SAS Update

With less than 48 hours until their contract expires, the San Antonio Symphony (SAS) musicians issued a press release today announcing that they need “a new agreement in order to continue working after the contract expires.”…


As detailed in yesterday’s article, the SAS musicians have engaged in informational picketing action during the final days of their contract. When asked if the SAS management had an official response to the musicians’ picketing Carolyn Bacon, SAS Vice President Marketing, declined to comment.

SAS-pre-picket02.jpgSAS-pre-picket01.jpgAs of late afternoon, August 29, 2007, neither SAS management nor musicians had any new news to report. Furthermore, according to Brian Petkovich, Negotiating Committee Chair and SAS Bassoonist, the musicians’ offers have remanded unchanged from the three and five years proposals posted on their website. The photographs to your left are from yesterday’s picketing action (click to enlarge), in the far left photograph you can see Petkovich giving an interview to a local television news station KENS5.

SAS-pre-picket03.jpgThe photograph to your left (click to enlarge) shows the musicians’ picket signs with the Majestic Theater’s marquee (SAS primary venue) in the background. According to a San Antonio Express-News article, singer Tony Bennett gave a scheduled concert at the Majestic on 8/29/2007 where the article reports,

Before singing his second encore number, “The Music Never Ends,” Bennett showed solidarity with San Antonio Symphony musicians: “Give them what they need, so that they stay here, and make this city very, very civilized,” said Bennett, calling the sight of picketing musicians “awful.”

Keep your eyes posted here for any breaking developments in the ongoing labor talks, any information will be posted as son as it becomes available.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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