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December 1, 2020IM -
In late September, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic’s (CSP) board of directors voted to cancel its contract with musicians due to lost revenues because of the corona virus. The cancellation comes after months of negotiations between the Philharmonic and its musicians about how best to share the sacrifices needed for the organization to endure the pandemic. Most recently, working with a federal mediator, musicians offered to accept the total loss of their guaranteed salaries for the entire period of the pandemic and for six months beyond the end of the pandemic. Philharmonic management rejected the offer.
The CSP musicians, who are members of Local 154 (Colorado Springs, CO), have declared they will consider all options going forward, including arbitration of CSP’s termination of contract, which the union sees as illegal.
“Their vision for the future doesn’t seem to involve a professional orchestra,” said cellist Sarah Wilson, who is also president of Local 154. “When the pandemic ends, Colorado Springs still deserves a professional orchestra. Management’s position will all but ensure that Colorado Springs won’t have one.”