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2018 Musicians for Change Platform

Click each issue for details:











Professionalize, Modernize and Streamline the Way 802 Does Business


Our current administration has demonstrated that they are unable to implement an effective long-term strategic plan to ensure the future strength of our union.  Instead, the current administration lurches from crisis to crisis, reacting after problems have already occurred. 


  • Once elected, MFC will issue the first ever Local 802 Ten Year Strategic Development Plan to address our current challenges. This includes measurable short range, mid range, and long term goals, while acknowledging that these strategic plans will most likely need to be re-assessed in a changing and challenging environment.


  • We will also overhaul our business and financial plans, reign in extraneous expenses and hold managers accountable for achieving these plans.  Finally, we will leverage new business technology to streamline and increase efficiency in every aspect of 802 business.


  • At the end of each year, our administration will collate extensive data about employment, finances and membership. This information will be made available to members as an Annual Report. It will be our administration’s disclosure as to what is working and more importantly what needs improvement.


  • The Strategic Plan and the Annual Report will be the guideposts that ensure that Local 802 remain on track towards a secure future.



Improve Member Engagement Through Effective Communication


Our current administration is unable to put in place an effective policy to leverage the power of an engaged membership. Successful negotiations, an organizing plan and policy initiatives are dependent on actively engaged membership. If elected we will be committed to rebuilding member engagement to ensure a strong union.


Here is How:


  • Knowledge is Power - All musicians must have relevant industry related information in order to understand the issues we all face as musicians. Currently, our union responds to problems after they happen. If elected, musicians will be regularly informed so that when issues arise, we can better address those issues in a timely fashion.


  • Members Participate in 802 Policy Discussion - We will disseminate information through 802 communications platforms in transparent policy conversations. This will allow all members an opportunity to address policy areas that they feel the union is ineffective. Concurrently, union leadership will explain and communicate important policy decisions. Our administration will continue to be regularly available to meet with the membership as it does now with our MFC “Coffee with Candidates” initiative. Communication with our administration will always be a two-way street where we value member input.


  • Call to Action Network - With a reconnected and engaged music community, our administration will build an infrastructure for mobilizing an 802 Call to Action Network committee. This group of informed and engaged musicians, the 802 Call to Action Network, will be able to quickly respond to the needs of all 802 musicians. This Network can be used for strikes, picketing, lockouts, informational campaigns, help with labor actions in other unions and lobbying.



Confront the Climate of Sexual Harassment,

Abuse and Bullying in the Arts


Local 802 is currently unable to adequately address and resolve these issues when they emerge.  If elected, we will be committed to truly acknowledging and addressing these realities.  


  • We are prepared to identify and address industry issues within the workplace that have created an environment of harassment.


  • We will create a new truly empowered Women’s Committee, tasked with studying the causes and effects of sexual harassment and abuse in the arts. This committee will develop recommendations for how Local 802 should address them.  


  • Finally, we will create an independent body of experts to investigate and resolve member-on-member sexual harassment cases. Issues as complicated and important as sexual harassment should not be left to those who have no background in relevant law, human relations or social work. 



Address Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts


Diversity and inclusion challenges are apparent both on and off stage. If elected, we will be committed to taking a leadership role in changing the current demographics of our union. By collaborating with our colleagues, we will create strategies both within our union and in the broader music community to help push for change in this important area.


  • We will encourage a more equitable, authentic and fair representation of our membership in professional live music, carrying on the union’s priorities of promoting equal opportunity, diversity, gender parity and inclusion


  • We will focus on ensuring that ensembles traditionally under a union agreement are reflective of diverse New York communities.


  • We will engage in progressive dialogue surrounding diversity and inclusion with employers, contractors, Local 802 staff and 802 membership so as to encourage a fair and inclusive work environment for all. 


  • We will hire an advisor to help establish, train and oversee a new 802 Diversity Committee.  The 802 Diversity Committee will be tasked with engaging with employers, contractors, Local 802 staff and 802 membership to create a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion.


