State of Employment Review, Week 3

The third week of figures tracking responses from orchestra managers and musicians about their employment status during coronavirus shutdowns are showing similar trends for admins and salaried musicians but a larger ratio of per-service musicians indicated they are not being paid for any cancelled services.

At the time this article was written, the ratio of salaried musicians indicating they are being paid their regular salary and benefits held stead at 70 percent. The ratio of those indicated being paid a reduced salary increased and no one indicated losing their salary and/or benefits.

Administrators have maintained very steady response ratios. The majority are still working and being paid at my regular full time or part time status. 13 percent are working at reduced hours and pay and six percent have been laid off and furloughed.

The biggest drop in status happened in the per-service musician group. As of now, none indicated being not losing any income to cancellations or were being paid the full amount for cancelled services. Instead, the ratio of those indicating they weren’t being paid for any cancelled services increased to 80 percent. The remaining 20 percent indicating being paid for some of the services that were cancelled.

You can track the per week and cumulative totals at our Orchestra Stakeholder Employment Status During Coronavirus Shutdowns Google Sheet. Week 3’s data will be updated throughout the weekend.

If you have not yet submitted a response this week, please take a moment to submit your status below. The more submissions we have, the better the data represents current conditions. To that end, we’ll be collecting results through Sunday for this week’s totals so if you have yet to submit a response, please take a moment to do so.

Likewise, submitting a response each week goes a long way toward tracking major changes in status. So, thank you in advance for taking part and encouraging your friends and colleagues to do the same.

This Survey has expired. You can view the results at the State Of Employment Series Archive:

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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