#TBT Equality

In light of the Elizabeth Rowe lawsuit (which we’ll be taking a deep dive into on Friday), it seems fitting to make today’s #TBT post all about equal pay for equal work.

Among the lawsuit’s numerous dynamic consequences is whether orchestra musician substitutes should legally qualify for equal pay to their rostered colleagues. We’ve examined this issue in great detail and it continues to be one of the most contentious among professional musicians.

Questions Surround Minnesota Pay Disparity

The Data Behind Substitute Pay Rates

Compared To US Peers, Canadian Orchestras Have Better Substitute Pay Rate Parity

One Year Later, Minnesota Orchestra Pay Disparity Continues To Elicit Strong Opinions

Talking Equal Pay For Equal Work And The MN Substitute Disparity With Robert Levine On SoundNotion.TV

Equal Work For Equal Pay: An Orchestra Musician Third Rail Topic

Minnesota Musicians Ratify Substitute Pay Disparity Through 2020

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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