Fort Wayne, IN (January 9, 2023) — The Fort Wayne Philharmonic is disappointed to learn that the Musician’s union is choosing to file an unfair labor practice charge against the Philharmonic and our Club O Program. The students and parents of the Club O program have a right to know whether musical instruction will continue now that students have returned from their holiday break.  

To continue its commitment to the students who participate in youth education programs, the Philharmonic contacted FWCS teachers who teach at the Club O program. This communication was a necessary and earnest way to ask individual teachers if they planned to participate in the youth music education program and to reassure them that their positions with Club O were not in jeopardy because of the Musicians’ strike regardless of their choice to return to the classroom. Teachers were respectfully asked to notify the Philharmonic management of their intention to continue their roles in this valuable education program while the orchestra is on strike.  

Club Orchestra is a unique music education program within the Fort Wayne Community School District. The majority of the program teaching artists and assistants are employees of the district and non-Philharmonic Musicians.  

The Philharmonic wants to continue this program as scheduled with the support of the FWCS teachers, who are committed to students seeking musical instruction. The Philharmonic asked if the Club O teachers planned to return to ensure that these programs were appropriately staffed and to communicate with the parents and students, and FWCS. Continuation of Club O is a priority for the Philharmonic, which supports music education and community programs. 

While the union told media it filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB, as of 3 p.m. today the Philharmonic has not received such notice, nor has it been posted on the NLRB website. The unfounded filing serves as a distraction from the real work needed to reach a fair agreement and to return music and student education programs to the community.  

The Philharmonic eagerly awaits the union’s response to their best and final offer, increasing wage offerings past the requested 42.5% to 45.8% in addition to a ratification bonus demonstrating of the Philharmonic’s commitment to investing in the future and sustainability at the Philharmonic and returning programming to Fort Wayne.   

The Philharmonic and union return to the negotiating table on Tuesday, January 10.