Committee mailing 3/27/06

Greetings Local 47 Colleagues,

We’ve been receiving so many comments from fellow Local 47
members that we wanted to share them with you. The anger at
the actions of this administration are reaching a boiling point
for many. As is our custom, the comments will be sent anonymously
unless otherwise directed.

It is vital that you come to the April 24th meeting at the Union
and bring 3 people with you! It is OUR local, not the
administrations local and it is time we had a voice again!



Be aware representatives of RMA continue to erode the opportunity
to vote on contracts that directly affect Professional Recording Musicians.

RMA recently choose to limit Recording Musicians voting rights by setting again the amount of recording work to qualify to vote on national contracts. This was done some years ago to to shore up there stronghold by retaining control over all work.

Those recording musicians who are gainfully employed have the right to make decisions over their employment. By limiting the right to vote contains their control and entitlement over all work. This action also affects composers choices on who they want to engage on their sessions. Ultimately these action taken by RMA representatives will inevitably take the process away from composers only to be told who you’ll get.

Investigate and inquire

The next recording you hope you’ll get may be shared alone only to wait for that next hope…………………..

Thought: If the RMA limits the opportunity to qualify to vote of the 1000 members in LA. Who are they representing? Support RMA so they’ll be able to use your money to set their agenda. This will give them the ability to push you back even further from achieving a recording career or the one your trying to hang on to will soon disappear.


Although I do not know Doug Cain…….Based on all of the info we have
at this point, I feel we should be asking for his resignation……and
as far as Hal Espinosa is concerned, I am very dissapointed in the way
he has handled this entire situation….It seems as though the leaders
of our Union have adopted the general Holier-than-Thou attitude that
now permeates the entire political system of this country. I find this
very disheartening and dissapointing. Maybe it is time for us all to
wake up, be more inolved, and vote for people who have our best
interests in mind.


I have been receiving these emails and can sympathize with
your complaints. I have decided to NOT renew my
membership. In the 32 years of membership, I have not received any benefits
to being a member. Never once has the Union found me work, or for
that matter done anything for me and the majority of the members.
With the frustration of the other members compounded daily by
the present administration, my only recommendations are to IMPEACH
Hal Espinosa, FIRE Doug Caine and the rest of the administration.


Dear Committee,

I call your attention to a letter to the editor written by Tibor Zelig in
the January Overture. If it is true that the new tv contract contains a
new clause which cuts the scale from $252 to $200 I would be very disturbed.
Did the negotiating team include RMA members who gave this away? If so, why
would anyone want to harm the livelihood of musicians who work in tv
orchestras larger than five members? Could it be that the negotiating team
is comprised of musicians who are only concerned about movie wages and who
have in effect written off the problems of tv muxicians? Could it be that
the acknowledged reduction of employment in tv has resulted in a downgrading
attitude toward the remaining work?

But there are musicians who do work in the few remaining tv shows and who do
very little movie work. It is grossly unfair that they now have no
representation in the negotiations.

Do you have further knowlege in this matter? It seems that this is a
flagrant omission that has been conveniently kept quiet, considering that
the musicians who play on current TV shows, would be not a little upset to
see a check go down from $252 to $200.

Thank you for your efforts.


Please if possible could there be some discussion started about the health care problem which I would say, is a problem for a majority of the membership because a majority doesn’t do the recording and I know that the orchestral work and certainly the chamber music work doesn not alone make one eligible to qualify for those health care benefits. In every other organization for professionals and in companies as well, health care and pension benefits are there for everyone. So why should the Musicians’ Union be different??? I have also had to pay outright for my dental care. As was said by the Democratic Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, health care should be a right and not a privilege for every American – aren’t we Americans??? Don’t we pay into it and don’t our checks reflect that? thanks, J


How about some discussions on our health benefits. Shouldn’t it be
available to all inspite of how much one qualifies? Why should I have
to join Kaiser when money is taken out of my Union jobs to pay for
health benefits I don’t qualify for just because I am not in that
“recording circle”. thanks, a concerned Union member!


I would love to know what in god’s name is going on
with the top officials at the Union? Has everyone down
there on Vine Street that has any position of power
absolutely lost it?

It is time that members stand and and say enough is
enough. We all pay dues, and without the people that
they are firing, what will our dues go towards, buying
President Espinoza a new desk chair that has a
massager, Dean Caine a new set of golf clubs. I mean
come on. Lets stand up and say enough is enough.

Its bad enough that they fired Barbara Markay while on
vacation, but to fire Errol Henry while he is at home
ill is a blow below the belt to not only Mr. Henry
himself but also to the membership.

Lets start taking out the trash, starting from the top
down. If Mr Espinoza think that he he ir-replaceable,
then its the job of the voting membership to show him,
that he is very much replaceable. And the same goes
with anyone else on the board.

