Atlanta Symphony and musicians at a standstill for contract

Posted on: September 5, 2012

In Wednesday’s (9/5) Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ernie Suggs and Craig Schneider report, “With only a month until the first scheduled concert of the season, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has stopped paying its musicians and the Woodruff Arts Center has locked them out of the symphony facilities. … In a lengthy press release, the musicians’ union revealed that on Aug. 24, just as the players’ contract expired, they offered to take $2 million a year in cuts for two years—for a total of $4 million—as long as management agreed to make equal cuts in administrative salaries. But the Woodruff and the ASO stood by what they termed ‘our last, best, and final offer’: $2.6 million a year in cuts from the musicians, with no corresponding reductions in management salaries. Administrative personnel have already taken cuts, the orchestra’s press release said, while the average musician’s pay has increased by 23.6 percent since 2006. … In the version of events painted by the union’s statement, many orchestra staff and board members were pleased with the musicians’ offer, but the board of the Woodruff — the parent organization of the ASO—refused to budge. … But Stanley Romanstein, president of the ASO said in a statement Tuesday that the musicians are trying to drive a wedge between the ASO and the Woodruff. In fact, he said, the orchestra and the arts center agree on the tough cuts that have to be made to keep the symphony afloat.”

Posted September 5, 2012