Do You Work for Minimum Wage?

As we prepare for another union membership meeting about changes to the price list for this specific geographical region, I feel it necessary to ask this question.  Minimum wage is just that – the MINIMUM.  It is established for the least experienced with the lowest skill set (i.e. usually students and people who never tried to learn a trade or expand their education.)  As you earn skills and improve your education, you can demand more money for your time.  I know very few people making minimum wage as lawyers, doctors and other professions who must attend school more than the regular 13 years and 4+ years of college.  The more experience you have, the more money you should make.  Now translate this to musicians.

Minimum SCALE is the minimum wage based for the lowest skill set of musicians at the professional level.  It is the starting salary for those right out of college, not the salary for musicians who have been doing it for 10+ years.  Minimum wage scales should be marketed as the STARTING scale, not the only scale.  The problem is that minimum scale has become the acceptable standard to pay all professional musicians, regardless of experience and investment in degrees, instruments and equipment.

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