all administrative functions of the Emergency Relief Fund to the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly the Actors Fund). It will streamline the process for applicants and provide one big additional benefit: anyone applying for a grant from the ERF will automatically be considered for all the other emergency grants the ECF sponsors. If you’re in need of emergency funding (or are able to donate to help your fellow musicians), please start here:

Enjoy your summer and we’ll see you in Allegro in the fall.