State Of Employment Poll & Review June 22 – 28

Results continue to reinforce established trends that see stakeholders just over a quarter of orchestra stakeholders indicate they are still working and/or being paid their regular salary. The remaining majority continue to slowly transition from reduced compensation to some form of uncompensated employment status.

Weekly Report

For the most part, Administrators experienced steady response ratios. The overall percentage of those indicating they are still being paid at regular full time or part time status dropped from 33 to 28 percent while the ratio of those indicating their position has been eliminated entirely increased. 35 percent of respondents indicate they are working reduced  a third are working reduced hours/pay while 40 percent indicate they have been laid off or furloughed.

Salaried musicians experienced a small increase in the number of responses from those indicating they are not receiving a salary but continue to have health care benefits provided. This was mirrored by similar decreases in ratios of those indicating they are being paid a reduced salary and those being paid regular salary and benefits.

Per-service musicians continued to experience steady response ratios, with the majority of respondents indicating they are not being paid for any cancelled services.

You can track the per week and cumulative totals along with all of the stakeholder charts at the Orchestra Stakeholder Employment Status During Coronavirus Shutdowns Google Sheet.

This Week’s Poll

  • For staffers and managers, the questions are straightforward. Music directors (employee or independent contractor status) and staff conductor positions should respond as an administrator.
  • For musicians, questions are specialized for salary and per-service level musicians. While there are certainly musicians that fall between those groups, I’m asking that you use your best judgement to select answers that best represent your current work status.
  • Each weekly poll will allow you to submit one reply. Having said that, it is important for each respondent to return the following week in order to confirm or update your status with a new reply. Doing so will provide an even clearer sense of how things change from week to week.

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.

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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