Detroit Symphony musicians turn down latest proposal

Posted on: November 29, 2010

“Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians rejected a new contract proposal by management Wednesday that sweetened its previous offer by $1 million over three years and modified work rule changes that the players had previously deemed unacceptable,” writes Mark Stryker in Thursday’s (11/25) Detroit Free Press. “The two sides met with a federal mediator for nine hours—the first formal negotiating session since talks broke down in August—but failed to end the bitter 7 1/2-week players’ strike. The conflict has called into question the viability of the financially beleaguered institution. The parties remain $4 million to $5 million apart on salaries and benefits and at philosophical odds over redefining the musicians’ jobs to include additional musical work such as playing chamber music…. Management’s proposal would have cut veteran players’ base pay by 33% in the first year to $70,400, rebounding to just over $80,000 in the third year—24% less than the $104,650 they made last year. … The players countered with a proposal they said would cost $38 million but which management claimed would cost nearly $39 million. … The players offered to increase their cut in Year 1 from 22% to 28%, but they insisted on the same recovery as before … At the end of the day, management took its latest offer off the table. No bargaining sessions are scheduled.”

Posted November 29, 2010