Volume 122, No. 9October, 2022

Local 802 jazz instructors and other unionized workers at the New School were seen in mid-September marching for respect on the street….with live music!

We jazz instructors at the New School first won a union contract with the help of Local 802 in 1998. At the time, we’d received only one raise in over 10 years and had no health benefits, pension or job security. Now we and other on-campus unions are demanding that the New School bargain in good faith for new contracts that provide fair wages, reliable healthcare, stronger job security, real curriculum input, and more!

We chose to build our careers at the New School due to its bold, progressive history, its stance against autocracy, and its deep roots in human dignity. But instead, we’ve encountered an employer that has strayed very far from the founders’ sentiments.

Now’s the time for lasting labor peace, honest and open negotiations, and fair contracts!

For photos and video coverage of the Rally for Respect, see

Shop stewards of the School of Jazz & Contemporary Music part-time faculty bargaining unit:
Junko Arita – vocalist, producer, conductor
David Lopato – pianist, composer
Arun Luthra – saxophonist, konnakolist, composer
Gene Perla – bassist, composer
Matt Wilson – drummer, composer

A version of this story also appeared in the AFM’s International Musician magazine and elsewhere.