In Friday’s (11/12) Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Barry Schlachter reports, “Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, who have been performing without a contract since May, will vote Sunday night on a two-year agreement after negotiations—some under federal mediation—that both sides described as grueling. The proposed agreement would reduce base pay for the current season by 13.5 percent, to $51,926.54, from $60,004. The orchestra’s 2010 schedule will likewise be shortened, from 52 weeks to 45 weeks, union and orchestra officials said Thursday. In the contract’s second year, which begins May 2011, a week is added to the schedule, along with $1,153.92 more pay, the two sides said. If the ballet schedule is restored and the Fort Worth Opera season expands, musicians would receive additional paid weeks, they said. The orchestra had sought to reduce the schedule to 42 weeks for two seasons, which would have meant a 17.3 percent pay cut. Orchestra President Ann Koonsman argued for wage concessions, citing grant cuts from the Arts Council, canceled performances in Waxahachie and Killeen as well as with Texas Ballet Theater and Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, and a $120,000 decline in ticket sales.”

Posted November 12, 2010