So far, so good. At least that’s the way most folks would categorize this season’s round of labor agreements between professional orchestra musicians and their management. In fact, several organizations which seemed to be heading toward work stoppages successfully found enough middle ground to reach new agreements. Even better, some groups which endured contentious negotiations in their previous bargaining cycle finished up with nary a public peep and both sides smiling in the aftermath. Conversely, there are a few orchestras that have yet to wrap up negotiations on contracts that have recently expired.
The Omaha Symphony and Florida Orchestra are both engaged in play-and-talk sessions with their musicians. In Omaha all is quiet on the public front but in Florida, an article in the 10/4/2007 edition of the St. Petersburg Times by Arts Critic John Fleming provides a very good review of where things currently stand. Ideally, the situations in Omaha and Florida will benefit from the momentum established by other ensembles and they will settle their respective negotiations on a positive note sooner than later. In the meantime, stay tuned.