I think that its about time that the membership show
that we are the governing body, and we will say who
gets fired and who does not.

Democracy is a wonderful thing, lets exercise it.


…who is Doug Caine???…why has he been given this power???…


errol has been wonderful to all of us and is totally efficient…..
cant’ we get a quorum and boot the officers…there has got to be a way to do that….heck we boot out presidents……when it the next election…..dec of this year??????

With the disintegration of the most valued services of our Local, many FMA members are now considering leaving the Union. What reasons can we give them to stay?

Ans. The RMA would be happy to see the “Saturday night players go” since they don’t consider them PROFESSIONAL musicians like themselves ( in their own mind….). The lifeboats are overcrowded as it is and there is only so much room at the trough.

Also, underemployed RMA persons want to be able to float in and out of the CBA (small orchestras) at will and this is another problem we are having in some organizations not recognizing or following up with the tenure provisions in the contracts. (Varies by CBA) Of course, many of these organizations want to be able to get the “Holy Grail” orchestra and those players want to be able to collect the “tiny amount of H&W and pension” if they are not doing anything else , and by the way they feel entitled to the position because ” they know who they are”. I have spoken to several people that defend this as the natural course of things….”when the studios get slow, players move to the theater, when that gets slow they move to the CBA orchestras. Our Union has done nothing to educate those persons who are currently in some of these orchestras that they have the right of first refusal. ( I wrote an article for the Overture that was not printed under the guise that ” we cannot allow members to give legal advice to other members”.. I pointed out to Doug that this was not “legal advice” only an FYI for those persons who met the criteria for tenure under their respective contracts to be aware they had the “right of first refusal”. Doug told me ..maybe we could print it but, “we can’t give you a bi-line”. Long story short…it was never printed and who knows how many musicians just assume that a contractor change or new management means they might be “off the list” and accepted not being hired. It is my opinion that there is no incentive for our Union to enforce these provisions because in not doing so, they effectively allow these positions to be available to their power base……and “we know who they are”.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in a long line. In defense of the leadership, I can only think we are being taken care of by Larry, Moe, Curly Joe, and Shemp.

So much for vision and leadership. Our business is not about loyalty,,,,, its about LEVERAGE. Pass it on!


Local 47

Errol Henry was put in a job he new nothing about. He tried very hard and
was making progress. I fill that he was set up
by the administration. This is just another bumble by the people at the
top. How much longer do we put up with this crap by our so called leaders.
After raising our dues and then taking away our free benefits that we have
paid for with are outrages dues increase. Now they want to do less. How
can this bullshit be accounted for. This shows a continued lack of
leadership for the members and the employees that have given their services.



Thanks for the very interesting info. I’m sorry I haven’t got any email
from the referral service…
I’m surely registered with them. These stories are unbelievable!


Whoever you are,

I appreciate being informed on these issues which are and have directly affected me. Do you have a plan of action to remedy what is going on? By the way you didn’t mention that the office had been moved from the front somewhere into the back. This is something that was voted on at one of the last actual meetings, and now that vote has been ignored. A stand has to be taken against this junta!


Ohhhhhhh, where do I start??

These were valid points that were presented at the
meeting with President Espinoza, and certainly worth
addressing if not immediately (which is the way it
should have been done) than certainly first thing
Monday morning. I do not see why these could not have
been answered within hours of receiving this memo.

These were not unreasonable requests, but certainly
ones that are do-able. There is plenty of space in the
building that houses the Union. But, they don’t see it
that way. Whatever buys President Espinoza that desk
chair with the massager and Doug Caine that brand new
set of golf clubs works in their eyes.

If I see another email about how the board does
nothing for the membership but everything for
themselves, I see no other option but for members and
The Committee For A More Responsible 47 to call AFM in
New York and let them know about what #47 is doing.
This is downright ludicrious.

Also, in my opinion, NO ANSWER = NO COMMENT. This
means that they know that they have done wrong, but
can’t or won’t justify it to those people to whom it
makes the difference (the membership).

I can probably arrange to have Live Trucks for every
news station in L.A. parked out on Vine Street,
letting the general populus know of the poor decisions
that are being made. If the California Governor Recall
Election was any indication, it will not take any time
at all for this “situation” to be “resolved.” The
sight of News Vans in front of the Union Building will
generate a whole bunch of interest in and of itself. I
can almost guarantee it.

I’m gonna be sick over this, but thank you to the
Members for #47 and FMA who were there to stand up to
the members of the board for the little guy.

Time to go kneel in front of the comode and commence
being sick over this.


This just gets worse and worse. I feel really badly for Barbara and Erroll–no employee deserves to be treated in such an amateurish, cavalier and callous way by his or her employer. This makes that buffoon Donald Trump look like he is an effective manager. If the facts as you’ve described them are complete and accurate, both of these individuals should press a case with the State Employment Development Department since it would appear that they have a very valid grievance.

