The deadlock ‘may delay or cancel portions' of the forthcoming season
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians and management failed to reach a new contract agreement before the midnight deadline on Saturday. The players, who accepted a 14 per cent pay cut two years ago, issued a statement claiming that management had refused to budge from an offer ‘under which the musicians would continue to hemorrhage income and lose orchestra positions’. For its part, the orchestra’s management warned the deadlock ‘may delay or cancel portions of the 2014-15 season’.
The cuts to salaries and positions in 2012 were an attempt to rectify budget difficulties, yet the orchestra posted a $2m deficit in 2013. Under the terms of the proposed management contract, the ASO’s forces would be further cut through a voluntary retirement incentive and salaries would rise by 4.5 per cent over the course of four years. According to musicians, this rise would be offset by increased healthcare contributions, however.
Last week music director Robert Spano, and principal guest
conductor Donald Runnicles wrote an open letter urging management
to ‘acknowledge the sacrifice the musicians have already made, and
to examine other ways and areas to establish sustainability.’