I hope you all have been able to roll with the ups and downs of this extended Covid situation. We musicians are a resilient bunch, so hopefully, we all can hang in there until the end of this storm. In the meantime, we here at Local 677 have been keeping up with the pandemic protocols, adjusting as we go, negotiating COVID-related variances and looking for ways to improve conditions for musicians. There are opportunities through the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) program in the form of 100-percent-funded live stream concerts, and we are working hard to safely reopen the building for both teaching and practicing.
The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra (HSO) provided eight weeks of employment, plus benefits, for MAH members performing for a summer series of concerts at the Waikiki Shell, May through August. More concerts were planned during the last two weeks of August. Unfortunately, Covid restrictions forced cancellation of those weeks. The HSO is planning to start the new season in early November, assuming Covid protocols allow.
The HSO CBA expires at the end of the coming season, so we will begin negotiations for a new one soon. The negotiations will be led by a committee of HSO musicians. It is important for the members of the bargaining unit to take charge of improving their work situation.
The Diamond Head Theater (DHT) CBA will also expire next summer and we hope to reach a new agreement before the deadline. I encourage those of you who perform at DHT to get involved in that negotiation. You DHT musicians achieved a significant increase in pay rate with the current CBA. Stand together and be engaged for continued progress! There truly is strength in numbers.
Our MAH Organizing Committee has been working with well-known public and media relations expert Randy Whatley to come up with ideas to attract new members and engage current ones. We are confident that with Randy’s broad-based experience and expertise, we will come up with compelling ways to attract and keep quality members. If you have any thoughts or ideas on this subject, please pass them along to us.
From the Fall 2021 issue, Ke Ola O Na Mele