Facing “precarious moment,” Jacksonville Symphony hopes to retool

Posted on: December 6, 2012

In Wednesday’s (12/5) Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), Charlie Patton writes, “Martin Connor, chairman-elect of the Jacksonville Symphony Association, told the Times-Union editorial board Tuesday that ‘it’s hard to exaggerate the seriousness of our problem.’ He was talking about the operating deficits the symphony has been experiencing for years and the accumulated debt, which he says is about $3 million. Part of the symphony association’s approach to dealing with that debt has been to make a contract offer that shortens the symphony season and reduces the annual base salary of the musicians by almost 20 percent, to about $32,000. But the association has taken other steps to improve its operations and its finances, Connor and executive director Stacy Ridenour said during the meeting. Connor said the symphony board of directors has been ‘completely, though quietly, overhauled in recent months’ and that the executive committee has new members who are ‘aggressively reviewing all aspects of the symphony’s activities.’ … The musicians have not agreed to [the current contract] offer and the symphony board declared a negotiating impasse in September and imposed its salary offer. The union decided not to strike and musicians have been working for the reduced salary while pursuing an unfair labor practices charge with the National Labor Relation Board.”

Posted December 6, 2012