The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and the Local 80 of the American Federation of Musicians held their contract negotiations on Wednesday, Sept. 4. The negotiations were successful and, approved by musicians on Sept. 26, resulted in a one-year contract with a pay freeze for musicians for the 2013/14 season. Administrative staff will also have a pay freeze for the season.
“At a time when relations between management and musicians at so many orchestras have been horribly contentious, we were very gratified that the musicians understood the financial situation of the CSO,” said CSO Board Chair Spencer McCallie. “The union had ideas of things they would like to do on their own and with the CSO Board and staff to help improve fundraising and ticket sales, and themselves proposed a one-year freeze in the contract. We let them know how much we value them and how the board has expressed its overwhelming concern to address our financial problems by raising income rather than cutting musician pay.”
“The management of the CSO, in full transparency, reviewed the financial situation of the orchestra,” said musician representatives from the Local 80. “The musicians recommended a freeze in pay as we are determined to provide our community with a robust season of high caliber performances. We, the musicians, appreciate the commitment of management to increase revenues through aggressive fundraising and innovative marketing. We believe that these efforts from both sides will help secure the future of symphonic music in the greater Chattanooga area.”
The CSO 2013/14 season began on September 26 to a near sold-out crowd. The regular concert season goes through April 2014 with additional special events in May 2014.