Fort Wayne Philharmonic files ‘regressive bargaining charges’ amid negotiations with musicians
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) -Members of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Players’ Association walked the picket lines again Friday in response to repeated failed negotiations with Philharmonic management. This comes just two days after management filed regressive bargaining charges against the Players’ Assocation and Local 58.
Members of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Players’ Association, American Federation of Musicians Local 58, have been on strike for weeks after they failed to reach “fair terms” with the board for a new contract.
Brittany Hall, President and CEO of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, says the charges were filed with the National Labor Relations board because the musicians were not bargaining in “good faith.” In an interview with 21Alive’s Angelica Pickens she said the goal of negotiations is to come to a “middle ground” but said the musicians were moving “backward.”
“The next thing they offered was no better than Dec. 12th,” she said. “We have worked creatively to offer something that is more than generous in wages and comparable to other orchestra players in Midwest. We are only requesting minor changes to contract.”
However, Fort Wayne Philharmonic Players’ Association Chairperson Campbell MacDonald says players have met with management several times amid negotiations and have agreed to a number of their proposals. The latest proposal offered by management does include some raises, but those raises are attached to what he calls “massive changes in workplace rights.”
One of thoes changes would mean the musicians would lose the ability to bargain conditions in the workplace which is at the core of the Players’ Association’s proposal. He also says full-time positions would be eliminated.
MacDonald sent 21Alive this statement:
“Philharmonic management’s treatment of Musicians in recent years speaks for itself, and this charge is meant to distract our community from that well-documented history. We have met and made proposals in good faith throughout the course of this negotiation and have never engaged in regressive bargaining.”
The players have been performing under an expired contract since Sept. 1 and on strike since December.
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