Sorting Out Pension Issues In Seattle

Over the past few weeks, the Seattle newspapers have been reporting on growing labor tensions between the Seattle Symphony and their musicians over the status of their pension fund. So far, details have been slim but the issue of orchestras and pension funding should be of the highest priority for every professional ensemble. Granted, it may not be a very sexy topic but left unattended, an underfunded pension plan can wreck long term havoc on an institution. As such, this article takes a closer look into Seattle’s issues…

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Answering Some Questions About The Seattle Articles

Adaptistration People 146

The articles about the International Guild of Symphony, Opera, & Ballet Musicians (IGSOBM), the Seattle based musicians’ union, generated some good questions from readers this week. One question came from an orchestra patron in Oregon: “Why did the [Seattle Symphony] musicians leave the AFM in the first place?” The answer to this question is rather involved. The simple answer is the Seattle Symphony players’ association was not seeing eye-to-eye with their …

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Everything You Wanted To Know About Seattle (But Were Afraid To Ask) Part 2

Adaptistration People 131

Part 1 from this series examined what the International Guild of Symphony, Opera, & Ballet Musicians (IGSOBM) is and how it is structured. In this installment, we’ll begin to explore how individual chapters within The Guild (simultaneously referred to as IGSOBM by its members) determine the best methods to function as medium for collective representation. To begin with, we’ll examine the largest chapter represented by The Guild, the Seattle Symphony and …

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Everything You Wanted To Know About Seattle (But Were Afraid To Ask) Part 1

Adaptistration People 131

This piece was originally intended for publication during the middle of 2005 but a variety of factors prevented its completion. Nevertheless, in light of recent events surrounding the contention resulting from Gerard Schwarz’s contract extension as the Seattle Symphony Orchestra’s music director, there’s no time like the present. From an organizational perspective the administration and board of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO) function much the same way as their peers. They …

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