Surprise! Today marks the inaugural episode of a new video podcast series where I sit down with movers and shakers in the field and talk shop. Today’s episode focuses on a topic near and dear to my own arts admin heart: substitute musician equal pay for equal work.
I’m joined by a pair of leaders from the musician side of the equation, International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) chairperson Meredith Snow and ICSOM President Paul Austin.
Many thanks to both for coming on the program and engaging in an open exchange on a topic that can be decidedly third rail when making the leap from concept to stick poking implementation.
Pro tip: be sure to look for a list of resource links below the vid for info cited during our conversation.
Following the recording, Paul Austin reached out with some additional insight into the discussion about the recent Pittsburgh Symphony settlement:
“I wish to clarify something that I mentioned this morning, said Paul. “In Pittsburgh, their settlement restored full sub pay even though the musicians took a 7.5% cut; however, whether or not there was an explicit tie between those items in the negotiations is not something ICSOM is privy to, and those negotiation discussions should remain confidential between the parties.”
- ICSOM 2016 resolution In Support of Substitute and Extra Musicians.
- $2,599.48/year price of parity for Minnesota Orchestra’s lost opportunity for achieving substitute parity.
- 2014 ratio of orchestras that compensate substitute musicians at the same rate of pay per-service as contracted musicians.
I’m still putting together topics and guests for future shows but what would you like to see?
Los Angeles Philharmonic violist Meredith Snow, a native of Long Island, New York, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School of Music.
Ms. Snow became a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1986 after three years with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Fast forward 30 years to 2016 and she was elected Chairperson of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians.
As an orchestral player, chamber musician, soloist, and pedagogue, Paul Austin currently enjoys a multi-faceted career. Paul joined the Grand Rapids Symphony horn section in 1999 and has represented his Grand Rapids Symphony colleagues on many committees, including negotiation, music director and CEO/President searches, and artistic advisory.
On a national level, Paul served as Vice President and Media Committee Chair of the Regional Orchestral Players’ Association. In August 2017, Paul was elected to a two-year term as ICSOM President. He was instrumental in the drive for the Grand Rapids Symphony to join ICSOM in 2013.