Resolution #1–Jan Gippo
Whereas, ICSOM Chairman Emeritus Jan Gippo served ICSOM as its chairperson from 2002 to 2006 and has served his orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, in a number of capacities including Chair of the Musician’s Council, member and Chair of the Negotiating Committee and ICSOM delegate; and
Whereas, While serving ICSOM and the St. Louis Symphony in these various leadership positions, he did so with great ability and enthusiasm; and
Whereas, He also did much to champion the stature and profile of his chosen instrument, the piccolo, by commissioning numerous solo works and leading countless master classes; and
Whereas, After 36 years with the St. Louis Symphony, Jan begins a new phase in his career, his retirement; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference once again express their respect, admiration and gratitude to Jan Gippo for his remarkable body of work on behalf of the members of the St. Louis Symphony, the members of ICSOM, and the flute/piccolo field at large, and wish him every good wish in his future endeavors.
Submitted by the Governing Board
Resolution #2–Education Committee
Whereas, Now, more than ever before, the entire ICSOM membership stands at a cultural crossroads, ironically struggling for dollars and concertgoers in a nation that is both wealthy and culturally knowledgeable; and
Whereas, In the firm belief that a healthy symphonic profession can lead to successful orchestras in thriving communities, and to a richer nation; and
Whereas, In acknowledgment of the magnitude of importance, as well as the wealth of information that supports this importance, of arts education and specifically music education, for the ongoing health of our profession; and
Whereas, ICSOM is committed to doing what is in its power to further the cause of music education for artists and audiences alike; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference hereby direct the ICSOM Governing Board to form an ICSOM Education Committee; and, be it further
Resolved, That it will be the responsibility of this Committee, in collaboration with the Governing Board and Delegates, to research education-related topics, and to formulate directives and recommendations for the advancement of education and the well-being of our profession.
Submitted by the Governing Board
Resolution #3–Harry Chanson
Whereas, Harry Chanson served as President of Santa Barbara Local 308 for 66 years, beginning in 1942; and
Whereas, In 1952 AFM President James Petrillo appointed Harry to serve as chairman of one of the most important convention committees in the Federation – the AFM Finance Committee; and
Whereas, Harry continued to serve as chairman of the Finance Committee for more than 50 years through the 2007 AFM Convention; and
Whereas, Harry was one of the most respected officers in the AFM, a man whose counsel was sought by countless AFM officers, delegates and members over the years; and
Whereas, The entire Federation mourned his passing in May and celebrated his many contributions to the AFM; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Officers and Delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference offer their admiration and condolences to his wife June Gaddis Chanson; and, be it further
Resolved, That ICSOM send a contribution of $250 to the Harry Chanson Music School Fund in his honor.
Submitted by the Governing Board
Resolution #4–James Nickel
Whereas, James Nickel has served ICSOM as member-at-large for the past three years as well as serving as the Dallas Symphony’s ICSOM Delegate; and
Whereas, He served in both these capacities with great enthusiasm and commitment; and
Whereas, While continuing to inspire his colleagues, he managed to raise a family and win a new position in the National Symphony Orchestra; and
Whereas, His new position and his growing family must take precedence as he steps down from his responsibilities on the ICSOM governing board; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Officers and Delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference offer their admiration, respect and gratitude to James Nickel for all his work on their behalf and it is hoped that he will one day return to ICSOM in whatever capacity he might be persuaded to accept.
Submitted by the Governing Board
Resolution #5–Theresa Naglieri
Whereas, Theresa Naglieri has served the American Federation of Musicians for more than 50 years; and
Whereas, She began her employment as a stenographer-typist on June 24, 1958, two days after she graduated from high school; and
Whereas, Theresa’s talent was recognized early when she was promoted to Executive Secretary, having worked under seven AFM Presidents—Herman D. Kenin, Hal Davis, Victor Funtealba, Martin Emerson, Mark Massagli, Steve Young and Tom Lee; therefore, be it
Resolved, that the Delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference acknowledge Theresa Naglieri’s outstanding work for the American Federation of Musicians and offer her their thanks and best wishes for continued success in the future.
