AFM Local 8: Union Musicians Ratify First Agreement with Skylight Opera Theatre

For more information, contact

David Lussier (414-332-5000 or 262-385-1862)

Unanimous Vote Culminates Three-Year Effort to Organize

MILWAUKEE, WI – (February 7, 2005) –Skylight Opera Theatre musicians have voted unanimously to ratify the tentative agreement reached last month between Skylight and AFM Local 8, achieving a goal established in January 2002.

The Agreement designates 25 musicians as non-probationary, gives them improved job security, increases wages for all of Skylight’s orchestra musicians, and formalizes the professional relationship between the musicians and Skylight. The Agreement provides an 11% wage increase effective January 1, 2005 and a 26% increase over the life of the agreement, which expires June 30, 2008. The Skylight employs between one and 20 musicians for about 30 rehearsals and 80 performances each year.

“We are pleased by this commitment of our fellow musicians to Skylight and musical excellence in the Milwaukee community,” said Rich Tremarello, Skylight Musicians’ negotiating committee chair.

“Ratification of this agreement demonstrates that, through collective activity and bargaining, musicians can increase their wages, improve their job security, and gain a meaningful voice in the decisions that affect their jobs, their workplaces, and their families,” said David Lussier, Local 8 secretary-treasurer.

“We hope that musicians working elsewhere in the area will understand the power of collective bargaining and the benefits of Union representation,” said Tremarello.