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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Substitute Parity At ICSOM Orchestras 2019

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In 2014, we took a deep dive into which International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) symphonic orchestras paid substitute musicians the same rate as core musicians and in the wake of a recent conversation with ICSOM chairperson Meredith Snow and ICSOM President Paul Austin, it’s time to update that list. My thanks to Paul Austin for spearheading this effort and providing ICSOM’s list of changes. As with most comparative …

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Shop Talk: S01E01 Poke It With A Stick

Surprise! Today marks the inaugural episode of a new video podcast series where I sit down with movers and shakers in the field and talk shop. Today’s episode focuses on a topic near and dear to my own arts admin heart: substitute musician equal pay for equal work. I’m joined by a pair of leaders from the musician side of the equation, International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) chairperson …

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Fort Worth Symphony Reaches Tentative Deal And No Details From Pittsburgh Symphony

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One day after a report that bargaining was stalled, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) announced it reached a tentative agreement. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), which had been mediating the negotiations, released a press statement on 12/04/2016 announcing the tentative deal. The musicians have scheduled a ratification meeting for Wednesday, 12/07/2016 but as of now, there is no work if the musicians’ negotiation team plans to recommend their …

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The Pittsburgh Symphony Strike Is Over

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Just a quick post-Thanksgiving note today to make sure you haven’t inadvertently overlooked the good news that the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra work stoppage has ended and the group is back to work with a newly ratified collective bargaining agreement. Rumblings of a deal surfaced via an article by Elizabeth Bloom in the 11/22/2016 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette then became public via a 11/23/2016 article in the same outlet by Bob Batz Jr. We’ll take a …

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