Submitted by the Governing Board
Resolution #6–Columbus Symphony Orchestra
Whereas, The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, established 57 years ago, has developed into one of the nation’s great orchestras; and
Whereas, The Orchestra has served the Central Ohio community with distinction and commitment; and
Whereas, The current Board leadership has embarked on a campaign during this year’s collective bargaining negotiations with the Union, to destroy the very foundations of the orchestra’s artistic success, including a reduction in season length and other compensation to the musicians, which will surely ensure that its best musicians will be forced to leave the orchestra, and which will substantially inhibit its ability to attract the best available candidates for employment; and
Whereas, The imposition of such reductions and intimidation of musicians of this orchestra will reverberate throughout the field; and
Whereas, The dedication and courage of these musicians to resist these destructive measures deserves the support and admiration of everyone in the industry; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference denounce the actions of the Board of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and express their unconditional support and empathy for the musicians of this great orchestra in their struggle to maintain the level of artistic excellence it has achieved for their sake and the sake of symphony, opera and ballet musicians in the US and Canada.
Submitted by the Governing Board, adopted by unanimous consent
Resolution #7, as amended–Hearing Protection
Whereas, Recent studies suggest that as many as 40 percent of musicians have some form of tinnitus, a disease of the microscopic nerve endings in the inner ear that causes sufferers to hear ringing, buzzing, humming, roaring or chirping sounds in their head; and
Whereas, Prolonged exposure to sounds over 90 decibels is a recognized cause of tinnitus and permanent hearing loss; and
Whereas, The sound produced by some music played by symphony orchestras, and especially that produced by and with visiting Pops artists, can consistently measure over 110 decibels on-stage, which risks hearing damage in as little as fifteen minutes exposure; and
Whereas, The aural health and safety of musicians is of critical importance to their continuing ability to perform and earn their living; and
Whereas, The use of hearing protection such as earplugs and sound shields can reduce the damage done by prolonged exposure to sounds over 90 decibels; therefore, be it
Resolved, That ICSOM work with the League of American Orchestras to encourage research and identify hearing protection that is discreet and effective without negatively affecting musicians’ ability to perform at their highest level, encourage orchestra managements to invest in hearing test screenings, as well as the best hearing protection for the musicians in their orchestras, and to encourage musicians to use that hearing protection.
Submitted by Emily Watkins Freudigman (San Antonio) and Matthew Comerford (Chicago Lyric)
Resolution #8–Shreveport Symphony Orchestra
Whereas, The city of Shreveport, LA is in the midst of an economic boom as a result of the discovery of natural gas reserves in the area; and
Whereas, The city should be proud of its great symphony orchestra; and
Whereas, Despite the fortuitous confluence of these treasures, the Board and Management of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has nevertheless demanded that the musicians of the SSO accept a seventy-five percent (75%) reduction in their already meager annual income of approximately $12,000, to approximately $3,000; and
Whereas, Such a reduction would result in the virtual demise of this marvelous orchestra, as the musicians leave to find other employment which would provide them with a living wage; and
Whereas, Those musicians have steadfastly refused to accept such a result despite the intimidation and economic coercion of the Board and Management; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference deplore the disgraceful treatment of the musicians by the SSO Board and Management and urge that they reconsider their destructive behavior; and, be it further
Resolved, That the Delegates express their support and admiration for the gallant stand of these courageous and talented musicians, and applaud their refusal to give in to these outrageous demands.
Submitted by the Governing Board
Resolution #9, as amended—Flanagan Report and Its Abuse
Whereas, The Mellon Foundation commissioned a study and report of the finances of symphony orchestras; and
Whereas, Professor Robert Flanagan of the Stanford Graduate School of Business was selected to do the study; and
Whereas, The report issued by Professor Flanagan was based on erroneous and incomplete assumptions which resulted in conclusions which were consequently flawed in a number of respects including that the compensation paid to the musicians of U.S. orchestras was a major, if not virtually the sole cause of the financial difficulties of these orchestras; and
Whereas, The conclusions of the report have been denounced by most professionals in the field, including orchestra managers of some of the largest and most prestigious orchestras in the nation; and
Whereas, Despite these denunciations, some managers and board members have chosen to use these erroneous conclusions to support their demands for reductions in orchestras, as well as severe cuts in musician compensation and working conditions, as evidenced by the boards of the Columbus and Shreveport symphony orchestras; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference decry this deliberate obfuscation of the actual causes of the financial difficulty of some orchestras and urge that the AFM, the League of American Orchestras, and other interested professionals in the field likewise speak out about this disingenuous behavior of those who would continue to use the false conclusions of this report to the detriment of symphony, opera and ballet musicians in North America.
