Union Collects Big Money for Members

Volume CVII, No. 5May, 2007

Money for musicians. That’s one reason Local 802 exists: to make sure that you get your fair share. In 2006, the union collected at least $2.25 million for musicians — and the figures are still coming in.

Most of this money was in the form of grievances: employers who were supposed to pay musicians, but didn’t. That’s when the union steps in to help get you what you deserve.

And it’s not just about missing wages, but missing health and pension, too — not to mention other benefits like cartage and parking.

In 2006, approximately $20,000 in wages were collected for the 24 musicians in the Broadway production of “Wonderful Town” when the star got sick and performances were cancelled.

The Theatre Department also collected over $45,000 in pension, health and work dues. The Helen Hayes Theatre in Nyack completed its payment plan for health and pension benefits that spanned the two years, as did the Off Broadway “Love Janis,” which had owed musicians money.

The producers of the show “Chef’s Theatre” paid in 2006 a total of $10,000 toward a $33,000 settlement that includes pension, health benefits and wages. The York Theatre also submitted back payments for work dues on five of their musical productions.

Slightly over $5,600 in wages was recovered for two musicians performing in the 2006 Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.

Concert Department grievances — which includes most classical music, freelance orchestras, opera and ballet — resulted in payments to musicians in the amount of $102,441.

The Club Date and Hotel Department recovered just over $51,500 for musicians in wages and benefits.

As usual, the Recording Department hauled in the most money for members, with a total of 353 grievances involving 3,315 session dates, recovering just over a whopping $2 million in wages and benefits for musicians in 2006.

Last year was also the highest total that the Recording Department collected in late penalties — money employers must pay to musicians when they are late with their initial payments.