WCO Management Announces Early Halloween Trick

October 14, 2008 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Press Release | Leave a comment

Oct. 15, 2008

Contact: Todd Jelen
email: tj7118@yahoo.com

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Management Announces Early Halloween Trick

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s management presented Madison’s kids with an
early Halloween trick, inexplicably canceling a Halloween concert that the group’s
musicians seemed willing to perform.

Until Tuesday, the WCO’s musicians thought they were close to a fundamental
agreement on the three major issues that had led to a strike Oct. 1. However, the
management surprised musicians by canceling an Oct. 24 Halloween concert, citing the
musicians’ refusal to commit to play the concert.

“I have no earthly idea where this is coming from,” said Todd Jelen, the musicians’
negotiating committee chairperson. Jelen indicated that Thursday’s discussions had
moved closer on critical issues, and that the two sides had made enough progress on the
remaining stumbling blocks to resume performances while continuing to negotiate.

“We were this close to an agreement on the job security, electronic media and attendance
clauses that caused the strike,” Jelen said. “We were confident we would be back to
work soon, because our managers asked the musicians to develop formal language, not
only on the three important issues, but also to convert a whole bunch of secondary
provisions into writing that we had been willing to postpone to get back to work.”

“We don’t understand why our managers couldn’t have responded to our proposals on the
three critical matters in the last four days so the orchestra could get back to work,” Jelen
said. “At this point, they’ve got complete language not only on the three central issues,
but on all proposals, so the ball is in their court. To cancel a concert and blame us…I just
don’t see their reasoning on this one.”

The baffling concert cancellation came after eight months of negotiations failed to find
solutions to the problems separating the two sides.


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