It seems the labor relationship between the Richmond Symphony Orchestra (RSO) board and musicians has, perhaps unsurprisingly, taken a downward turn following a board letter from 1/28/2012 that articulated their role in crafting and advancing proposed legislation that would bar orchestra musicians (including those in the RSO) from collecting unemployment during non-employed weeks throughout the season.
The news out of Richmond, VA continues to march along at a furious pace. The latest development centers on a 1/28/2012 memo from the Richmond (VA) Symphony Orchestra (RSO) board of directors to the RSO musicians about the organization’s involvement vis-a-vis proposed legislation that would bar musicians from receiving unemployment benefits during non-employed weeks.
On 1/25/2012 we examined a developing situation in Virginia about a state delegate from Richmond, G. Manoli Loupassi, who was proposing legislation (HB 1254) that would prevent professional orchestra musicians from collecting unemployment benefits during weeks they were not employed. One unanswered question at that time was how Loupassi became involved in the matter to begin with but we now have an answer.
The 2011-12 season seems to be the year of pushing back against paying musicians unemployment benefits for some orchestras. In Louisville, the orchestra association fought hard to get their state’s Office of Employment and Training to revoke musician unemployment benefits and to pay back what they had received in 2011. Now it looks like the Richmond (VA) Symphony Orchestra (RSO) has decided to deal out a little damage of their own.