Richmond Symphony musicians perform under rejected contract

Posted on: October 2, 2012

In Tuesday’s (10/2) Richmond Times-Dispatch (Virginia), Katherine Calos writes, “In a year of symphony lock-outs and musician strikes in several major cities, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra will perform this season under a contract rejected by musicians who decided to keep playing anyway. Former board president and lead negotiator Joe Murillo expressed admiration and appreciation for the musicians but said the symphony had no other viable option than to impose the rejected contract. … The best and final offer from the symphony called for a 7 percent annual wage reduction—from $32,785 to $28,886—and a two-week shorter season for full-time musicians. Musicians with per-service contracts have a 7-percent decrease in rates and guarantees. When musicians voted unanimously to reject that offer, the symphony had the choice of imposing the contract or locking out the musicians. When the contract was imposed, musicians had a choice of playing under those terms or striking. … Judith Kurnick, vice president for strategic communications for the League of American Orchestras in New York, said each orchestra and each community is unique. Some are thriving. ‘There are a lot of orchestras managing quietly. We don’t see what they’re doing because it’s not a public issue,’ she said. ‘It’s fair to say that every orchestra is figuring out how best to adapt to enormous changes in the environment.’ ”

Posted October 2, 2012