PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE, Dec. 2023
Aloha MAH members.
With the new year upon us, I’d like to take this opportunity to look back and reflect on what has occurred in our union world in 2023.
First, happy 100th-year anniversary to us, the Musicians’ Association of Hawaii, Local 677.
On the Freelance Front
Although Covid is still present and dangerous for some, it has slowed down a bit, and things have begun to loosen up.
There is an ongoing recovery of freelance work post-COVID, both corporate-/tourism-related, as well as club dates. It is a very simple process to boost your credibility and protect your gig by calling or emailing your gig information to the office: email@example.com. We will create a contract for you and answer any questions.
The Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) is backing live gigs with 50 percent funding and some 100 percent funding. Get in touch with us for details.
We continue to gain new members coming to us through TV, film, and theater work, including “Lilo and Stitch,” “NCIS Hawaii,” and a full slate of 2023 Diamond Head Theater shows.
On the CBA Front
We are continuing talks with Diamond Head Theatre (which is back to a full schedule, post-pandemic). We are negotiating with them to update our Collective Bargaining Agreement, which has involved input from our members performing at DHT.
In addition to the DHT negotiations, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra musicians were involved in the search that led to the appointment of Dane Lam as the new HSO Music Director. HSO musicians are also involved in the search for a new HSO President and CEO.
On the Recording Front
If you are part of a co-op group making a recording with no “company backing,” i.e., no pay, your union has a joint-venture recording contract that is easy to fill out, and it creates a paper trail (read digital in this day and age) that makes your recording easier to track, and makes it easier to get paid if your work gets picked up by a record company or is used in a film or in other media. Re-use payments and residuals are great ways to add to your band’s earnings.
On the Solidarity Front
In the past year, MAH officers, as well as rank and file members, have given their support to labor actions by some of our labor brethren, including Unite Here Local 5, SAG-AFTRA, Amazon/Whole Foods Labor Union, and the Hawaii Nurses Association.
We encourage all to join in and increase our visibility in the local labor community.
All for now. On behalf of the officers and staff here at MAH, I wish you all a blessed holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2024.
James F. Moffitt
From the Fall/Winter 2023-2024 issue, Ke Ola O Na Mele