October 10, 2011 Alert from Pittsburgh Arts Watch
Post-Gazette and McMahon inflate Stagehand wages Sunday, October 9, 2011
An article written by Marylynne Pitz and appearing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette titled "Best Seats in the House" Kevin McMahon, President and CEO of the Cultural Trust said the organization can spend between $1,200 and $1,400 a day when it calls in four stagehands for eight hours to repair seats.
Upon doing the math it has been found that calling in four stagehands (since the Trust only has three at the Benedum) at the hourly rate and including benefits for eight hours the total wage is $741.44 and benefits total $237.26 for a total of $978.70 wages and benefits. A far cry from the $1,200 to 1,400 McMahon has said. Either the Post-Gazette has reported this wrong or McMahon needs to take a refresher course in math. More than likely this is just another attempt by the Trust to attack stagehands and continue a blatant disregard for it's own workforce.
This appears as just another recent incident where the Cultural Trust uses its own stagehands as a scapegoat for all the organizations financial woes. There is no doubt the stagehands see a total lack of respect and under attack by their own employer. The same workforce of talented stagehands that have been in place for over 24 years for the Cultural Trust. The same Stagehands who are an integral part of making the Cultural District a success and a premiere destination for entertainment. The same Stagehands that construct, build, and make the magic happen for the entertainment industry within the Pittsburgh Cultural district at the Benedum Center, Byham Theater, Heinz Hall, the O’Reilly Theater, The Cabaret Theater, Katz Plaza and others. The same Stagehands that are being ignored by the Cultural Trust as it continues to expand and operate such events as First Night Celebration, the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Jazz Festival, Cosmopolitan Pittsburgh and Gallery Crawls. The same organization that continues to give monumental salary increases to top management since 2001. (check for yourself).
One must ask is there anyone with a rational mind that can reign in on such lunacy.
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