Progress is Coming

Financial Vice President's Report

Volume 119, No. 1January, 2019

Karen Fisher is the financial vice president of Local 802, and the supervisor of the union’s concert department.

To the Musicians of Local 802: I am truly humbled and honored to be your next financial vice president. Our new administration received an unambiguous mandate for change from you, the members, and we take that responsibility very seriously. I approach my new position with a scrupulous, sober eye towards balancing our budget and putting Local 802 on a path to financial stability. By the time you read this, we will already be working on the budget for next year, and the new administration will be up to date and working with staff to make a smooth transition for our new Executive and Trial Boards. As you may know, my office also negotiates and administers the freelance concert, ballet and opera contracts. This will be a natural shift for me, as I have been working with those committees and employers in my previous position as your concert representative for the last 12 years.

I thank my predecessor, Tom Olcott, for leaving the Concert Department on solid ground. I am grateful for his guidance and advice over the years and wish him all the best. I also must acknowledge the hard work accomplished by the outgoing Executive and Trial Boards, and hope that they will continue to be active in our union.

When I accepted the job as the concert representative at Local 802 in 2007, it never occurred to me at the time that I would one day run for office. I am excited, prepared, and looking forward to working with you in this new capacity. I am encouraged that so many members became engaged with our union during the course of the 2018 election. For some, the catalyst was concern over the failing pension fund; for others it was a need for inclusion and a desire to see the union become more up to date and welcoming to new and diverse ensembles. I am especially encouraged by the recent engagement of so many younger musicians, which can be attributed directly to many months of tireless outreach by our new president. We are going to build a more modern, streamlined, responsive Local 802. Progress may be slow, but it is coming!

One of the responsibilities of leadership is to secure the future of the organization, and we are searching for the next generation of leaders now. My hope is that you stay engaged, hold us accountable, and help us help you.

My door will always be open, and I hope you stop by when you are in the neighborhood. I wish you a joyous and prosperous New Year.