Covid

Please submit this form by September 1, 2021. If you expect to work in the ON OFFice before then, please note that we will need your vaccination form on record prior to use.

ON COVID-19 Proof of Vaccine
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Orchestra Next

COVID Vaccination Policy for 2021/22

Effective July 1, 2021

Rationale

      1. Without question these are extraordinary times. Performing arts organizations all over the country are struggling to find ways to perform safely—and to achieve a fair balance among diverse needs. With serious consideration and some reluctance, the ON Board has determined that we must require all participants in ON to be vaccinated for COVID-19. This is necessarily consistent with Eugene Ballet’s policy, and with others in the community.
      2. As a collaborative orchestra, ON plans to work with multiple presenting organizations over the 21/22 season. As such, ON will need to comply with each of these organizations’ vaccination policies.
      3. As a training orchestra, ON has an added responsibility to our student population which is currently 60% of our membership.
      4. As a pit orchestra in general, ON must endeavor to create a safe working environment within a limited footprint.

Policy

      1. Proof of COVID vaccination will be required of all ON staff, musicians, and board to participate in any and all shared spaces during the 21/22 season (Hult Center pit, MidTown Arts Center, ON OFFice, and any other venue where ON works, performs, rehearses, or records).
      2. For staff and musicians who will not get vaccinated (for sincerely held religious beliefs or disability), alternative work will be offered based on the individual’s skills and ON needs. Principal musicians’ conventional positions will be held until the following season.
      3. For staff and musicians who elect to not get vaccinated (for personal reasons other than religion or disability), every effort will be made to offer alternative work if so requested*. Principal musicians’ conventional positions will be held until the following season.
      4. For principal musicians who are uncomfortable participating this coming season because of the pandemic (ex. they got vaccinated but remain uncomfortable playing in group settings), these individuals may take the season off and their positions will be held until the following season.
      5. This policy will expire at the end of the 21/22 season for reevaluation, and sooner if conditions warrant it.

*Any request for alternative work must be requested via the form above by September 1, 2021.


Question and Answer

If our first gig isn’t till November, why would we implement this policy in June?

Having this policy in place several months in advance does three things: 1. it encourages our membership to make the necessary plans to get vaccinated with plenty of time, 2. it helps ON negotiate contracts with our collaborative partners for gigs throughout the season, and 3. we will also have sufficient time to plan for any alternative work for unvaccinated individuals before the season begins.

This seems like a slippery slope. If ON requires vaccines for this, doesn’t that open up a precedent to start requiring all sorts of things?

Heading into our 10th season, it isn’t lost on us that we’ve never done anything like this. And while we believe that the extraordinary nature of this pandemic warrants this extraordinary measure of requiring a vaccine, we also are concerned about this potential slippery slope. To that end, part of the policy includes a sunset clause – the policy will expire at the end of the 21/22 season.

What about the “sincerely held religious beliefs” clause? Are all religions respected for this policy? 

Absolutely. The clause simply references the wording of the law. ON must provide alternative work for anyone who claims religion or disability as the reason they can’t get a vaccine. And while some companies might ask for details with these questions, ON will not ask for any details. Members who need an accommodation for either of these reasons will simply need to check a box.

What if I decide to not get vaccinated for more personal reasons?

We will make every effort to offer you alternative work equivalent to the amount of work you would have expected throughout the season.

Instead of requiring vaccines, ON should have an option where people who aren’t vaccinated can get a covid test, sign an agreement pledging to quarantine for 2 weeks, and then participate as normal. Why didn’t ON consider this?

We did consider this. And there are two main reasons why we decided not to incorporate this idea: 1. implementing this kind of policy is complex and onerous for ON at this time (from legal and OSHA considerations, to the ethical concern that requiring a part-time employee to quarantine off-site and without work for two weeks beforehand presents), and 2. we would not be able to say to our collaborative partners (some of whom are also are requiring 100% vaccinations) that our ensemble is 100% vaccinated. Importantly, and as of May 13, the CDC has issued guidance such that fully vaccinated people can dispense with masks (both indoors and outdoors) AND physical distancing.

This just doesn’t seem right. ON shouldn’t require vaccines as a condition of employment.

This is important: vaccination is NOT a condition of employment for Orchestra Next. Being vaccinated for Covid-19 is a condition of participation for our group activities. If you will not be getting vaccinated for any reason, you will still have a job with ON during the 21/22 season. But you simply will not be able to participate in our group activities.

What kind of alternative work would I be offered if I don’t get vaccinated?

We will work with you to determine what your interests are and how those might line up with the needs of the organization.

What if I get vaccinated but I’m still uncomfortable playing in the pit for the upcoming season? We’re still in a pandemic after all….

In this case, you can opt out of participating for the season and we will still protect your spot when the 22/23 season gets underway.

So, the principal positions will be protected for everyone this year?

Yes. If you take the season off because you’re not going to get vaccinated or because you’re not ready to come back into group settings during a pandemic, your position will be protected for the year.

What about the students? Will vaccines be required for them?

Yes. We will be making it clear in the application process that students will be expected to be fully vaccinated in order to join us during our group activities.

Will masks and PPE and social distancing still be in play?

This is likely. Of course, the pit won’t allow for much social distancing but we expect that masks will still be important. We will be falling in line with the current OSHA and CDC guidelines. But there is no doubt that having a fully vaccinated group should allow for more flexibility and not less.

How will ON require members to prove that they are vaccinated?

Please submit this form above.

Is this a PR stunt?

No. We will be sharing this policy only with our collaborative partners and other performing arts organizations in the area. We will not broadcast this to the press. This page is not linked anywhere on our site and is not indexable by search engines.