Re: Re: Re: Opera/tuba question

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Posted by Wade (long) on December 25, 2003 at 14:43:56:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Opera/tuba question posted by core on December 25, 2003 at 13:20:36:

Actually, it depends on the contract level of the boner. (Yes, magillah, if you are reading this, I did indeed use the word "boner" - I find it to be apropos.)

In most ROPA groups, there are three levels of employment. For clarity purposes:

A = Full time, salaried, with benefits and tenure
B = Part time, with small service guarantee and tenure
C = Part time, substitute and extra players, often paid mileage

All positions should have an A or B player in them, unless we are having an audition or something. If the contract reads "3rd/Bass Trombone" then the orchestra is required to offer all services that have ANY scores requiring the use of that instrument to that player. If Ken (our bass trombonist - a B contract in our group) is sitting at home during a series for which he was not offered a contract and there is a bass trombonist hired, he has excellent grounds for filing a grievance through the Union Local. Then the orchestra must pay BOTH the improperly contracted player and Ken, as that was money taken from Ken's pocket. Just like if the office contracts two players to substitute for one position by mistake, they must pay them both, as both held the dates in good faith through signed C contracts.

But these mistakes cost lots of money and are carefully avoided.

In the case described here (tuba hired to play bass bone part), the tubist can not be brought in unless there are no other trombonists on the C call lists that can do it.

This is to "protect the integrity of the score" as well as to keep the management from getting into the habit of trying to cut costs by "paying" an A player what is known as a "service credit" in lieu of paying actual dollars to the B player that should have been hired according to the scores used on a given set of services.

(Note: this is only truly upheld for Masterworks and Chamber series programs in Jackson. Pops series and runouts generally have whomever is available; orchestrations *change* sometimes in order to save money. We do have a "minimum personnel" rider in our CBA for runouts to prevent abuse/misuse/non-use/whatever.)

If the Personnel Manager has exhausted the trombone call list, a sub on the wrong instrument could be called in pending the Music Director's (and, depending on the circumstances, the Orchestra Committee's) approval.

Because of this set up, I have once or twice had to play the trombone part in Peter and the Wolf for service credits (i.e. - no extra money). But this is by far the exception. If we did a set of services that had no bass bone except on one piece and Kenny decided to take the series off, we would be required to scare up 1) someone local, 2) someone from out of town, or 3) use no one at all (if the part was more or less doubled or otherwise not integral), or 4) use me (if it is a part that must be covered), again for service credits and not pay.

If they use me, then they must either hire me as a tubist (base scale + 25% principal premium + seniority, but not in real money unless we cross the magic "service minimum" line), or as a bass trombonist (base scale + 25% principal premium + seniority + 25% doubling fee, of which I would actually get paid the doubling money in my check).

Odd, I know, but standard practice according to the Regional Orchestra Players' Association. This prevents managements from running a bottom line, budget orchestra by working the full timers to death on rep that is not for their instruments, while the part timers languish in the name of saving money. It guarantees that when you go to see a concert, that the orchestra on stage is the orchestra called for in the score.

Merry Christmas!

Wade "Thoroughly hating the intricacies of CBA's and the pitfalls of Orchestra Politics" Rackley

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