Thursday, August 23, 2012

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Contract Deadline Midnight Saturday

According to Adaptistration and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has set midnight this Saturday as the deadline for when its musicians must reach agreement with them on a new contract.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association released a statement claiming that the ASO's negotiator, Don Fox, wrote: "unless an agreement is reached by midnight, August 25th, we have no authority to continue income for Musicians, either pay or benefits, beyond that date."

The musicians, as reported in the Journal-Constitution, are willing to take an 11% cut in pay (base salary is $88,400) if staff also takes a hit. Orchestra president Stanley Romanstein claims that the administration has already seen its remuneration decrease by 1.7% since 2006, while the musicians have said that staff salaries have increased by 50% over the same period. (I'm not sure what accounts for the hugely divergent numbers.)

The ASO is facing an accumulated debt of $20 million, and has an annual operating budget of about $46 million.

Read about it here, here, and here.

It's been a tough couple of weeks for the ASO. Back on August 12, it had to fake its way through an Il Divo concert, a humiliating affair, and also has been accused of reverse discrimination (the ASO's side of the story here).