San Antonio Symphony musicians strike over proposed lower wages, smaller orchestra, health coverage

Posted on: September 28, 2021

“Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony have called a strike, effective Monday,” reports David Ibañez in Monday’s (9/27) (San Antonio, TX). “According to a news release, the musicians turned down a ‘last, best and final offer’ from the San Antonio Symphony Society that would reduce the orchestra from 72 full-time musicians to 42 core musicians…. The society also proposed that 26 musicians, based on seniority, would perform per service at a base wage of $125/service with a minimum 90 services … for an annual wage of $11,250. All 26 musicians would lose health care benefits. Mary Ellen Goree, chair of The Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony, said she and her colleagues feel beat down after years of accepting pay cuts with promises of restitution…. Musicians had accepted an 80% pay cut for the 2020-2021 season in light of the pandemic…. ‘To stabilize the organization and sustain it for the future, the Symphony must hold strong to only spending what we can afford,’ said Kathleen Weir Vale, Symphony Society of San Antonio Chair…. ‘We are committed to continuing to bargain with the Union until we reach a mutually agreeable contract.’… The Symphony’s season opener remains scheduled for Oct. 29, 2021.”