Quick Notes

Volume CIV, No. 12December, 2009

Union wins $8K for musicians

Recently, Local 802 settled a long-standing grievance with Mostly Mozart. The dispute centered on a nonunion recording used for a public art work commissioned by the Mostly Mozart Festival. The settlement agreement provides for proper payment to those musicians who performed on the recording as well as those Mostly Mozart Festival musicians who were not engaged due to their parts being dubbed. The settlement resulted in recovered wages and benefits totaling $8,290.95.


Are you struggling with the blues? Local 802’s Musicians’ Assistance Program is offering a free group called “Strategies for Managing Anxiety and Depression.” The group starts in January and runs for eight weeks. Call (212) 397-4082 or send an e-mail to

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Have you received a call to play in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra? This production will be traveling without an AFM Touring Agreement. If you get called, notify Local 802 immediately so we can have the opportunity to protect musicians under a union agreement. Call the Organizing Department at (212) 245-4802 or leave the information confidentially on the Local 802 hotline at (212) 245-4802, ext. 260.

Union Plus scholarship

Union Plus offers college scholarships of $500 to $4,000 to union members and their children. Scholarships are competitive. Download an application at Applications are due Jan. 30.

Equity endorses jazz campaign

Actors support jazz artists. The National Council of the Actors Equity Association, chaired by Executive Director John Connelly, recently declared its full support for Local 802’s Justice for Jazz Artists campaign.

Managing your finances

Local 802 offers a free seminar on managing your finances on Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 11 to 1 at the union. Please note that the time and date of this meeting were printed incorrectly in the last issue.

A new contract at MOG

The Metropolitan Opera Guild, an educational institution connected with the Met, renewed its contract with Local 802 this year.

MOG places teaching artists in local schools as part of its Creating Original Opera program.

Negotiating team members Danny Ashkenasi and Aaron Di Piazza secured wage increases totaling 8 percent for the second and third years of their three-year agreement.

Pension increased to 6 percent in year one, 7 percent in year two, and 8 percent in year three.

Health contributions are $6 per hour in year one and $7 per hour in year two.

Recording Vice President Bill Dennison and Jazz Rep Todd Weeks assisted in the negotiations.

Pension payout drops

The AFM Pension Fund announced on Oct. 16 that the pension multiplier will be reduced to $1 from $2 for all contributions made on or after Jan. 1, 2010.

The multiplier is the main number that is used to calculate a musician’s monthly pension. A lower multiplier translates to lower monthly payments.

In a press release sent out to all AFM members, the fund’s co-chairs (including AFM President Tom Lee) said that this move was necessary due to the economy and that the fund was committed to raising the multiplier “as soon as it is possible and prudent to do so.”

The complete text of the resolution is available on the pension fund Web site at

Free dental clinic

Want your teeth to be their best? Put this on your calendar now: Local 802 is hosting a dental clinic early next year, on Thursday, Jan. 14 from 9:30 to 4, here at the union. It’s free, but you must apply ahead of time, and there are certain eligibility requirements. Services will include a dental exam, simple cleaning and bitewing x-rays. For more information or to apply, call (877) 303-6962 or send an e-mail to Space is limited. The clinic is being sponsored by MusiCares, Smile New York and Local 802.

Unemployment benefits

If you are a Broadway musician and your show closes, can you apply for unemployment? Yes. For a comprehensive look at musicians and unemployment insurance, see Harvey Mars’s article at

Opera locks out musicians

This fall, the Village Light Opera Group locked out its musicians and replaced them with a single pianist. Musicians have worked with a union contract at the opera for over 17 years. The opera’s contract requires a minimum of 16 musicians. Local 802 protested at the opera’s fall concert, but the opera doesn’t have another performance until next spring. Until then, we will be organizing musicians and preparing more actions in the future. For the latest updates and to help out, please contact Senior Concert Rep Karen Fisher at (212) 245-4802, or