Monday, April 1, 2013

Striking SF Symphony Musicians and Administration Reach Tentative Agreement

By Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM

The eighteen-day San Francisco Symphony musicians' strike may be over. As reported by the SF Symphony, the administration and musicians have reached a tentative agreement for a new 26-month contract. The new contract is still being finalized over the next several days, at which time more details of the agreement will be released. All concerts this week will resume as scheduled.

During the strike, the Symphony and musicians talked publicly about the negotiations. The striking musicians created a website that included letters of support from symphonies across the country and comments from members of the orchestra. Trombone player Paul Welcomer explained the musicians' perspective here: “It really is about the administration shifting priorities without transparency. Our orchestra is thriving — enough to do wonderful media projects, splash out for a $11 million year-long celebration, give the high-level management big raises, make our music director the highest paid in the country, take huge tours, etc. (These are all things I have no problem with, by the way). But when it comes to negotiating the musicians’ contracts, we are expected to give back decades worth of work rules for a less than inflation raise? We said no.”

SF Symphony trombone player Paul Welcomer said he went on strike for a better contract.
  • SF Symphony trombone player Paul Welcomer said he went on strike for a better contract.

Tickets to cancelled or rescheduled concerts can be exchanged, donated, or refunded. Concerts this week include: A program of Mozart and Handel on Thursday, Apr. 4-5; Music for Families concert Saturday, Apr. 6; Chamber music on Sunday, Apr. 7; and an instrumental workshop for amateur musicians on Sunday, Apr. 7.

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