At Baltimore Symphony, “play and talk,” as contract negotiations continue

Posted on: January 16, 2019

“The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians’ four-month contract extension expired late Tuesday,” reports Mary Carole McCauley in Wednesday’s (1/16) Baltimore Sun. “On the surface, nothing much has changed. The players aren’t on strike and management hasn’t locked them out. The concerts scheduled for this weekend will be performed as planned … and the musicians will get paid under the provisions of the previous bargaining agreement. Negotiations are continuing, an unusual but not unprecedented arrangement known as playing and talking.… The musicians had been operating under a four-month extension of their previous one-year contract that expired Sept. 9. The players sought an additional extension, Greg Mulligan, co-chairman of the Baltimore Symphony Players Committee said. But a press release issued Wednesday by the players union said that the symphony’s management ‘refuses to extend [the] musicians’ contract.’… In a statement announcing the expiration of the contract extension, BSO President and CEO Peter Kjome took a conciliatory tone without backing away from management’s position that a shortened performance schedule and financial concessions are essential for the orchestra’s continued viability…. The orchestra’s $28 million budget has been insufficient to cover its expenses…. Negotiations on substantive issues are expected to resume Jan. 29, Mulligan said.”

Posted January 16, 2019