A little good news from Seattle. The Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera and the union representing those musicians (the SSOPO) have agreed to extend their collective bargaining agreement through Jan. 31, 2013, allowing more time to work out a new contract. Talks have been going on since the summer.
David Sabee, acting chair of the SSOPO, said in a statement Monday that he was optimistic that a new pact could be reached without interrupting any scheduled concerts. Over the weekend, he said, the symphony musicians performed Beethoven’s “Fidelio” and Gabriel Prokofiev’s “Concerto for Turntable and Orchestra.”
"The Seattle Symphony is now playing on a national stage,” Sabee wrote. "… We feel a great responsibility to protect the artistic integrity and standard of excellence that have elevated the Seattle Symphony to new heights.”
On Oct. 10, management of the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera proposed that musicians take a 15% reduction in overall compensation for the 2012-13 season. On Oct. 15, the union approved a strike authorization for its members. The union said that the musicians have made financial concessions since 2005, giving back more than $9.6 million to the symphony, and it has been trying to reach a deal that reverses this trend.