  • We will commission the first ever Local 802 Diversity Study in order to better understand how to address these important issues, moving forward.



Address the Loss of Recording in NYC


The recording industry in NYC has been suffering for years and our union has never had a long-term strategy to address a problem which has cost many of its members jobs on a regular basis.  We will advocate for restoring an environment that supports recording musicians.  


  • We will start by building 802 political capital through strategic partnerships with the city and state. 


  • We will launch a strategic lobbying effort centered on bringing more recording to NYC though the NY Film Post Production Tax Credit program.


  • We will explore partnering with already existing incentives like the Made in NY program.



Tackle Our Pension Crisis


During the two years following the AFM-EPF’s December 2016 notification of our pension’s fiscal crisis, our leaders have failed to adequately engage our membership on the issue and develop new and creative strategies for addressing the fundamental issues facing it.  Local 802 is the largest local in the country and we need to leverage that power and influence to push our trustees to institute changes that will safeguard our pension fund.


  • We will work every day to develop new and innovative ways to expand membership and the number of performances done under a union agreement, thereby increasing the number of people contributing to the fund and correcting the fund’s alarming imbalance. 


  • We will pursue a greater presence in Washington, D.C. in order to lobby for solutions that will help address the problems at the AFM-EPF.  


  • We will hold our current trustees accountable for their management and pressure them to open up to new approaches and to prioritize the Local 802 musicians that are responsible for nearly one quarter of pension contributions nationally.  


  • We will examine how to encourage young musicians to join the union and work under an agreement. This includes exploring creating a reasonable and relevant contract model, new and more flexible contract frameworks, prioritizing developing a sense of community for musicians, among other possible strategies. 



Leveraging the Power of Local 802


Local 802 is the largest local union of musicians within the AFM, yet we have failed to adequately use that power to influence national contracts and policies that impact musicians every day. 


Our administration will utilize the power of our membership to take on the AFM and ensure that our national agreements align with the needs of today’s Local 802 musicians. 


  • We will work with the major locals and industry stakeholders to reexamine whether long-held union standards in the recording industry are driving potential union opportunities away.


  • We will prioritize the AFM’s legislative power to lobby for legislation that will address musicians’ needs, including copyright and intellectual property shortfalls. This includes committing to campaign for DMCA reform, labor protections, NEA funding, pension security, performance rights, among others. 



Make the Union Relevant to Young Musicians & Expand Membership 


Over the last decade, our union has become increasingly unfamiliar with the way musicians are making a living, and as a result, is failing to remain relevant for musicians in NYC. The status quo is no longer working.

We will always strive to improve our longstanding, mature contracts, such as Broadway, the Metropolitan Opera, the NY Philharmonic, the NYC Ballet, Single Engagements, and other contracts that have been built over decades through collective bargaining. However, we do want to explore ways of ensuring that there are contracts available to musicians that don't typically fall into the traditional union mold. That would conceivably be a contract model that is less based upon a template, and more based upon the needs of musicians today.


  • We will develop new and innovative ways to expand membership and the number of performances done under a union agreement.  


  • This includes exploring and creating a reasonable and relevant contract model, with new and more flexible contract frameworks that both protect musicians, and maintain organizational artistry. 


  • These contracts will prioritize adapting the union to the current market and the inclusion of all musicians will result in helping 802 to expand membership.  



Community Building


Our union should unite our community. It should represent and reflect what it means to be a musician in 2018. Right now most musicians get an email from Local 802 and the first thing they do is delete it.  This is because our current administration never built bridges to the community of musicians it is tasked to represent. 


  • We will develop an 802 Social Connections Series which engages the entire music community in New York by creating a central meeting place, where 802 will host a series of recurring events to which different sectors of the music community are invited to participate.


  • Turn 802’s building into a member friendly community space, where communal space is dedicated to creating a social environment conducive to member engagement.


  • Dedicate 802 resources to focus exclusively on going to music schools in New York to help educate and build a connection between 802 and the next generation of musicians.


  • Overhaul 802 orientation meetings to more effectively and efficiently empower new members.

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