How Recent Changes To The US Tax Code Introduce Risk To Orchestra Labor Relations

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An article by Daniel Braden in the 2/11/18 edition of the Morning Call examines how recent changes in the US tax code will have a decidedly negative impact on orchestra musicians classified as employees (as opposed to self employed contractors). The author is a former tax consultant specializing in serving musicians and according to his analysis of the new laws, employee classified musicians are going to lose the ability to deduct …

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We Still Have More In Common Than Not

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It never hurts to brush up on labor relations which is why I wanted to point over to a post here from 3/22/2012 titled “What The Other Side Gets Right.” The article is the result of research for a conference panel discussion that involved inviting a cross section of managers, board members, and musicians to answer one of two straightforward questions: Orchestra musicians were asked “What do you think Boards/Managers get …

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The Thinking Person’s Approach To Dealing With Sacred Cows

Sacred Cows

There are more than enough sacred cows in this field to go around and if you’ve ever had to go up against one, you know how difficult it is to make headway. Pushback is usually swift and aggressive but that doesn’t mean you can’t think your way through the process.’s Matthew Inman published a wonderfully remarkable post on the sort of thinking that goes into sacred cows, or what people …

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The Election’s Impact On Labor Relations

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Although there will likely be no shortage of post-election bear traps springing up for the field, one area worth keeping a close eye on is labor relations. We tend to spend most of our time here focusing on the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) but one of the other labor unions which wields a degree of stakeholder level influence is the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). IATSE’s international president, …

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Eerily Familiar Language

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The 5/21/2016 edition of TechCrunch published an article by Devin Coldewy that reports on a speech given by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) about the gig economy (such as Uber, not musician related gigging) that touches on some remarkably familiar concepts inside the orchestra field. Here’s an excerpt of Warren’s speech included in the TechCrunch article (emphasis added): The gig economy didn’t invent any of these problems. In fact, the gig economy …

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