Monday, September 27, 2010

Arizona Opera Orchestra has voted on strike authorization - UPDATE

As we reported here last week, the Arizona Opera Orchestra Musicians Association (AZOOMA) has filed an unfair-labor-practice charge against the opera's management, claiming that General Director, Scott Altman, sidestepped the union's negotiating committee to lobby the opera's position directly with musicians. In its complaint to the Labor Relations Board, the Arizona Opera Orchestra Musicians Association contends Altman contacted union musicians - current and former - via e-mail.

Now, you'll remember that Arizona Opera has given the ol' "shake down" to the chorus during it's AGMA negotiations - almost giving the ax to a core group of singers from it's Tucson roster. At this point, Arizona Opera trumpeted from far and wide that they had wrapped up negotiations with AGMA regarding the chorus. "Arizona Opera announced today the successful conclusion of negotiations with the Arizona chapter of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA-AZ)".

There is no box, wrapping paper and bow for AZOOMA, however. A source reasonably close to the negotiations writes the following:
It has become apparent that with the new management has come a new vision. In short, this vision involves drastic cuts and unrealistic expectations. Their focus is on bottom line figures.

In response, the musicians met last night – teleconferencing from over 5 different cities – and agreed to take a strike authorization vote.

If approved the strike authorization gives the negotiation committee the power to call a work stoppage – if it is deemed necessary. This is an excellent fail-safe mechanism which guarantees that the musicians have the final say on calling a work stoppage.

If it passes, this measure gives the negotiation committee the power of if and when. If it is necessary, the committee will say when the strike happens.

The results of last night’s AZOOMA vote are not available yet. Because the Arizona Opera Orchestra has members scattered in various cities, the vote tallying will take some time.
It looks like Arizona Opera might find itself without an orchestra in the pit - which makes producing opera impossible. I wonder how *that* will effect Arizona Opera's bottom line.


Due to the ongoing negotiations, I have removed the updated material until the negotiations are complete.


Anonymous said...

Strike vote was approved.

Bruce Hembd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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