union/radio city was Re: [Trombone-l] No Bands

Dansatt at aol.com Dansatt at aol.com
Tue Nov 29 18:31:53 CST 2005

In a message dated 11/29/2005 6:06:26 PM Eastern Standard Time,  
jeff at jeffalbert.com writes:

I don't  know the inside of the situation, but I do know some  
dislocated New  Orleans musicians that were approached about the gig  
before it  became very public.  There are always 2 sides to every   
story.  The side that was presented to them (the NO cats) was  that  
the NY musicians that had a tenured 10 week a year gig, many of  whom  
were making $40k in those 10 weeks) were looking for  concessions like  
getting paid even when they subbed out.  Now,  like I said this is all  
hearsay, and it came from the management  side so take it with an ex- 
lax or grain of salt or  whatever.

Yes, some of the people in the orchestra make (made) a good deal of  money 
for 10 weeks work.  You have to realize, however, that during those  10 weeks, 
there are well over 200 shows to play.  In the weeks before and  right after 
Christmas, there are around 32 shows in one week, with as many  as six  90 
minute shows A DAY.  It's an absolutely brutal job as  far as playing gigs go, and 
the members of the orchestra earn every penny  that they make.  I was never a 
member of the orchestra, but before moving  to Florida, I was a frequent sub.  
It's a really nice group of people, and  it's the sense of family there that 
keeps most of the people doing the  gig.  I can guarantee you that nobody was 
looking to get paid  when  they subbed out.  While I don't know the exact 
details of the settlement, I  do know that the musicians will now have to 
reaudition periodically to keep  their jobs (try telling that to any group of tenured 
symphony musicians), the  orchestra size will be reduced from a mind boggling 
35 members to 25 over the  next couple of years, and "overtime" will be 
severely limited, eliminating a pay  system that has worked just fine for years and 
years.  Now instead of  making the premium for the third show and beyond in a 
day, musicians will not  make the premium until their 13th show of a week.  
Subs will not be allowed  to play more than 12 shows in a week, thus eliminating 
any premium pay at all  for them.  All this after the Christmas Show grossed 
somewhere around (in  Dr. Evil's voice) 100 MILLION DOLLARS last season.  
Those damned  greedy musicians!

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