Musicians from the Southern Classical Orchestra say they are the target of harassment and accuse management of lying

Musicians say they have been threatened and refute allegations by the chairman of the OCS board

The musicians of the Orquestra Clássica do Sul claim to be the target of moral harassment, namely threats, by the directors, and they complain of having been forced to work in unsuitable places. These are some of the accusations made by the musicians of the Algarve orchestra, in response to the allegations made to the Sul Informação by Maria Cabral, president of the OCS.

Following complaints made by the PCP, in a question sent by its Parliamentary Group to the Minister of Culture, last week, Maria Cabral admitted to our newspaper that there was a formal complaint of psychological harassment made "by a group of musicians", but stresses that this arose "in the context of a process of negotiations to review the internal regulations of the Orchestra".

At the same time, he assured that the obligation to take vacations in May and September, as well as a possible lay-off, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, were approved «by the majority» of musicians and are the way found «to keep the jobs and save the Orquestra Clássica do Sul».

In a clarification sent to the Sul Informação, the OCS Musicians Committee assures, from the outset, that “it is false that the complaint for moral harassment is a claim in the face of negotiations on the new Regulation. It is serious that the Management comes to this conclusion based on presumption, given that the complaint was not investigated, nor was a legally mandatory disciplinary procedure opened. The response to the complaint consisted of a “vote of confidence” for the Executive Director. It is serious that the Board disregards, in this public way, the complaint presented», they defend.

As for the accusation of psychological harassment they make, it is based on «sentences such as “if they don't play, they don't receive”, “if they don't play, I'll finish with the orchestra”, “vote in front of me with your arms in the air, I want to see who is that he doesn't want to play””, which “remain present in the musicians' memory”.

 

OCS concert on Ilha do Farol in July – Photo: OCS

 

In the clarification provided by the president of the OCS to the Sul Informação, the three situations in which there were complaints from musicians for lack of conditions are revealed, which could jeopardize the health of the performers, but also harm their musical instruments.

One of them was «an unprecedented concert in Ilha do Farol', to which 'various national and regional authorities were invited'.

On that day, Maria Cabral claims, the musicians refused to play, “evoking the existence of 63% humidity and wind (light to moderate wind, since the concert took place on a night in late July, in Ilha do Farol)”, but the direction considered “their reasons unfounded”.

In response to the statements made by the chairman of the OCS board, the Committee of Musicians draws attention to the photographs of the concert, some of which were published by the orchestra itself. on your facebook page, namely for «the wearing of jackets by the musicians, authorized by the OCS Production Management, in the face of the cold, contrary to the usual attire».

The musicians also complain about the lack of conditions they were subjected to in the concert of celebration of the last World Tourism Day at the Airport of Faro, which joined two more orchestras.

And if the OCS management claims that the malaise is due to "the prolonged stay in an airport room, identical to the rooms in which we all stay at airports, and the long wait, which we all also experience, especially when we have to go through sensitive security areas, at any airport in the world”, the musicians remind that conditions were not the same for everyone.

"Through Algarve Tourism Region Facebook, the OCS Management is visible at a luxury reception, at the event at the Airport, while the 100 musicians (Orquestra do Norte, inclusive) spent four hours in another installation, without conditions», says the committee.

 




 

As for labor issues, “wage increase, seniority regime (Labour Code) was proposed proportional to the years spent in the same category. It should be noted that since 2002 (foundation of the OCS) salaries have never been revised».

On the other hand, claims the musicians' committee, the lay-off that is on the table, following the Covid-19 pandemic, “was not the musicians' choice, there were several communication exchanges. These include the suppression of their food subsidies, leaving administrative workers in a telework regime (not covered by the lay-off), despite the artistic inactivity of OCS. The musicians showed their willingness to collaborate online with OCS, in initiatives to be created».

What seems to be certain is that, at least until June, the OCS musicians will be at home and will receive less than they usually do.

According to Maria Cabral, the scenario on the table foresees «the full payment of salaries (without food allowance) in the months of April and May», the scheduling «of three weeks of vacation between the 1st and the 22nd of May inclusive" and another holiday week "from 8 to 15 September, with full payment of the holiday allowance, during the month of September", as well as the full payment of salaries for the month of June by the AMA (no allowance for food), or by Social Security, under the conditions determined by the simplified lay-off, depending on an assessment carried out at the end of May».

 

Read the clarification from the OCS Musicians Committee:

The OCS Musicians Committee responds and rectifies the statements made by President Maria Cabral, in an article published in the newspaper Sul Informação, because it is necessary to contradict and clarify it.

It is false that the complaint for moral harassment is a claim in the face of negotiations on the new Regulation. It is serious that the Management reaches this conclusion based on presumption, given that the complaint was NOT investigated, NOR was a legally mandatory disciplinary procedure opened. The response to the complaint consisted of a “vote of confidence” for the Executive Director. It is serious that the Board disregards, in this public way, the complaint presented.

Phrases such as “if you don't play, you don't receive”, “if you don't play, I'll end the orchestra”, “vote in front of me with your arms in the air, I want to see who doesn't want to play” are still present in the musicians' memories.

Via Algarve Tourism Region Facebook, the OCS Management is visible at a luxury reception, at the event at the Airport, while the 100 musicians (Orquestra do Norte, inclusive) spent four hours in another installation, without conditions.

In the photo of this news (Concert Farol), see the use of coats by the musicians, authorized by the OCS Production Management, in the face of the cold, contrary to their usual attire.

In terms of salary increases, a seniority regime (Labour Code) was proposed in proportion to the years spent in the same category. It should be noted that since 2002 (foundation of OCS) salaries have never been revised.

The lay-off was not the musicians' choice, there were several communication exchanges. These include the suppression of their food subsidies, leaving administrative workers in a telework regime (not covered by the lay-off), despite the artistic inactivity of OCS. The musicians showed their willingness to collaborate online with OCS, in initiatives to be created.

The OCS Musicians Committee, representing the majority of musicians

 

 

 

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