Last Month at the Local

As you may recall, we concluded negotiations with Palm Beach Opera some time ago. We are now in the process of conducting a ratification vote.

In addition to having musicians at the bargaining table during negotiations, we also have musicians vote to decide if we should accept the contract that was just negotiated (it should also be noted that the Opera Board of Directors must also ratify the agreement). Negotiations are a very democratic process...even though a smaller group of representatives negotiates a new contract, the full body must vote to approve what was negotiated. If the vote is against ratification, we would be obligated to go back to the bargaining table and continue negotiating (which is what just happened in Fort Worth). We expect to conclude the ratification vote at the beginning of October.

We also attended a mediation session for our lawsuit against Florida Grand Opera over media use. We had already tried mediation over a year ago, but the judge requested that we try one more time. Unfortunately, FGO was unwilling to make a settlement offer that we could reasonably accept, so the lawsuit is back in the judge's hands. The judge has already ruled that FGO broke the contract and all that is left is to determine damages. Barring any unforeseen delays, the judge should rule on damages hopefully in the next few months.

We were contacted by a musician recently who was told he needed to get a background check if he wished to continue performing at the venue. Not only has this musician performed at this venue for many years, but he was also expected to pay for the background check himself! Talk about "pay-to-play"...needless to say, the AFM is adamantly against "pay-to-play." There is no Federal law preventing employers from demanding background checks or drug tests. However, government policy is that employers generally pay for the testing, and employees are paid for their time to take the tests. Unfortunately, sometimes we may need to remind employers of their responsibilities and not allow them to pass the burden onto us. Let us know if we can help!


Write reply

This item is closed, it's not possible to add new comments to it or to vote on it

Comments must be approved before being published.