Why in the world should any non-studio or symphony musician stay in the union? That being said, I just got the first ever referral from the Referral Service which I’ve converted into a modest engagement for a trio playing a three-hour afternoon gig. I would rather keep my identity confidential however and trust that you will honor your commitment to do so.


Thank you for you tremendously valuable work in monitoring Local 47 procedures.


Interesting. Many of these questions need to be answered for the membership to have confidence in the current administration.


ok..i had an idea awhile back…about getting barbara hired for the whole federation…..
how about just for the southern cal locals
orange county.. san diego…
long beach.. ventura.. santa barbara…..
all these unions care about musicians and give you personal barbara and errol did….i just booked a kids show in ventura for the city that was a referral from that local….how sweet is that….and i have only known him the last year or so….
i don’t know what barbara was making…..but let’s say $50,000?? ( i hope i am not insulting you are worth $200,000 on the low end :)…….so each of these locals pitch in 10,000 and she has her job back…though it would be overwhelming to take on that much…but, maybe add an assistant…..
why don’t we get the locals together and see if that is an option….
i know you all want me to be patient…but what has happened her is unacceptable and a slap in the face to those of us who have paid our work dues…i paid $2000.00 in money to the union last year……i want to call the new york office and complain….and to hal and vince, too….what am i allowed to do here to not cause trouble and make it worse….cuz when i think about it, i would like to go up and knock a few heads around!!!!!!!!!!!


I don’t know what’s going on over there .. but I don’t
like the sounds of it…… I’ve worked with Errol for
over a year….. I thought he was very responsible and
took care of business…extremely competent…..
I want to know more about this but it doesn’t sound


Thank you for sending me this email. I have had a couple of occasions to require Errol’s assistance in his capacity as a Local 47 employee. Errol was always efficient, courteous, and knowledgeable. I find this news disturbing. I would hope personality differences
do not play any part in the career of a thorough professional such as I found Errol to be. Please keep me informed of developments.


Hi Committee For A More Responsible and Accountable Local 47 Administration:

I was just in Errol’s office at the same time as a singer/dancer (who was having Errol help him complete union-related paperwork) on Thursday (I think it was Thursday) of last week, and, upon my inquiry about there being only one book available with job listings, he stated that he had streamlined the network office paper processing to the point that ONLY the jobs which were not FILLED were therein for our perusal. I thought that was a pretty efficient and effective thing for Errol to have done because did it save the local money in reproduction of paper for “already filled jobs,” it also cut down our wasted efforts and cost of calls to prospective clients who had already selected musicians for their events.

Who is running this local, anyway? Is it the administrators, or is it the members? The answer is obvious (smiles) … but it SHOULD be the members! I’m willing and ready to make ’em “FESS UP OR STEP DOWN! Let me know what the plans are. I’ll be there or be square! We’ve got to get Errol his job back, if possible! Who is this Doug Cain, anyway? I’ve been in the local for 24 years, and I don’t know him. Guess it’s a good time to make his acquaintance, huh?


And the beat goes on !!!!!!!!!!!! When can I vote these power
hungry, incompetent idiots OUT of office. They remind me so much of
Bushie and his gang!!!!!!!!!!!!!! max


Dear Comm Resp 47,
Does the firing of live performance rep Mark Casiullas fit in with this movement. I understand he (Mark) was critized for putting NON recording musician pictures in the Overture. As if rank and file members can not be highlighted? Just asking.


Errol was the notary at Local 47. I wonder if they have anyone else who can provide that service……free of charge.


I think an immediate meeting must be held to correct this situation. Isn’t there some bylaw about hiring and firing on an apparent whim?
Doesn’t there need to be a vote by the members?
This is ridiculous.
The referral service run by Mr. Henry is very effective for our visibility as a union and, by the way, an effective means of going after possible employment.

Please let me know what we might do to correct this, and in the larger view, correct the seemingly whimsical “off with their heads” mentality that is becoming then norm at the union. Who’s next???


now that sucks – I have received a ton of work from Errol



I can say that 3 people have been very important to my career and have been
their to help me. Barbara Markay, Al Ruba Cava and Vince Tividad. If you
had any questions. These people were always thier to help.
The other day I had a question about copy right. Their was no Barbara to
ask. If you have a question about recording forget it Vince is gone. The
Union has done almost nothing for me in over 20 years except these people
and now the union is getting rid of them.
I think it’s time for members to take a stance. The President, VP, and
Caine have to go they don’t care about our needs.

Jimmy Dale


Some questions to ask yourself before you proceed.

Who created the position of general manager?
Doug works out of Hal’s office.
Doug has been sworn in? What is his role and why was he sworn in?
Was there a new titled officer position created
What is the history behind that.
What is Doug’s new position costing the union?
Who was the general manager before?
If there was what is the salary.
Is Doug receiving more money for this title?
Is Doug an Employee? Or a new additional Titled Officer?

