Update from AGMA Regarding Central City Opera

Published April 4, 2023   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

Hey, it’s been a while.

Here’s an update regarding Central City Opera. TLDR: It’s not great.

Update on Negotiations

AGMA has been tirelessly trying to reach a resolution at the bargaining table. On Monday, March 27, we met with CCO. We put a proposal across the table that we believe was a framework under which we could reach an agreement. Our proposal included an extremely significant concession, and CCO rejected our proposal outright.

The Company is still insisting on a variety of issues that we – or any union – could never agree to. Chief among these is their desire to effectively eliminate pay-or-play, the provisions of our collective bargaining agreements across the country that ensure that every contract entered into between an artist and CCO is guaranteed. Pay-or-play is the bedrock of our collective bargaining agreements across the country; it exists in every single AGMA contract in the United States.

Update on Negotiations

AGMA has spent nearly six months trying to bargain in good faith to reach an agreement with Central City Opera. At this time, CCO continues their systematic union-busting quest to gut fundamental protections that AGMA Artists have at every other signatory company in the United States.

During this time, CCO has made baseless legal claims, laughable assertions, and has spent time scrubbing their social media accounts and sending canned responses to individual artists on social media instead of bargaining in good faith ahead of the Festival Season.

Updates on Allegations and Arbitrations

Allegations: We’ve also been pushing CCO to take seriously the disturbing allegations we brought to their attention late last year. We believe our artists, and we will never stop fighting for the brave members who came forward.

Arbitrations: An arbitrator recently ruled in AGMA's favor, over CCO's objection, that our grievances are subject to arbitration and may move forward. We knew we were right about the law, and we are delighted the arbitrator agreed. We’re actively proceeding with arbitration for the Artists still owed more than $12,000 in unpaid work.

Here’s The Thing

Over the past two years, AGMA has successfully and collaboratively negotiated over 70 CBAs at various signatories across the country, including 50 CBAs in 2022 alone. We've never experienced this before. Central City Opera taking this anti-union position and trying to remove pay-or-play tells us all we need to know.

What We Hope Happens Next

As always, we remain ready and eager to negotiate a good faith agreement that protects and supports our members. Our next bargaining session is scheduled for April 6. CCO is set to come back to us on our proposal and other open matters. We sincerely hope it’s more productive than the last few bargaining sessions because, at the moment, we believe reaching a deal may not be possible, given their unprecedented and draconian proposals.

To everyone who has spoken out or reached out in support, we thank you for your solidarity.