Georgia Stitt - Music Director
Friends of mine in NYC who are professional musicians, I encourage you to read up on the issues and make sure you vote in the upcoming elections for Local 802. You may not recall having been asked to vote in an 802 election before and that's because our current president, Tino Gagliardi, has been unchallenged for the last several election cycles (nine years!), and there haven't even been elections. This year, in the face of an enormous pension crisis and rising frustration among our membership, someone has decided to step forward to question Tino's leadership and tactics.
I have been frustrated and disappointed in our union for so long that I'm starting to wonder why I have to be a member of an organization that so refuses to represent me. When I was the conductor of SWEET CHARITY, we had issues relating to our Off-Broadway contract, and I can show you the chain of non-replies I got from the reps at 802. Nearly two years later, the issues remain both unresolved and, clearly, dismissed. Recently I wrote to Tino asking him for data about gender statistics among our members. This was in response to the article he wrote in Allegro Magazine in March 2017 stating that "nothing could be more important," and yet I couldn't find a published follow-up. Tino didn't write back. The publisher of Allegro Magazine did respond to me, however, and he said, "As far as I know, a Women's Caucus has not been formed yet" and "Lynne Bond left Local 802 and did not have a chance to finish her series for Allegro." When I wrote to Lynne personally, she said, "to my knowledge, I was the only one at 802 who was looking at this.”
"Nothing could be more important," is what Tino's article said.
Adam is the first to claim that he doesn't know everything about running a union, but he pledges to surround himself with a diverse panel of advisors with expertise across many sectors of the industry. And if you look at their website, you can see who those allies are. Tino posits that only he can succeed at the negotiating that is required to run a union. Only he. Our union demands that the president be a working musician, not a lawyer or an MBA, so you've got two guys telling you very clearly how they will lead. Tino's email campaign has been antagonistic, divisive, condescending, and full of fear-mongering. I'm tired of it.
Please vote on 12/4. It may be the pension problem that brought you into this conversation, but if you look deeper, you'll see that the pension problem is symptomatic of a style of leadership that time and time again has failed to serve OR protect us. Please join me and my many fantastic musician colleagues in NYC who have publicly endorsed Adam Krauthamer and 802 Musicians for Change.