The management wants to cut the musicians’ contract from 52 weeks to 40. The two sides are still talking, but it looks like they have reached deadlock.
Here’s what the musicians tell us:
The four-month contract extension between the management of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Corporation and its musicians represented by American Federation of Musicians Local 40-543 expired last night at midnight. The BSO management expressed no desire to extend the contract in writing.
The musicians are fighting in these negotiations to preserve the institution’s identity as a 52-week major orchestra. Our priorities are focused on maintaining a competitive compensation and benefit package that will allow the organization to attract and retain high caliber musicians, on maintaining and improving the health and safety of our musicians, and on empowering the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to bring transcendent performances to audiences in Maryland and beyond.
The BSO management has asked for drastic reductions in the structure of the organization from 52 to 40 weeks. This alone would result in a 20% loss in annual salary and benefits to the musicians. This destructive direction would damage the Baltimore Symphony for generations to come.
The Baltimore Symphony Musicians will continue playing on stage at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and at the Music Center at Strathmore at the highest professional level for our audiences unless management locks us out or unilaterally stops respecting contract terms.