An Update on GAPC Negotiations
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Posted by: Laurice Grae-Hauck
We are glad to bring you an update on our progress with the General Assembly Planning Committee (GAPC) following the public letter presented to them by the AUUMM Board of Trustees in August.
After four meetings, which have included representatives from the GAPC, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA), and others, we feel that there has been a good-faith effort by the GAPC to consider and remedy the concerns brought forth.
We received a written acknowledgment of understanding prior to the fourth call that reads in part:
The GAPC understands that the primary concerns of the AUUMM Board are compensation of musicians, acknowledgment and appreciation of the musicians’ contributions and professional standing by the larger community, and clear, professional responsibility for production management by a single person.
With the help of previous General Assembly (GA) music leaders, we have drafted and submitted an estimated budget for 2020 General Assembly in Providence. New budget items include waived registration fees for all musicians participating regularly in worship and sessions, fees per call for GA music staff and band musicians, in addition to the already reimbursed travel, lodging, and expenses for GA music staff and out of town band members. New to this budget is the addition of registration waiving and fees for song leaders at sessions and morning worship.
We have stressed the importance of a seasoned and capable production manager/coordinator to assist GA Music Staff, Worship Arts Team, GAPC, and ministers in “getting to the stage.” This person would be a central figure in answering questions about worship components, rehearsal spaces, deliveries, and all other mainstage logistics. While the AUUMM initial request was for a full-time UUA staff person, we are hoping to move forward for 2020 in Providence with a part-time contractor. It will be beneficial to all involved to hire a production coordinator whose engaged hours would increase as we near General Assembly in June 2020. This person would also be pivotal in helping us all understand the direct needs of such a role in the future. We would jointly draft a job description with hopes to have a qualified individual in place early in the new year, allowing them time to learn about the process and end product as we near June.
Additionally, we will take a deeper dive on right relationship and collegiality in the new year. This might, in part, look like jointly drafting with GAPC, UUMA, and UUA a covenantal letter of agreement to be signed by all people who are involved in worship at General Assembly. Recognizing that this could easily fall to the wayside without monitoring, we would continue discussing who the point person(s) might be.
We are encouraged by the direction of these conversations, however, there is still work to do. We will be meeting again with the GAPC in early January and have not yet made a commitment to participate in the 2020 General Assembly in Providence. While we are not finished with these negotiations, we are optimistic that conditions will improve for our member musicians, as well as all GA planning leaders.
We would like to thank the AUUMM Board of Trustees, David Glasgow, Susan Peck, Leon Burke, Markus Grae-Hauck, Emily Jaworski, Laura Weiss, and others for their time and contributions to these negotiations and the proposed estimated GA music budget. Their experience is invaluable as we try to pave a new way for other music leaders to share their gifts with our broader faith community through service at General Assembly.
If you have questions or concerns about this process or the outcomes, the AUUMM Board of Trustees welcomes your feedback. Please complete this form and the Board will take up your concerns at one of our upcoming meetings. The AUUMM Board of Trustees will be jointly drafting a public statement about our progress with GAPC, UUA, and UUMA. You can expect this in the coming weeks.
We could not do this work without the support of our members and we thank you. To help us continue this work, please consider including the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries in your year-end giving. You can make your gift online today. Thank you for your support.
Acting Executive Director