San Antonio Symphony Orchestra musicians stage sit-in in City Council Chambers
A long strike always play San Antonio Symphony in Texas. Its musicians have been on strike since September 7, 2021, after the orchestra’s management announced a plan to solve their continuing financial problems by reducing the number of full-time salaried musicians from 72 to 42.
Musicians whose jobs are at stake would be retained on a part-time, “per service” basis, with a guaranteed number of performances and salary. However, these players would see their base salary reduced to just $11,250 per year (to be topped up with additional performance) and lose all health benefits.
Players protested the proposed changes by staging a sit-in in the San Antonio City Council Chamber on February 17, 2022. Some held signs that read “We demand better management!” and “We fight for a living wage!”
Since March 17, the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra website released a statement regarding the most recent updates on the negotiations.
“We have been and continue to be in the midst of good faith negotiations, now with the assistance of federal mediators,” he said. “We had three appointments, February 14, February 17 and March 8, with a fourth appointment being scheduled with the help of mediators.
“To date, we have provided several contract proposals and offered to enter binding arbitration, similar to the concept outlined in the worker-backed Protection of the Right to Organize (PRO) Bill,” continues -he. “We are confident that the process will lead to an agreement that all parties can support so that we can, together, restore live performances for our community, our patrons and music lovers.
Additionally, in January 2022, the San Antonio Symphony released its final audit report for the previous year, confirming the serious financial issues facing the organization.
However, a recent statement by Mary Ellen Goreefirst second violin and president of the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra Bargaining Committee, paints a rather different picture from the management statement.
“So far, Symphony’s board and management only seem interested in signing a deal that satisfies their demands but offers nothing but financial and artistic destruction to musicians.” , she wrote.
“During the last bargaining session on March 8, the board and management were still demanding a significant reduction in the size of the orchestra from the current 72 positions to 50, which resulted in an ensemble that was too small to perform. the great works of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, even John Williams, all of which sell tickets and fill the halls.
“Board and management are still demanding a significant reduction in musicians’ wages, already well below industry standards, which, combined with the demanded reductions in health insurance benefits, would leave musicians in dire straits. .
“The musicians are asking for nothing more than a normal contract that will stage a full symphony with salary and benefits similar to those previously negotiated in good faith in 2019.”
You can view images of News KENS 5 which shows the protesting musicians in front of the town council chambers below.