LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  January 2006

CLASSICAL January 2006

Subject:

SFS China Tour Is On

From:

Janos Gereben <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 27 Jan 2006 10:35:02 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (124 lines)

(and contract talks continue...  a far better outcome than the murky
situation all this week)

   Symphony China Trip Saved [from www.sfcv.org]
   After 72 hours of intense negotiations between the San Francisco
   Symphony administration and S.F. Musicians Union Local No. 6,
   the parties agreed Friday morning to continue preparations for
   the orchestra's tour of China next week.
   
   The two sides continue to be locked in difficult contract talks,
   but have announced "an agreement to perform the orchestra's
   historic tour of China as scheduled." Just a week before departure,
   the decision to cooperate avoids a threatened cancelation. The
   Feb. 9-13 tour includes opening of Hong Kong Arts Festival on
   Feb. 11, and the Symphony's first-ever visit to mainland China,
   with an appearance in Shanghai. For details, see www.sfsymphony.org
   
   At a time when salary figures are at the crux of contract
   negotiations, no information is available how much the China
   tour costs the Symphony. Ticket prices at the Festival's opening
   concert (with Copland, Mahler, and Dvorak) range from 90 to 700
   HK dollars. The festival also features the Orchestra of the Age
   of Enlightenment, the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, and a
   coproduction of "Don Giovanni" by Semper Opera Dresden and Opera
   Nuremberg.  The SFS Feb. 12 Shanghai concert will be the orchestra's
   first-ever performance in mainland China. Cellist Lynn Harrell
   is the soloist. Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS musicians give
   a day of master classes for Shanghai Conservatory of Music
   students.
   
   First reports of the tour being in question appeared over last
   weekend when a memo from the union to the orchestra's 103 musicians
   came to light. The memo called the administration's last offer
   "inferior" to contracts at other major music organizations in
   the country. The union recommended that unless there is a better
   offer or settlement by the end of January, musicians should not
   participate in the Asian tour.
   
   Using average annual wage figures, the San Francisco Chronicle
   reported the "final" Symphony offer of increasing the current
   $112,320 figure to $115,960, and to $129,220 in the following
   year. (In Boston and Los Angeles, the annual basic wage average
   is $121,888; in New York, $118,092; Chicago and Philadelphia,
   slightly under that - all of them going up in coming years.)

   Earlier this week, in response to a Classical Voice request for
   comment, SFS Executive Director Brent Assink said the administration's
   "first and foremost" concern is that the musicians "must be
   provided with a fair and comprehensive compensation and benefit
   package. We are doing our best to find a solution that gives our
   talented musicians a contract deserving of our stature as one
   of the top orchestras in the country and also sets a prudent
   financial course for the future of the orchestra."
   
   Assink, however, also warned that "we cannot compromise the
   long-term artistic health of the orchestra by offering a package
   that is not in keeping with the very real financial challenges
   and considerations facing the Symphony right now and in the
   coming years."
   
   David Schoenbrun, president of Local 6, said later that he too
   is primarily concerned with "not compromising the artistic product
   that's the most important consideration for the musicians," but
   he cautioned against a "compensation package that would compromise
   the ability of the orchestra to recruit and retain the best
   musicians, in competition with other orchestras."
   
   On Thursday, administration and union spokesmen withheld comment
   until a joint statement could be issued. As the issue of the
   China trip became a bone of contention, reflecting the larger
   problem of the contract, cancelation would have boded ill for
   the near future, including the possibility of an orchestra strike.
   Conversely, the last-minute agreement forged this morning to
   save the tour could be the harbinger of contract talks taking a
   turn for the better.
   
   The last time musicians of the San Francisco Symphony went
   on strike, there was significant financial, psychological, and
   public-relations damage for management and union alike. Beginning
   Dec. 3, 1996, the strike went on for 10 weeks, even though the
   immediate cause was something relatively minor: the $40 per week
   difference between the $150 raise demanded by the musicians'
   union and the $110 offered by management.
   
   Money was only an apparent reason for a protracted and bitter
   dispute. The real cause, expressed in mutually vituperative
   accusations, could not be handled until the two sides went into
   professional conflict-resolution workshops and retreats - emerging
   with a new attitude they termed "a model for other institutions."
   
   The result was a settlement, a three-year contract followed in
   1999 by a virtually conflict-free agreement on an unprecedented
   six-year contract - a strengthened "marriage" instead of a bitter
   divorce. The sky, however, has darkened once again over Davies
   Hall. Negotiations on a new contract have been going on for some
   six months now, but a happy ending looks more and more elusive.
   
   Also this week, Tim Paulson, executive director of the San
   Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO, requested the San Francisco
   Board of Supervisors to investigate the Symphony's accounting
   practices, "its refusal to use the endowment for the musicians
   and its creation of illusory deficits." Paulson specifically
   cited MTT's $1.5 million annual salary "for part-time work" as
   a sign that the Symphony, with its $174 million endowment, is
   "one of the most financially healthy orchestras in the country."
   
   The Council executive director told the Board of Supervisors
   that the Symphony management, nevertheless, is "proposing a
   contract that would place the musicians below their colleagues
   in other leading orchestras such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia,
   Boston, Chicago, and New York, and on par with what the financially
   troubled Cleveland Orchestra pays its musicians."
   
   About the "illusory deficits," Paulson cited the Symphony's
   reported surpluses between Fiscal 2001 and 2004, but "six months
   into the labor negotiations, in August of 2005, management
   suddenly reported its first deficit ($2.4 million) to the operating
   budget in five years while concurrently adding $15 million to
   the endowment. In short, management created an illusory deficit
   during 2005 - which happened to be a contract-negotiation year."

Janos Gereben/SF
www.sfcv.org
[log in to unmask]

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager