Where Things Stand In Baltimore

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Last week, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) labor situation exploded into a full-blown lockout. Since that happened smack in the middle of the orchestra compensation reports week, we have had to wait until today to conduct an overview. At the same time, it would have been wonderful for all involved if the BSO managed to resolve the dispute during the interim but based on where things are today, it’s clear that …

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Let’s Elevate The Discourse Of Labor Disputes

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As the Baltimore Symphony heads into what is looking like an all but certain knock-down, drag-out labor dispute, it’s worth mentioning a few points of opportunity all stakeholders can benefit from. First and foremost, it’s time to internalize the distinction between executives and staff within the larger administrative structure. Historically, during orchestra labor disputes, it’s common for musician employees to use the term “management” when referring to the executive leadership; specifically, …

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Birthday Fundraiser Success And Baltimore Symphony News

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Thanks to everyone who contributed to my matching gift fundraiser I mentioned in last Friday’s post. Thanks to the generosity of donors, it raised $1,000 and reached 200% of the original goal! This amount will fund 1/3 of a prison recital program from Arts Capacity, which helps people in need through the power of live music and art to cope with challenges and develop the capacity to experience change for good. It …

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Negotiating Yourself Into A Corner

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The recent Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) strike is an excellent example of something that demonstrates how much the work stoppage PR landscape has shifted over the past decade. For example, one of the strongest musician talking points is the deleterious impact concessions have on an orchestra’s ability to attract and retain the very best artistic talent. This was a cornerstone of the CSO musician position: If the employer does away with …

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A Quick Follow-Up On The Chicago Symphony Settlement And Substitute Parity

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One item that remains unclear in the new Chicago Symphony Orchestra agreement is whether the new fiver-year contract modified any of the terms related to substitute musician compensation. I’ve been communicating with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) and the musicians and so far, have received mildly differing accounts. According to CSOA Communications and Public Relations Officer, Eileen Chambers “per the terms of the new agreement, temporary or substitute musicians will …

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