It looks like we’re one step closer to wrapping up the list of outstanding mid to large budget orchestras with expired agreements that have managed to ratify a new contract without resorting to a work stoppage. The Grand Rapids Symphony (GRS) reportedly reached a tentative five-year agreement after more than seven months of play and talk.
The new agreement must be ratified by the GRS board and the musicians before terms are released, but we’ll circle back to those items once they’ve been made available.
The tentative agreement comes on the heels of an article by Josh Veal in the 3/20/2016 edition of MiBiz.com that examines the protracted negotiation. Although GRS executive director, Peter Kjome, did not offer any comments for that report, one of the musician spokespersons, GRS violinist and negotiation committee co-chair Diane McElfish Helle, offered insight on how stakeholders have managed to avoid taking the same path as some of the more vitriolic labor disputes this season.
“We’re not throwing rocks back and forth here. We’re taking our time because we all want to be responsible,” [McElfish Helle] said. “I do think the board has people of goodwill.”
And Then There Was One
We’re down to the final group on our list; and as a refresher, here is an updated version of the fourteen mid to large budget orchestra and opera organizations with a collective bargaining agreement that expired since summer, 2015:
- Chicago Lyric Opera 6/30/2015
- Chicago Symphony 9/13/2015
- Cincinnati Symphony 9/13/2015
- Cleveland Orchestra 8/30/2015
- Columbus Symphony 8/31/2015
- Dallas Symphony 8/31/2015
- Florida Orchestra 8/31/2015
- Fort Worth Symphony 7/31/2015
- Grand Rapids Symphony 8/31/2015
- Milwaukee Symphony 8/31/2015
- New Jersey Symphony 8/31/2015
- Philadelphia Orchestra 9/13/2015
- San Antonio Symphony 8/31/2015
- Utah Symphony 8/31/2015