After Years of Rebuilding, We Now Move Forward
As we settle into the holiday season for 2022 (and are looking at some serious COLD this week), it is a good time to reflect on the work we have done and to make plans for the new year in front of us. I am pleased that we can now look forward again: we can move beyond daily crisis management and work toward our vision of a stronger, better union.
Just take a look at our CBAs. After years now of constant negotiation just to get us through one year (and sometimes days) at a time, we are now back on track bargaining progressive multi-year agreements with our employers. I recommend you check out our listing of CBAs in the members’ area of musiciansdfw.org. You will see that the page is newly updated, and we have finalized agreements with nearly all of our employers. Most recently we reached a progressive multi-year agreement with Casa Manana – one of the more difficult negotiations we have had in recent years – with unprecedented changes. And I believe you can soon expect news about progress with the rest as well.
Financially, we are also bouncing back. We had to face the challenges of the last three years under unprecedented financial constraints: bigger problems to address, but with cut back resources. After years of making serious cuts to our administrative budget and balancing cuts in resources with critical relief efforts for our members, we have been able to stabilize through 2022, financially and operationally. Now we move forward into 2023 with much of the pandemic damage repaired, making preparations for growth.
With this return of stability, we are put in a place to move forward in other ways. In early 2020 we had begun new educational workshops, membership outreach projects, community jam sessions, and we were looking at new ways to build performance projects with MPTF support. While we transferred these energies into pandemic initiatives (the COVID Relief Fund and 130 MPTF supported live streamed gigs, for example), it was disheartening (to say the least) to put these labors of love on the back burner during the Pandemic. This is why I am all the happier to announce a pivot back to our pre-pandemic direction of growth and outreach.
We will begin the resumption of our educational offerings in 2023 with a membership meeting on January 30, which will include a workshop on the protections of union contracts – and how to use them. We will have more information about this meeting soon, and will be announcing other events to bring us together, share information and to make every musician better equipped to deal with the musical employment marketplace. Do stay tuned.
I am proud of our work to weather a tough storm – together – but I am even more proud that we are back to building our union into the future, stronger because of it all.
To everyone we wish a wonderful holiday. Stay warm.