You need to find this out first. Before you assume that the President and those responsible for the creation of that position ask yourself why are they trying to make these changes in the first place.
If the members are not able to organize to get a quorum to have there interests represented. Then at least it is the duty of the President to tell the members exactly what he’s doing. That’s the least they could do. Via E-MAILS, Union Newspaper. Lack of communication is exactly were all the problems begin in the first place.
Will we ever learn?

Hi –

I think given Barbara Markay’s years of dedicated service to the union
membership, I believe the membership deserves to know:

1. Who, specifically, recommended and/or ordered the firing of this
2. For what reason(s), specifically, was she fired?
3. How will the union provide the same level of service using
less-experienced employees in this area?


What should I do?

Things seem strange enough to quit…

As a member I want answers.
Other wise I will join the OVER 100 musician I know that HAVE

Best Regard,

Local 47 member for 20 years


I attended the January 23rd General Membership meeting and would like to
acknowledge the 80+ members who attended. Let’s continue to keep showing up
to express our views. Inevitably, when this membership feels strongly enough
that a change needs to be made, I believe we will step up and make such a
change. I feel there are more and more people who are frustrated with the
current policies of this union and it will come to a boiling point soon. We
will meet the current quorum of 100 and I suspect when people are fed up
enough we will surpass it dramatically and make our voices heard.

Personally, I’m not happy with the current leadership and will be voting
them out of office next election.

I’d like to thank the following people for taking the time, after the
meeting was called, to express their feelings and opinions, listen to all of
our views, and continue the debate:
Board members Bonnie Janofsky and Don Muggeridge
AFM47 members Ron Hess, Bob Sanders, and Charles Fernandez.

During the after-meeting discussions there were serious exchanges of views,
dis-agreements, and all things that a healthy dialog brings. The difference
to me was that I felt I was being heard by the people above. I don’t feel
that our current officers are listening to all of the membership as they
haven’t stayed to talk to the attending members for the last two meetings
I’ve attended. It’s not like they had to be somewhere else as they must have
set aside a few hours to be there in the event of a quorum. Why not spend
the time listening to those of us with concerns? We’re not going to bite
you. We’re all adults and can easily have a heated debate about what’s
important to the membership.

It seems to me that the current policies and actions of this local are based
on economic fears, scarcity, and the idea that we need to hold onto the
little that we have. As someone who believes in abundance over scarcity, I
think there are other ways to create growth and opportunity for the entire
membership. We start by listening and having a dialog about where we are
now, and where we see ourselves in the future, then we take steps (sometimes
they can be very small ones) to move forward.

Feel free to print my name.


Lennie Moore


I think those that showed up should get reimbursed for their gas (from the Union Board), since they were forced to leave! Just a thought.


It is less than equal that a board of 12 decide policy for any organization
who consists of more than those 12 members. Under the circumstances, 50
people is enough. I think, however, if there were refreshments there as there
have been sometimes for special meetings, it would entice people. Many
members are coming straight from jobs, family responsibilities, etc. If there
were some interesting food and beverages, it would be helpful in getting more
members to attend. What about starting a fund for refreshments? Make the
meeting a little less dry and more interesting


AAHH! Human nature hasn’t evolved since the caveman days when groups got
together and figured if they could consolidate a narrow position in the
clan, they could exert power and gain economic and or social
advantage……screw the rest of the clan…whose only use is to frame the
environment as a backdrop barometer used for measuring their success.
Let’s move on here…..let’s come up with some ideas on how to bring the
tide in so all boats rise! Musicians united by the idea that ALL are
contributing and worthy of support by the environment will be the way to
heal all wounds. This is what our Union should be about.


Thanks for mentioning about Trombetta’s son receiving that scholorship.
When I read it in “overture” I did a bugs bunny doubletake. I’m not
questioning the kids ability but even John Coltrane wouldn’t be eligible
if his dad was on the board, or an officer. Pulling no punches, I can’t
believe they were stupid enough to print it … especially since no one
really even knew about it.


I think it is good and necessary to have a place to discuss
union issues without reprisal. This email forum does just that.
If we had jobs with tenure or contract, this anonymous forum
perhaps wouldn’t be necessary. But since jobs are gotten by whom
one knows and whom one likes, it would be really impossible to
get honest opinions in an open, unsecret, if you will, forum.
Let’s not quibble about who has set this dialogue in motion and
get to the point.
That being said, I think it would be a good idea for whoever
“the committee” is to label their opinion as such so we know who
the contributors are and who management is. No names necessary.



Please make time to come to the April 24th Local 47 meeting at the Union. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7PM, and they waste NO time shutting it down, so plan on being there early and bring at least 3 people with you! We can get our local back, but only with your help!

Thank you for your time


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