I’m pleased to report that I plan to attend our first rehearsal next Saturday morning, September 26th, and expect to receive a paycheck in early October.
The Hartford Symphony musicians had a rally on the steps of the state capitol in Hartford at noon on September 9th. AFM representatives from New England and New York locals attended – from Boston, Providence and many others. And we had amazing representation from national AFM members.
International AFM President Ray Hair, ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge, SSD Chair Jay Blumenthal, our SSD negotiator Nathan Kahn, ROPA Treasurer Donna Loomis, AFM Media guru Debbie Newmark, and so many others. We are so very grateful for the support of all of you.
The community turned out as well — with so many asking me why there was a problem. Why couldn’t “the powers that be” understand how important their orchestra is to them? (One of the several hats I wear is Executive Director of CONCORA, a professional chorus. An elderly member of my “Friends of Bach” committee, Polly Hincks, attended in her wheelchair – I was just so incredibly touched!) So many HSO musician friends from throughout the arts-loving community joined with us.
The good news for HSO musicians is that the NLRB has ruled in our favor regarding the fact that management did not send us individual contracts in May, as stipulated by our contract. They sent contracts for the summer season, but not the rest of the 2015-16 season. (First time for me in 36 years that I’ve not received a full contract!) We now have several other grievances before the labor board as well.
So, we will play under the expired contract and hope that a settlement can be reached sometime this season. Profound thanks and respect to all the musicians on our negotiating team, and to Nathan Kahn for leading us in our continuing struggle to make our “new” management come to their senses about what it takes to have a first-quality orchestra.