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Biznus writes: "Please, go back to the table and accept propose or accept a RESPONSIBLE contract."Would YOU sign a two-year contract that had no minimum guarantees of any kind for the second year? Would you sign it, and would you call it a "responsible" contract?nnThe FAQ's on the symphony website addressing why the second year is blank says, "We left the terms of the second year open in hopes that we could work collaboratively to get the number of services increased in the second year if the economy improves."Very nice words. But why won't they consider a contract that promises not to CUT our pay by greater than [fill in any number between zero and 100]%? Why is "Salaries for 2013-14 shall not be cut by more than 75% from 2012-13 levels" such a deal-breaker? If you won't promise even that, what agenda are we supposed to infer from that? The board clearly has a plan for Year 2 of this contract that they are not willing to make public.nnBiznus also writes: "Comparing our orchestra to Chicago, Philadelphia, and even Syracuse is non-sense." Perhaps, but that's what they do on the Symphony's FAQ page:"Are other orchestras facing similar financial challenges? "Yes, in recent years. In recent years the Philadelphia Orchestra declared bankruptcy. The Chicago Symphony went on strike this year. The Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra had labor disputes and cancelled concerts. The Syracuse Symphony and New Mexico Symphony were forced to close their doors. And the Louisville Orchestra went silent for a year." nnFinally, Biznus, your frequent and emphatic use of the word "cannot" seems to imply that every possible effort to raise money has been made. As others have already pointed out -- both on this comment thread and in the meeting following our concert Saturday night -- that is not true.nnAgain, I have to ask: refusing to engage in fundraising, refusing to plan for the future, refusing to even consider negotiations that include a plan for the future -- what is the board's agenda here? It's beginning to look like they have a hidden agenda, and it does not include the word "future."
From the symphony´s web page ("About The Spokane Symphony"):"The Spokane Symphony continues a long tradition as the largest and most active professional performing arts organization in the Inland Pacific Northwest. The 2012-13 Season marks its 67th year. The 70-piece professional orchestra performs for more than 150,000 listeners each season and provides a wide variety of exceptional educational experiences. The orchestra presents critically acclaimed performances featuring some of the world´s most respected soloists."Having read Mr. Green´s article, I wonder what "professional" means?
"While our musicians are truly deserving of full-time work with the orchestra, unfortunately our community cannot support that volume of orchestra music."Were you at the Musicians´ Relief Fund concert on Saturday night? A thousand or so members of our community might beg to differ.
"Orchestras are not designed to make money. That´s what non-profit means. The current recession, the worst since the Depression, is hard on all non-profits. Even those with large endowments, including us, have been severely affected by the stock market plunge. Throughout the field, there are continued successes in programming, marketing, fundraising, and new concert halls. It´s an even balance to the few unfortunate bankruptcies. [...] Spokane is committed to its symphony, and we´re passionate about music making. Spokane is the 96th largest city in the U.S., but the Symphony´s budget ranks about 50th. Your continued interest and contributions will sustain these outstanding musicians in work throughout the community. Hats off to the donors, listeners, and volunteers who make it all possible!"--John Hancock, Executive Director of the Spokane Symphony, writing in February 2003
"... Annie Matlow, Marketing and Public Relations Director for the Symphony, says that the Board has heard nothing but silence from musicians since the strike began earlier this month."We have heard nothing from them," she says in an email to The Inlander. "We have been waiting ready to talk but we have heard nothing since they walked away from the negotiations on Nov. 2."==================================================The board´s negotiation team rejected the musicians´ last offer.Translation: "We are sitting patiently by the phone, ready to accept their surrender, but so far they have not called to submit to our terms."
For information on how we got to this [strike] situation: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/13750787/The%20Real%20Story.pdfFAQ´s about the nature of & reasons for the strike itself: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/13750787/Spokane%20Symphony%20Strike%20FAQ%27s.pdfBenefit concert information: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/13750787/Benefit%20Concert%20%20Poster.jpg
For answers about the SSO musicians´ strike, please read (and feel free to distribute) this informational PDF: http://goo.gl/5OIkJ
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