In Tuesday’s (5/7) Puget Sound Business Journal (Washington), Valerie Bauman writes, “The Seattle Symphony Orchestra has reached a tentative contract agreement with the musicians who play for the Symphony and the Seattle Opera. The Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization has been in negotiations for 15 months. The labor union nearly went on strike in October, after the symphony and opera leaders offered a 15 percent cut to compensation for the 2012-2013 season. ‘There is no doubt that there is a huge sense of shared commitment across this organization, by the board, by the musicians and by the staff,’ Simon Woods, symphony executive director, said Monday at the organization’s annual meeting. ‘I think that despite the challenges of negotiations like this, which are always difficult, that commitment has carried us through. And I’m very proud that we’ve reached an agreement in private, cordially.’ The agreement is tentative because musicians still need to vote on the contract May 14, but the musicians’ committee has recommending passage of the agreement. ‘The musicians are equally happy to have a settlement,’ said Tim Hale, chair of the Seattle Symphony & Opera Players’ Organization. ‘These are challenging times for American symphony orchestras.’ … Details of the final contract weren’t immediately available, since the agreement is only tentative. The contract, which will extend through Aug. 31, 2015, addresses salary, pension and benefits. According to a statement the musicians issued, it improves working conditions.”

Posted May 7, 2013