WCO ON STRIKE

October 1, 2008 at 5:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


WCO ON STRIKE

THE MUSICIANS OF THE WISCONSIN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA-

WHY WE ARE ON THE SIDEWALK THIS EVENING INSTEAD OF THE STAGE

The musicians of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra have a deep commitment to the WCO, and in particular to you, our most loyal audience. Our wages and benefits are meager – only $10,000 – $15,000 per year – but our dedication to music in the Madison community is large. For years we’ve had a positive and respectful relationship with management, and we’ve always resolved our contract negotiations without incident.

What’s different this time? The Board’s outside negotiators are insisting on extreme positions that would put Madison out of the mainstream:

  • Work rules that would make it impossible for WCO musicians to fulfill their obligations to the WCO and to their music students, teaching jobs or other music endeavors. All over the country, orchestras like the WCO have rules that allow their musicians to patch together a living by adding income streams from teaching and other engagements to their small orchestra salaries. Why won’t WCO do the same?
  • Travel reimbursements far, far below industry norms.
  • Refusing to implement a fair system of peer review on musical performance – systems that are accepted throughout the nation in large and small orchestras.

We have, in good faith, tried every known method to reach an accord with the WCO on these and other issues, and we believe that our Executive Director, Doug Gerhart has done likewise. We do not understand why the Board of the WCO has, in our opinion, allowed the outside firm of Foley & Lardner to create obstacles to agreement, to force WCO out of the mainstream, and to jeopardize the once-excellent relationship between the musicians and management.

It is our desire to resolve this dispute and to get back to performing for you, our loyal audience. You can help us with our situation; please write Executive Director Doug Gerhart at douggerhart@wcoconcerts.org, WCO Board Chairperson Thomas Grantham thomas_grantham@ml.com, or Immediate past WCO Board Chairperson Sarah Reiter at sreiter@brownhousedesigns.com and urge them to come to a reasonable accord on a new contract with the WCO musicians.

Thank you for your continued support of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and its musicians!

The Musicians of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra


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