FW Phil And Musicians Fail To Reach Agreement
The Fort Wayne Philharmonic rejected another offer from musicians to accept pay cuts in order to return to performing for the 2020-2021 season.
In response, musicians have filed a second charge against the Philharmonic alleging regressive bargaining in violation of the National Labor Relations Act.
Musicians said management’s current proposal would cut wages, retirement and health care permanently; eliminate industry standard protections against arbitrary firings; and cut the number of contract musicians from 63 to 15.
The Philharmonic said they strongly hope to reach an agreement with musicians “that will ensure the organization’s financial stability” and continue its mission.
The Philharmonic said they cannot respond to the most recent claim filed at this time.
On November 4, the Philharmonic announced the remainder of the season would be canceled. Musicians said they were “blindsided” by the announcement.
Below are statements from both the Philharmonic musicians and management on current negotiations.
From the Philharmonic management:
"It is important to the Philharmonic to negotiate in good faith with the musicians’ union toward the shared goal of fulfilling our mission for the public enjoyment. Our strong hope is that we can reach an agreement with the musicians that that will ensure the organization’s financial stability and continue to foster the Philharmonic’s mission.
We are currently reviewing the most recent claim filed by the union with the NLRB, and, at this time, we cannot respond. What we can say is that the Philharmonic remains committed to reaching an agreement with the musicians as soon as possible so it can continue to fulfill its mission and return to the stage to perform classical music for the public. Throughout the contract negotiations and in making the difficult decisions, including canceling our seasons due to COVID-19 and reducing costs due to the financial hardship created, the Philharmonic has worked toward reaching an agreement that is fair to the musicians and will ensure the financial viability and stability of the orchestra for years to come."