COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – The union battle between the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and its union musicians continues.
But the musicians took a heavy blow on Tuesday in the nearly year-long struggle with management over their canceled contract, when an arbitrator ruled that the board’s decision to cancel the contract was appropriate and legal due to force majeure i.e. unforeseen circumstances of COVID. -19 pandemic.
In September 2020, the board of directors canceled the orchestra’s contract, citing a lost season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Next, the Pikes Peak Musicians’ Association, the union of professional musicians representing musicians in the orchestra, began arbitration with the association, claiming the cancellation was illegal.
âWe are disappointed and disagree with the decision. It is binding, however, so we plan to resume mediation next week and seek a new CBA with our leadership, âplayers committee chairman Jeremy Van Hoy told 11 News. “We will not be abused and united to demand a contract which maintains our professional and salaried status.”
âThis decision is an important step in getting our Philharmonic back on track after a difficult time,â said Nathan Newbrough, President and CEO of Philharmonic. âSince the start of the pandemic, our musicians and patrons have been our first priority and we have taken responsible measures to support them in the short term and preserve their jobs in the long term. They are exceptionally talented artists and we will be working with them now to craft a new chord with which to move forward. “
(From The Gazette: In April 2020, the two sides reached a new five-year deal that could have boosted musicians’ salaries by nearly 30%. It was canceled after the pandemic closed the new season of the orchestra, which would have started on September 19, and brought down revenues. The board returned with an offer in September that included over $ 700,000 in salaries, ongoing pension contributions, monthly grant payments health and other benefits, but was rejected by the musicians union.)
The Philharmonic has extended a new offer to its musicians on July 2, 2021 and the union is in the process of submitting its response. Meanwhile, the musicians alone organize a full orchestral performance on Saturday August 28. Information about the event can be found here.
11 Digital News anchor Jon Wiener spoke to leaders of both sides in May to discuss the ongoing dispute. Watch these two conversations below:
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