IF YOU’RE ONE of the millions of Americans who have attended a gala, trade show, wedding, or conference this year, you know how important it is that the event goes off without a hitch.
The lighting needs to be perfect. The audio needs to be constantly monitored and adjusted. The music needs to hit exactly the right cue.
In event production, the details matter. I should know, I’m a technician with PSAV, one of the largest event companies in the business, operating at venues in major cities across the United States and around the globe.
Families and Fortune 500 Companies count on me, and more than 9,000 PSAV technicians like me, to ensure their events are hugely successful, and memorable.
It’s an honor to play such an important role in the big events of peoples’ lives. My colleagues and I love our work, and now we’re forming a union so we can love our jobs, too.
Many techs work back to back shifts and often times 16-hour days, especially during the busy season. Often times our schedules are last minute and chaotic. Many of the events we work on are short-staffed. And even though we’re entrusted with producing high-profile events for celebrities and CEOs, we’re struggling to afford our rent.
We’ve raised our concerns with upper management, but they’ve dismissed us. We’re frustrated that a global industry leader that prides itself on exceptional service doesn’t respect the skilled men and women who perform that service.
So we’re forming a union to advocate for better pay and conditions. We’re not asking for the earth and the moon, just more predictable and stable schedules, and a decent wage that’s commensurate with our role and expertise.
Even though PSAV is one of the most profitable production companies out there, they seem intent on holding Boston techs’ wages artificially low. So next time you’re at a big industry party or conference, don’t forget to give a shout out to the technicians who made it all happen. We love producing events, and we take a lot of pride in making sure each and everyone is a success. We’re just asking to have our hard work and expertise recognized.
John Brown is a PSAV employee and Brookline resident.