Last month was another busy month at the Local. President Reskin and Secretary-Treasurer Apana visited with the musicians playing for Wicked at the Broward Center to chat with them and pass out copies of the contract. Reskin and Apana also participated in the Working People’s Day of Action at Bayfront Park on February 24.
Across the country working people from many unions including the Broward Teachers Union, United Teachers of Dade, SEIU, AFSCME, and of course the AFM gathered to stand up for the freedom of working people and fight for decent and equitable pay for our work, affordable health care, quality schools, vibrant communities and a secure future for all of us.
We filed another grievance with Palm Beach Opera. The Opera has decided to change past practice and rather than promote tenured section players to fill principal chair vacancies, they have decided to hire outside of the orchestra, which we believe violates the contract as well as past practice. It is worth noting that even if something is not spelled out in the contract but has been a past practice, employers are obligated to negotiate before making any changes.
We ended the month with a visit to speak to the fellows at the New World Symphony. Reskin and Apana were joined by AFM Symphonic Services Director Skolnick, ICSOM Chairperson Snow, and ROPA President Smith. Skolnick led the fellows through role-playing exercises on issues that orchestra committee members may experience during their tenure, including harassment issues and favoritism issues when granting leaves of absence. The fellows also had quite a few questions for us to answer on several contractual issues. We look forward to returning to speak with them next season.