Charleston Symphony musicians reject contract offer

Posted on: May 24, 2010

In Saturday’s (5/22) Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), Adam Parker reports, “Charleston Symphony Orchestra musicians have rejected the terms of an interim agreement meant to keep the symphony in business for the 2010-11 season, saying it would have decimated salaries and severely cut the number of scheduled performances. The symphony, which has been struggling financially, announced in late March that it was shutting down operations temporarily and canceling the last few performances of the 2009-10 season in order to restructure the organization. … The interim agreement would have reduced the base annual salary for players to $3,600 ($300 a month for most players), a reduction of nearly 84 percent from the salaries agreed upon in the current contract between the symphony and the Coastal Carolina Association of Professional Musicians, [musicians’ spokesman Ryan] Leveille said in the release. Principal players would have received an additional $1,000 a month. … In a telephone interview, [board member Marty Klaper, chairman of the orchestra’s bargaining committee] said the interim agreement was ‘designed to keep the music playing while we were finding an answer to the restructuring. It was never intended to be a long-term agreement.’ … Leveille said the musicians would not offer a counter proposal because ‘management already understands that our position is that, until we come to some sort of an agreement, the current collective bargaining agreement remains in place.’ ”

Posted May 24, 2010