Union Collects Big Money for Members

Volume CVIII, No. 7/8July, 2008

Money for musicians. That’s one reason Local 802 exists: to enforce your contracts and make sure that you get your fair share. The figures are now in — in 2007, the union collected more than $2.8 million for members. 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 2007, the Recording Department collected a record $2.5 million in grievance money that went back into musicians’ pockets.

The Theatre Department collected just over $136,000 for grievances at “Rent” and “Phantom of the Opera” last year, as well as for a wrongful dismissal of a Met Opera musician. On top of that, the department collected $2,500 in wages and benefits for a musician who performed in the Off Broadway musical “The Evil Dead.”

In 2007, the Concert Department collected over $114,241 in grievances from the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Opera Orchestra of New York, New York City Ballet, and the New York Pops.

The Single and Steady Contract Department collected just over $90,000 in pension, health benefits, wages and more for gigs in 2007 at weddings, corporate events, hotels, restaurants and other club dates. The department is also responsible for collecting grievances at Radio City Music Hall.

In addition to recovering money for musicians, each department also makes sure that members are paying their fair share. Collecting past work dues is important because that’s the income the union counts on in order to do our job. Through the efforts of various departments, the amount of outstanding work dues has been decreasing each year. If you owe work dues, please pay up so we don’t have to call you.

But more importantly — if you were mistreated on a union job or feel you are owed money by your employer, call us at (212) 245-4802 and ask to speak to a union rep. Or call the 24-hour Local 802 hotline at (212) 245-4802, ext. 260. We’re here to help you.