Submitted by the ICSOM Governing Board
Resolution #10–Domestic Partner Benefits
Whereas, Many ICSOM orchestras offer domestic partner benefits with the intention of providing equal benefits for all musicians working under an orchestra’s collective bargaining agreement; and
Whereas, Unlike the case for opposite-sex married spouses, the Internal Revenue Code treats the value of domestic partner benefits as taxable “imputed income” to the employees who receive these benefits; and
Whereas, Contributions by employees toward domestic partner coverage cannot be paid from pre-tax dollars the way that contributions from opposite-sex married employees can; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the 2008 ICSOM Conference urges the ICSOM Governing Board to prepare and distribute to all member orchestras relevant information regarding this discrimination in the current federal tax laws affecting orchestras with negotiated domestic partner benefits; and, be it further
Resolved, That the Conference encourages all ICSOM member orchestras to become educated on the inequitable tax implications in their individual states, and to discuss these findings with their managements with the aim to address this situation such that for musicians who enroll their domestic partners under member orchestra’s health insurance plan, the employer will “gross-up” the employee’s salaries to the level where such employees will bear no more tax consequences than married employees who opt to cover their spouses.
Submitted by John Koen (Philadelphia), Leslie Ludena (San Francisco Opera), Mary Plaine
(Baltimore), Warren Powell (Florida Orchestra), and Bob Wagner (New Jersey)
Resolution #11–Health Care Consultant/Advisor
Whereas, The topics of health care insurance and other benefits are some of the most important and most costly issues orchestra musicians face both during and between negotiations; and
Whereas, Many negotiation committees have recognized the need to hire independent consultants/advisors to educate and advise the musician representatives in the area of health care insurance and other benefits; and
Whereas, It would be beneficial to many negotiating committees and their musicians to have access to a knowledgeable consultant/advisor in the areas of health care insurance and other benefits, a consultant/advisor who knows our industry and understands our specific issues; and
Whereas, Such an individual would also be valuable in evaluating an orchestra’s existing benefits coverage and brokers’ fees; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference urge the Governing Board to work with SSD to retain a health care insurance and benefits consultant/advisor to assist orchestras in the education of health insurance options and the preparation of information for bargaining with the employer.
Submitted by Mary Plaine (Baltimore) and Robert Wagner (New Jersey)
Resolution #12–Laura Brownell
Whereas, Laura Brownell has served the American Federation of Musicians for 15 years, first as the head of SSD’s Canadian office and, for the past 4 years, as Assistant to the President and Director of the Symphonic Services Division: and
Whereas, During her career with the AFM, Laura Brownell worked for the interests of North American symphonic musicians with intelligence, passion, and style; and
Whereas, Laura Brownell has accepted a new position with the Society of Energy Professionals, IFPTE Local 160, a union representing electrical power engineers in Ontario; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference express their admiration and thanks for her work on their behalf over the past 15 years, extend to her their congratulations on her new position, and express the hope that she will not lose touch with the symphonic field and will, in the future, find time to be able to continue her involvement with the orchestra industry.
Submitted by David Angus (Rochester) and Christian Woehr (Saint Louis)
Resolution #13–Change in RMA Conference Status
Whereas, The delegates to the 2007 ICSOM Conference passed a resolution urging “the Recording Musicians Association and the current administration of the AF of M to meet together in a spirit of unity, put aside their differences, and achieve the higher goal of reunification and solidarity for the greater good of all of the members of the AFM and their families”; and
Whereas, The relationship between the RMA and the AFM IEB has continued to deteriorate; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference reiterate their call for dialog and comity between the RMA and the AFM IEB; and, be it further
Resolved, That the Delegates to the 2008 ICSOM Conference express their strong opposition to any change in the conference status of the RMA and their wholehearted and continuing support of the efforts of the ICSOM Governing Board to restore comity within the AFM family and maintain the conference status of all currently recognized player conferences.
Submitted by Larry Wolfe (Boston), Brad Mansell (Nashville), Ethan Silverman (New York City Ballet), and John Koen (Philadelphia), adopted by unanimous consent