Musicians union files unfair labor charge against Jacksonville Symphony

Posted on: September 21, 2012

In Friday’s (9/21) Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), Charlie Patton writes, “The union that represents the musicians of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra filed an ‘economic bad faith bargaining charge’ against orchestra management with the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday. On Tuesday, after five months of negotiations, the symphony board declared an impasse and imposed its last contract offer, which would cut the base salary for most of the 53 core positions in the orchestra by almost 20 percent and increase the amount the musicians must pay for health insurance. The 2012-13 season is scheduled to open next weekend. Peter Wright, the orchestra’s principal clarinetist and the president of Local 444 of the American Federation of Music, said that by declaring an impasse, the board ‘has essentially made the decision to shut down one of the last remaining professional orchestras in Florida until their proposals are accepted.’ … The proposal the board imposed, an offer it made in May and has not changed, is that the base salary for most core positions in the orchestra would be $976 per week for 33 weeks, or $32,208 for the year. Last season’s base salary was $40,155 for 37 weeks. … While the union negotiating team has made a series of proposals, none of them have involved cutting musician compensation, said Martin Connor, the board’s chairman-elect.”

Posted September 21, 2012