In March of 2011 the ROPA Executive Board met in Phoenix and participated in a strategic planning session. The goal of the session was to create a guiding document that would assist the board in defining the organization and its role within the players’ conference. The ROPA Board wishes to share these guiding principals with the membership to increase the impact of this work to encompass ROPA Delegates and ROPA orchestra musicians.
Who is the Regional Orchestra Players’ Association (ROPA)?
- Professional orchestra musicians of large and medium sized budgets with AFM contracts;
- Service organizations networking with over 5,000 musicians and 85 orchestras;
- Representatives of Regional Symphony Musicians at International/National forums.
Who does ROPA serve?
- ROPA rank and file musicians;
- Future musicians by protecting today’s jobs;
- All orchestras. What affects one affects all;
- The American Federation of Musicians;
- The communities our orchestras serve;
- Elected representatives – Delegates and Orchestra Committees.
Why does ROPA exist?
- To give knowledge and tools to union orchestra musicians and to assist in establishing fair working conditions;
- To educate the membership about industry standards, labor law, procedures and practices;
- To empower and enable our colleagues to better their lives in their workplace;
- To communicate during a time when labor is being dismantled in our country.
Other important principles identified:
- ROPA is a place for our member orchestras to turn for support;
- ROPA establishes a forum for our member orchestras to discuss concerns and to educate orchestras on current trends and solutions;
- ROPA provides assistance for orchestras in crisis with advice and contact information;
- ROPA works to create fair collective bargaining agreements, fair working conditions and fair compensation.
What are the important defining roles the ROPA Executive Board performs in the organization?
- Assist orchestras in need and identify resources for the issue at hand;
- Build relationships to develop industry contacts to provide sound advice;
- Provide professional musicians of ROPA with labor education and strengthen networking;
- Collect regional orchestra data for the industry;
- Strengthen rights and working conditions of our member musicians;
- Educate our membership on what is possible and how other musicians have arrived where they are;
- Work to bring our constituents together: AFM, Players Conferences, Locals, Orchestra Committees, and Musicians.
What are the crucial components ROPA utilizes to accomplish its goals?
- Information sharing with orchestra to orchestra, musician to musician and person to person. The information is shared through website, e-mails, Facebook, telephone calls, conferences and newsletters;
- Work to create an atmosphere within each ROPA Orchestra of concern and commitment;
- Create awareness of issues through delegate communication to the ROPA Executive Board.
What are the results of the work of ROPA?
- Inclusion in a labor community;
- Better professional lives and contracts than we otherwise had;
- Solidarity and support;
- Greater awareness of management and tactics;
- Knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work;
- Education of membership;
- Orchestra profiles: wage and scale charts, orchestra reports.
What are the values of ROPA?
- Democracy in the work place
- Shared sacrifice
- We are one with all labor
- What impacts one, impacts all
- Collective action to find solutions
- Identify problems, identify successes