Tag Archives | International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians

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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 curiosity throughout those articles is a complete reticence by spokespersons from orchestra player associations, player conferences, and local and national union leaders to even acknowledge questions on the topic. Consequently, it was a surprise to see the […]

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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 when the option of achieving parity through direct action was available, the musicians and their Local opted against enacting those measures. Throughout the course of these events, the Minnesota Orchestra musician representatives, representatives from the patron support […]

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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 1960s, orchestra musicians sought to displace the existing method for crafting collective bargaining agreements (CBA) by way of the employer negotiating with the Local union president, with a system of negotiating via elected representatives and directly ratifying […]

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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 of American Orchestras president Jesse Rosen. (more…)

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The Flanagan Book

Ever since it was published at the end of January, 2012 I’ve been getting a handful of email messages and Facebook notes asking if I had plans to publish a review or any related posts about Robert Flanagan’s book The Perilous Life of Symphony Orchestras. The short answer to that is no, I don’t but there is a recently published review by Bruce Ridge that you might find interesting. (more…)

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