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January 19, 2010

Details on tentative agreement to end Cleveland Orchestra strike

They're calling it a tentative agreement to the day-long strike, but it looks pretty solid, and it appears to be good news for both sides. The Cleveland Orchestra musicians, who had asked for a one-year wage freeze instead of a pay cut, will get a two-year freeze, then two raises in the third year totally 5 percent. Here are excerpts from the press release:

The Musicians’ Union and Management of The Cleveland Orchestra reached a tentative agreement early this morning for a new three-year contract through September 2, 2012.

The agreement calls for a two-year wage freeze through August 2011, followed by semi-annual wage increases of 3% and 2% in the subsequent year. In addition, the Musicians will donate up to 10 services, which will provide cost relief and additional revenue for the Musical Arts Association. Musicians will increase their medical premium contribution beginning in July 2011.

The agreement was announced by the Musicians’ Committee Chairman, Jeffrey Rathbun, and the Orchestra’s Executive Director, Gary Hanson.

Mr. Rathbun said, “We are very happy that management has heard our message and agreed not to further erode our base compensation allowing us to stay as competitive as possible with the marketplace. We look forward to working together to build our base of support and continue our tradition of excellence.”

Mr. Hanson said, “Both sides worked effectively through a difficult process to reach an unprecedented agreement that will do much to help the Association’s finances going forward. I am very grateful for the Musicians’ passion and abiding concern for the Orchestra’s artistic excellence.”

... The Orchestra’s Miami Residency performances will proceed as scheduled.

Posted by Tim Smith at 3:38 PM | | Comments (1)
        

Comments

Another sad reflection of the place classical music has in America today. Great cultural institutions like this orchestra may not be around in another couple of decades. Today’s shallow pop-culture swallows up our youth into the vast sea of musical mediocrity and mass commercialism. Perhaps classical music will survive in Europe and Asia. Let’s hope. This country had great promise but we squandered countless opportunities and consequently leave future generations a legacy of debt, social instability and compressed digital music.

Thanks for the comments, even if they've made me feel worse than I already did. TIM

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at baltimoresun.com/artsmash. This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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