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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Joffrey Dancers face lock out


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As per The Joffrey Ballet's Facebook:

 

In light of recent news reports, we are writing to share that Joffrey’s Collective Bargaining Agreement with the dancers’ union (AGMA) expired as of midnight on June 30th. We are hopeful that a new agreement will be reached soon and that the season may proceed uninterrupted. At this time, no part of the season has been modified or cancelled. We will keep you updated and appreciate your understanding.

 

I hope they work everything out soon...

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luceroblanco

So the "lock down" and canceling part of the season were just rumors? That whole article seems imprecise. None of us can figure out from the articles if it is the company or the dancers objecting to the 30 hours. But then, all of this is speculation based on a faulty article.

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Momof3darlings

I read the article that it was the company wanting to move to 30 hours also. I'm not sure you could find a group of dancers who ASK for more hours. Although it surprises me that they are not already at 6 hours. I also thought that amount was standard. I hope for all involved they come to an agreement quickly and for the best of all involved.

 

The only issue I can pick up on through the article is the sticking point of how pay was figured for the extra hours. I would venture that most workers would say give me the larger of the two if you're increasing my hours not just a standard raise which may or may not have covered those hours.

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Any time you read an article you have to remember it is likely only presenting one side of a given story and there is often an ulterior motive behind the way the author presents his or her information to the public. We've seen many accounts where the information presented was actually completely inaccurate, people were misquoted, etc. We've taught our kids since they were young to never believe what they read in the press. Instead, if they are interested they should look up the same story in multiple sites and then try and put together the "real" picture.

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All the articles I read stated that the lawyer representing the union was simply not responding. I wish I could remember what newspapers they were! There was no mention of actual disagreements between parties; just no response. It seems that the deadline of July 23rd to come to an agreement is a ways off. It really sounds like posturing on the side of management, maybe to put pressure on the dancers to get their lawyer to return phone calls. That last sentence is purely my opinion.

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All the articles I read stated that the lawyer representing the union was simply not responding.

Oftentimes, several articles are citing the same source so even though it is one source, there are many articles stating it is the union not responding. Or to put it another way, several articles does not mean several sources.

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All the articles I read stated that the lawyer representing the union was simply not responding.

Oftentimes, several articles are citing the same source so even though it is one source, there are many articles stating it is the union not responding. Or to put it another way, several articles does not mean several sources.

 

I noticed that in the Chicago Tribune article (link posted above) that Conway blames the "unresponsiveness" of the union's lawyer for the problems -- which I interpreted as he is getting no repsonse. But four paragraphs later he says it's not that the lawyer doesn't respond at all, it's that her repsonse is delayed and she is perpetually unavailable to meet. So even coming from the same source, the story can seem ambiguous. The bottom line, I think, is that as outsiders we will only hear the stories as told by those who have some motivation to speak about it, and only those directly involved will have full and accurate knowledge of exactly what happened.

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tzbutterfly

I could see dancers are the victims here. I am not on anybody's side, but it appears communication and perhaps respect to dancers are lacking here from unions.

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dancemaven

We are now treading in the waters of 'pure speculation' . . . . . Time to go ashore and await further information. :pinch:

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luceroblanco

Thanks for some of the further news. It does seem from the more detailed article posted that it is management requiring more hours. I guess if they are not increasing their pay (I don't know how they are paid--it must not be by the hour, but salaried) along with the number of rehearsal hours, then it would understandably not be favored by the dancers.

 

In the AGMA union, there can be no disrespect for the dancers, because AGMA is made up ONLY of performers (dancers and singers) and stage management. All of the representatives and officers are drawn from active singers/dancers/stage management. So there is no union vs. the workers (performers in this case). The lawyer would be the only non-performer/stage management involved on the union side.

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While we await further news, here is a little commentary from a University of Chicago economist on the situation. I'm sure he is a well-respected economist, but after reading this I'm not sure he understands the ballet job market all that well (in terms of lots of talented, qualified dancers -- few jobs). And a warning here -- his comment on artists as "prima donnas" might upset some, and I hope this thread does not go off course as a result. But here are his thoughts on the matter, for whatever they are worth. And I hope he is right that they should be able to end this sooner rather than later...

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-...0,4995733.story

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I'm not quite sure why they chose to ask a person who has such little command of the situation? Nothing against Allen Sanderson as a person, teacher, or economist, but his take on the situation is irrelevant. :thumbsup:

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Yes! Sorry- I just meant that the journalist/writer who chose him as "the expert" was off-base.

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