Vigorous Contract Enforcement Garnered $1.25 Million in 2001

It Pays to Belong!

Volume CII, No. 3March, 2002

Early figures indicate that the union collected $1,125,540 during the past year through its energetic enforcement of contracts in the recording field, on Broadway and Off-Broadway, for hotels and club date single engagements, music prep and Pamphlet B tours.

  • As always, the largest portion was made up of collections for recording musicians, which totaled $986,200: $908,096 in wages and benefits, and $78,104 in late penalties. While this is an impressive sum, it was down considerably from 2000’s record-breaking total of $1,654,865. That reflects both positive and negative trends in the industry. The good news is that payments to recording musicians are being made on a more timely basis. Late payment collections in 2001 were only 42 percent of the $185,000 collected the prior year. The bad news is that the industry is experiencing its first contraction in the last eight years. Work is down across the recording field, and grievance collections of wages and benefits reflect that.
  • A significant portion of the past year’s collections came from the hotel and club date fields in just the first six months of 2001, and this will probably rise considerably when statistics for the full year are available.

From January through June, 2001, 802 collected $53,638 in wages, pension, health benefits and unpaid work dues from club date signatories, member leaders and miscellaneous single engagements. The largest components were pension payments totaling $19,175, health contributions of $18,222, and unpaid work dues of $12,254. At $3,987, wages made up a comparatively small part of the total.

Collection amounts are based on grievance settlements, internal and external audits, and late penalties collected. Contract Administration Supervisor Jim Hannen told Allegro that grievance settlement collections may reflect late payments received as a result of first-step grievance letters from the contract administrator, the fact that musicians were omitted from contract report forms, personnel or dollar shortages on individual contract report forms, unreported engagements, and adjustments based on audits.

He pointed out that when signatories do jobs without filing contracts, they usually pay scale wages but not the pension and health benefits required by the agreement. “In many cases, the contributions we collect make it possible for musicians to qualify for coverage under Plan A or Plan B,” Hannen said.

In the hotel field, almost $25,000 was collected in the first six months of last year: $8,724 in wages, $6,007 in pension, $7,551 in health contributions and $2,656 in unpaid work dues.

  • The union collected $33,990 for members working Off-Broadway. The largest components were wages ($17,525) and pension ($13,329). 802 also collected just over $2,000 for HBP, sick pay and hospitalization payments. Unpaid work dues were $1,094.
  • In the past, reports on 802’s collections have not included several areas of vigorous contract administration: Broadway, music preparation and members’ work on Pamphlet B productions. Gloria McCormick, administrator of the Local 802 Theatres Sick Pay and Hospitalization Fund, reported that almost $27,000 was collected for musicians in those fields in 2001 and in the closing months of 2000.

Broadway contributed the largest component of that, a total of $16,413 – $7,485 in health benefits, $1,840 for hospitalization, $425 for sick pay and $6,662 in unpaid work dues. In the Music Prep area, Local 802 collected $5,048 for pension, $2,673 for health benefits and $446 in unpaid work dues, for a total of $8,168. The union also collected $2,075 in pension and health benefits for musicians on two Pamphlet B productions, and $115 for music services.

Unpaid work dues collections are significant because employers in many fields of music other than recording may withhold these dues from musicians’ checks, but then fail to remit them to the union. Collecting unpaid work dues provides 802 with the revenue it needs to administer collective bargaining agreements and protect members’ rights under those contracts.