The Union

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by B15M, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I play in a symphonic band that is made up of a mixture of professionals and semi professionals. We all play in this band for free because we like playing and we can't play at this elevated level with the other union bands in the area.

    Every year the band gets a little better and a little bigger. We are currently up to about 70 musicians.

    Not just anybody can join, you have to audition and there has to be an opening. The sections are really balanced well.

    I had a thought that there should be some kind of relationship between this band and the union. I don't know yet what it would be. Maybe we should all join and get paid for the concerts. Can that be the only benefit?

    Give me some help, how can we have a merge.
    There are a bunch of union people already in the band.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    8,187
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    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    In a 70 member band, I cannot see you making enough money to offset your union dues. Trust fund jobs for a 70 member band would be too much money. Also, if people have to pay for your band, they are likely to find another community band that will play gratis.
    I doubt if the union members of the group are reporting they are even in the band. A lot of union guys play in community bands just to keep in shape between their gigs.
    It might be better to just enjoy the band the way it is.

    Don't forget someone has a lot of paperwork to do, and you get those nice W-4 forms. On the other hand you do get a life insurance policy and a really cool union sticker that you can stick....wherever you'd like!

    Take note of your statement.

    -cw-
     
  3. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    When the band plays for a summer concert we charge. I don't know exactly how much but the band gets money. Maybe with MPTF we could pay the musicians.

    When we play a concert with no sponsor (we do three a year) we charge 5.00
    to get in and we usually get a pretty good crowd.

    Maybe I'm just thinking too high. This could be a band of paid professionals. Even if the pay is a little it is a start. I don't know the direction to go, that is the reason for the post.

    I don't want to just say "your right, I give up". I think we are close to something.
     
  4. BigBadWolf

    BigBadWolf Piano User

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    Nov 30, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    You could have it be a multi-tiered group. You could have the principals be union and the rest be unpaid. Many smaller groups do it this way.
     
  5. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    Nov 19, 2003
    Brooklyn,NY
    That's not the way unions work. Groups file contracts for engagements, not individuals.
    Wilmer
     
  6. BigBadWolf

    BigBadWolf Piano User

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    Nov 30, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have played in several groups where only a few of us were union and we made scale. The contractors said that they had made arrangements with the local.
     
  7. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    Nov 19, 2003
    Brooklyn,NY
    Brother Beware!
    Contractors have been known to bend the truth.
    Are you paying work dues? Do you get a W2? Tread carefully in this area!
    Wilmer
     

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