Madison Sym musicians join national union

Posted on: February 4, 2009

In Tuesday’s (2/3) 77 Square, a culture and entertainment weekly in Madison, Wisconsin, Lindsay Christians reports, “The Madison Symphony Orchestra voted Monday night to join the American Federation of Musicians Local 166. The vote was 43-36 in favor of joining the AFM, ending several decades of negotiating independently within the orchestra, which had its own union. The orchestra is 83 years old. Symphony Executive Director Richard Mackie said he does not anticipate this move changing the way the symphony bargains with musicians. The current contract is set to expire on June 30. ‘We have always collectively bargained,’ Mackie said. ‘Local orchestras with unions have usually relied on locals to negotiate their working conditions, since they know it best among local musicians.’ … The local chapter of the American Federation of Musicians includes concert bands, small ensembles and individual musicians in many genres, from chamber music to jazz to swing.”

Photo credit: Jaime Young