Archive | Labor Relations

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The Election’s Impact On Labor Relations

Although there will likely be no shortage of post-election bear traps springing up for the field, one area worth keeping a close eye on is labor relations. We tend to spend most of our time here focusing on the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) but one of the other labor unions which wields a degree of stakeholder level influence is the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). IATSE’s international president, Matthew Loeb, wasted no time releasing a public statement warning about potential consequences once the president-elect takes office. The middle class […]

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Eerily Familiar Language

The 5/21/2016 edition of TechCrunch published an article by Devin Coldewy that reports on a speech given by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) about the gig economy (such as Uber, not musician related gigging) that touches on some remarkably familiar concepts inside the orchestra field. Here’s an excerpt of Warren’s speech included in the TechCrunch article (emphasis added): The gig economy didn’t invent any of these problems. In fact, the gig economy has become a stopgap for some workers who can’t make ends meet in a weak labor market. The much-touted virtues of […]

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Do You Know About The Ten Point Test For Determining If A Worker Is An Employee Or Independent Contractor?

Pop quiz: do smaller budget orchestras classify musicians as employees or independent contractors? Regardless how you answered, you’re both right and wrong. But that question is beginning to move toward something more straightforward following a recent decision by the District of Columbia Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that determined musicians of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra (LSO) were decidedly employees. Historically, the LSO classified musicians as independent contractors but the roughly $1.5mm budget orchestra entered rough labor waters nearly a […]

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Remembering That We Have More In Common Than Not

On the eve of the English National Opera labor showdown, I wanted to take a moment to revisit some research I put together as part of the What’s Working and Must Work session within the 2012 American Orchestras Summit, hosted by the University of Michigan. Titled What The Other Side Gets Right, I invited a cross section of managers, board members, and musicians to answer one of two straightforward questions: Orchestra musicians were asked “What do you think Boards/Managers get right?” Board members and managers were asked “What do you think Musicians’ Unions get right?” Although […]

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Minnesota Orchestra Musicians Donate $250k To Association. No Funds Earmarked For Eliminating Substitute Pay Disparity.

The lovefest that is labor relations between the Minnesota Orchestra Association (MOA) and the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra (MOMO) crossed a new threshold last week with the announcement that the musicians decided to donate $250,000 in restricted use funds to the MOA for the purpose of establishing The Bellwether Fund, a new program designed to underwrite education and community programming via activity that includes previous musician run initiatives outside the auspices of the MOA. According to a musician press release, The Bellwether Fund will be overseen by musicians but planning and […]

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