Detroit Symphony, musicians schedule Friday talks

Posted on: September 23, 2010

In Thursday’s (9/23) Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker reports, “Detroit Symphony Orchestra management and players have scheduled an eleventh-hour negotiating session Friday morning in an effort to settle a rancorous contract dispute before a potential work stoppage. Friday looms as a deadline day. Although the players authorized a strike in late August as their contract expired, they haven’t walked off the job because of a labor law technicality that obligated management to pay them through Thursday. The two sides have not met since Aug. 27. Both DSO President Anne Parsons and musician spokesman Haden McKay credit a federal mediator, Michael Nowakowski, with jump-starting the talks. … Players and management have been at odds over steep pay cuts and work rule changes. Management’s proposal leaves base salaries for veterans at $73,800 in three years, 29% lower than the $104,650 they make today. Management also has proposed expanding the job of the players to include not only performing orchestral concerts but also chamber music, teaching and other outreach duties. … Management could implement the terms of its final offer on Friday, which could push the players to strike. Or the players could say they were being locked out. The first concert of the season is not scheduled until Oct. 8.”

Posted September 23, 2010