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Tag Archives | International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians


And Then That Happened

I’m away at the 2016 @ArtsMidwest conference today but want to quickly point out two items of notes related to substitute parity (paying substitute musicians an equal per-service rate as their salary based colleagues). Regular readers know the topic of equal pay for equal work among orchestra musicians is a popular topic and one ongoing […]

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A Crisis Of Conscience Inside The AFM

The topic of equal pay for equal work as applied to substitute musician wages has been an uphill examination over the past year. We began exploring the topic in the wake of the Minnesota Orchestra settlement that ended their season-killing lockout after learning the agreement failed to maintain wage parity for substitute musicians and even […]

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Equal Work For Equal Pay: An Orchestra Musician Third Rail Topic

One of the most common tasks in my consulting work with boards and administrators is adjusting preconceived notions about the musicians union. One of the reasons misconceptions are so common is the musicians’ unique level of self-determination and direct representation is in stark contrast to most other labor unions. A Fascinating History Beginning in the […]

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The Ridge Address: A Warning-Response Opportunity

Although I plan to post my observations about the entire 2012 American Orchestra Summit later this week, I wanted to focus on what was perhaps the most engaging component of the entire event: a keynote address from International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) chair Bruce Ridge and the subsequent rebuttal session with League […]

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AFM Poll Update: The Grass Is Looking Greener

When the original poll results were published on 6/4/2010 I mentioned that we would revisit the results if there are any significant changes or an unusually large spike in responses. As it turns out, both have come to pass. Since then, the poll produced just under 800 respondents and that surge shifted the response ratios […]

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Should Orchestra Musicians Leave The AFM?

Yesterday’s post on the recommendation by the American Federation of Musicians’ (AFM) International Executive Board (IEB) to give officers an unaudited $10,000 discretionary spending account has generated a considerable amount of feedback throughout social network sites and private email messages. One item that repeatedly pops up is whether or not orchestra musicians would be better […]

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Things That Make You Go Buh?!? AFM Leadership

What do you call a $10,000 discretionary spending account over and above existing annual compensation, travel expenses, and departmental budgets? Oh, and did I mention that each executive with the mad money privileges will not be required to make an accounting of what or how they spend those funds. If you’re the current leadership of […]

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