Whenever an orchestra goes out on strike, it isn’t unusual for folks to get a little jumpy and the bigger the group that strikes, the jumpier folks get. Case in point, not long after the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) went on strike, I started receiving messages from readers asking when I was going to write something about the Fort Worth Symphony shortly after that organization’s negotiations made local headlines…
The reasons I gave against writing anything about the Fort Worth negotiations was that they weren’t out on strike yet so there was no real need to throw any fire on the flames. Neither side in the dispute reached out with private or public statements so it seemed premature to post anything and as it turns out, the group announced a concessionary settlement on Tuesday, 1/16/2010.
According to a report in the 1/16/2010 edition of the Star-Telegram, the musicians voted to ratify a two year concessionary contract by a “definitely close” margin that reduces the number of weeks from 52 to 45 in year one and then 46 in year two. Clearly, one item that isn’t addressed in the newspaper report is how/if the group plans to approach recovery.
Typically, a short contract like this is seen as a waypoint to a larger destination but we’ll know more details when the musicians file an International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) settlement bulletin. In the meantime, both sides aren’t saying very much.
Consequently, now that news has emerged that the Louisville Orchestra might be entering into a round of tough negotiations, it would be wise to see if both sides are going to (re?)engage a press blackout while they work on a solution before jumping to any conclusions. You can find out some details in an article from 11/15/2010 in the Louisville Courier-Journal by Elizabeth Kramer as well as a report from Gabe Bullard on 11/12/2010 at WFPL News.