Detroit Symphony makes concession on musician work rules

Posted on: December 13, 2010

In Friday’s (12/10) Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker writes, “With the crippling Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike in its 10th week, management has modified its controversial work-rule provisions in a new proposal now in front of the musicians. The proposal makes activities like chamber music, teaching and coaching voluntary rather than required under the contract. Players who elect to take on the optional work would make an additional $3,800 next season and $7,600 the following year. A spokesman for the musicians said that while the latest proposition begins to address the players’ major concern over building such work into their weekly scale, it still leaves overall salaries too low to guarantee a top-tier orchestra. … DSO Chief Operating Officer Patricia Walker said the proposal, which was delivered in writing on Saturday, grew out of the musicians’ bargaining-table position that folding non-orchestral work into their job descriptions was a deal breaker. … Service conversion is a hot-button issue among orchestral players, especially in major orchestras like the DSO, where it has long been considered part of the prestige of playing in a top ensemble that a musician could specialize in orchestral repertoire.”

Posted December 13, 2010