PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE, Spring 2021
“There’s some light at the end of the tunnel…”
This has been a tough year for all of us, but it looks like there is some light at the end of the tunnel, and a bit of good news to report.
We as a country (and most of the world) have started turning the corner in regards to COVID-19. The vaccines are lowering the risk for those vaccinated, and with that, coupled with the continued following of safety protocols, we can eventually reach “herd immunity” and beat this thing.
The American Rescue Plan of 2021 protects and ensures the viability of our pension plan for decades to come. Pension payouts will continue without reductions.
On the work front, there is some good news for the symphonic, as well as the freelance world.
The last year has been tough for all, and during these times of “lull,” we were able to work with the HSO board and management to not only keep the musicians’ health insurance going, but we worked out an agreement that allowed a variety of live stream performances from the Hawaii Theatre, maintaining much of the musicians’ wages through the end of the season last June. Musicians were also employed for the Hawaii Opera Theatre’s recording of an opera by Lara Kaminski, which was then streamed. All of this was done with AFM agreements, which ensured that our musicians received proper fees and benefits.
More recently, we negotiated an agreement with the HSO that gives our musicians eight weeks of work from May through August 2021 at the Waikiki Shell. The HSO is planning a full season beginning this coming September, and running through June of 2022, which will include performing in Hawaii Opera Theatre productions.
In the freelance arena, the Local has been sponsoring MPTF (Music Performance Trust Fund) live stream events. MPTF provided 100 percent funding for these quality musical opportunities for musicians and the community to enjoy. MPTF is still funding these performances.
If anyone is taking part in the remote recording part of the business, there is a way to make some of these gigs “union,” which will allow you to receive pension payments, and make you eligible for upgrade and re-use payments. Please call the office to learn about and take advantage of these opportunities.
All for now, here’s to a brighter future in a post-COVID world. Stay safe.
From the Spring 2021 issue, Ke Ola O Na Mele