Union Collects Big Money for Members

Volume CVI, No. 7/8July, 2006

Money for musicians. That’s one reason Local 802 exists: to make sure that you get your fair share. In 2005, the union collected at least half a million dollars for musicians – and the figures are still coming in, promising to push the figure to over a million.

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 2005, the Concert Department recovered almost $20,000 for musicians from such employers as New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, Camerata Ensemble, the New York Collegium, St. Joseph’s Seminary and the Boston Conservatory.

The Music Prep Department recovered about $22,000 for a musician who didn’t receive the proper rental publication “new use” fees of his orchestrations, as required under the Broadway agreement.

The Theatre Department recovered $23,000 for a single member who lost his identity with the product when a show moved from a workshop to Broadway.

The Club Date Department recovered almost $70,000 for musicians from club date, hotel, restaurant and cabaret employers.

The Recording Department collected $337,836 in late penalties in 2005, covering 4,517 musician session dates (see below). Grievance collection by the Recording Department will be reported in a future issue, which will add to the amount collected for musicians in 2005.


Late penalties are just what they sound like: extra money that employers pay to musicians because the original payment is late. The amount collected in late penalties by the Recording Department last year roughly equals 1.25 percent of all recording scale wages for the year. So one way to look at the figure is that recording musicians won a raise of just over 1 percent in 2005, simply because the employer was late in paying and because Local 802 was vigilant.

While the total collected has gone up tremendously due to penalties covered under the videotape agreement, the numbers show that last year was the third highest year for total jingle dollars collected in the past six years and the highest for dollars collected under the sound recording labor agreement.

The number of musicians who collected videotape late penalty wages was 826 (musician session dates, or cycle dates), which nearly equaled the high number of 927 in 2002. However the dollars collected were $259,743, when the previous high dollar amount was $194,443 in 2003.