“As they approach a negotiating session with a federal mediator on Wednesday, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra management and players are closer to a deal than they have been during a two-month musician lockout or in eight months of talks that preceded it,” writes Howard Pousner in Wednesday’s (11/5) Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The two sides are preparing to talk—through U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service mediator Richard Giacolone.…  The negotiating team for the ASO and its parent nonprofit the Woodruff Arts Center (WAC) made a proposal on Oct. 24, to which the musicians countered Oct. 27. Management, which declined comment for this story as part of a news blackout requested by the mediator, didn’t outright reject it.… The thorniest issue is the size of the orchestra going forward…. In its most recent proposal, management held that the number of full-time musicians for the 2014-15 season should be cut from 88 to 76 players…. The ASO Players’ Association countered with a proposal of starting with 77 players and increasing the ranks incrementally to a minimum of 88 by the end of the 2017-18 season…. Pay is the other issue still to be resolved…. Talks [resumed] Wednesday—and continue Thursday if needed.”

Posted November 6, 2014