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Musicians file another federal complaint against Springfield Symphony Orchestra

 Springfield Symphony Hall in Springfield, Mass.
Creative Commons
Springfield Symphony Hall in Springfield, Mass.

In a complaint issued by the National Labor Relations Board on Jan. 27 the classical musicians who play for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra allege the SSO refused to continue bargaining in June 2022.

That's not the case, said SSO Interim Executive Director Paul Lambert.

"Simply put, it was a point where the SSO had issued what they felt was their last best offer and could not go any further at that point, and an impasse was declared," Lambert said.

But the musicians said in an email, the SSO stopped bargaining on the "false premise" there was no more room to negotiate.

The union musicians have been without a new contract since August 2020.

The players said in an email they want a three-year agreement to play a minimum of 10 concerts per year. They also want the SSO Board to hire a permanent executive director and a permanent music director.

With the 2022-23 SSO season underway, about 70 musicians each have their own agreement to play and be paid for a specified number of concerts.

A hearing on the NLRB complaint is scheduled in Boston on May 9.

Funding Disclosure: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is a sponsor of New England Public Media.

Jill Kaufman has been a reporter and host at NEPM since 2005. Before that she spent 10 years at WBUR in Boston, producing "The Connection" with Christopher Lydon and on "Morning Edition" reporting and hosting. She's also hosted NHPR's daily talk show "The Exhange" and was an editor at PRX's "The World."

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