Your orchestra has an opening for a titled position in a wind/brass/perc section. Let's call this 'Section A'. Assume the position is open because the previous player didn't get tenure. Your CBA requires that nationally advertised, blind auditions be held for any position that is open for longer than a year. An audition is scheduled.
The players from Section A (all three of them) write to the Orchestra Committee and Audition Committee and notify them that they would like permission to completely bypass the audition and appoint the person who has been subbing with them regularly over the past year. Let's call this 'Player A'. Player A has a very strong resume, having won a position in a top orchestra 15 years ago, but the committee says they need to hold a national audition anyway.
Your CBA says all rounds shall be behind a screen and only tenured members of your orchestra are allowed to go directly to the finals. Section A, disappointed they cannot appoint outright, then asks for a waiver to allow Player A to go directly to the finals. The waiver is granted through a loophole in your CBA previously only used to move rehearsals by a few hours. Many musicians in your orchestra begin to raise questions about the integrity of this particular audition. Some express outrage at the use of the loophole, but the audition proceeds.
All resumes are invited to the prelims. Two players are pre-advanced to semis. Player A is the only candidate pre-advanced to finals. The audition committee is aware that all three of Section A's players want to hire Player A -enough that they asked to bypass the audition process and appoint Player A.
The two-day audition begins. Prelims are heard on Day 1, with the semi-final and final on Day 2.
On the evening of Day 1, after the prelims, but before the semi-final and final, a member of Section A, let's call them Player X, is discovered coaching Player A through their excerpts onstage. (Player A also played excerpts for other audition committee members in the week immediately proceeding the audition, there are technically no rules against this, but the contract makes it clear there should be no discussion about any candidate until the final round vote.) On Day 2, four semi-finalists are heard and two finalists are heard, all behind a screen. Player A is the only finalist to receive a majority vote in the finals.
Your CBA allows your music director to give the job (or award a trial) to any candidate who receives a majority vote, or, the MD can declare a no-hire if they choose. The MD raises concerns about Player A's performance. Player X tells the audition committee and the MD (paraphrased)"I have no idea who this person is, they are a terrific player, I'm sure the problems you are hearing are just nerves." The MD is unmoved and declares a no-hire. Section A can continue to hire Player A as a sub. Another audition will be scheduled for the position.
What, if anything, could have been done better in this situation to ensure the fairest outcome?
What, if anything, should be done differently at the next audition for Section A?
Should Player X face any repercussions?
What if Player X also happens to be the union steward? Does that change things?