Dear members of the Board,
We hope everyone enjoyed a restful holiday season. As the first week of the New Year comes to a close, we wanted to provide an update.
I wish it could be more positive than the facts allow.
On December 24, we formally communicated to the union and each individual Player our most recent proposal which would bring total average player compensation (salary, healthcare, pension and other benefits) to $133,000. (See attached communication) The Players’ elected leadership has refused to negotiate around that proposal, and have rejected our request that they provide detail of their newly and quite publically accepted position that embraces the terms of the Levin/Granholm recommendation.
Instead, the Orchestra’s elected leadership has spent their time scheduling additional strike concerts (including their own Rogers and Hammerstein pops concert in the church next door to Orchestra Hall) and continues a communications campaign filled with misinformation and personal attacks of board and management leadership. Further, we know they have been in touch with our sponsors asking them to disassociate themselves from their historic DSO support. They have been in contact with UMS and MOT seeking to independently (and competitively) present Mahler’s epoch Symphony No. 8. Community partners have expressed deep disappointment that the Players appear to be more invested in these activities than responding to our recent proposal and bargaining in good faith towards a conclusion that will restore our orchestral concert season. With all this in mind, there are two things to be aware of:
- ·first, the ongoing strike now forces the cancellation of all DSO Rodgers & Hammerstein Pops concerts (see below).
- ·Second, at the January Executive Committee meeting, the Board will evaluate the merit of suspending the remainder of the 2010-11 season, as well as indefinitely deferring the announcement of the 2011-12 season, until a settlement can be achieved.
This clarity of action is intended to allow our patrons to exchange tickets, request refunds, and make alternative plans. It respects the future relationships with guest artists and conductors affected by these cancellations. Finally, it tasks the staff with redoubling its work in the area of education, rentals, retail, jazz, and fundraising – all which have come through 2010 with encouraging results.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, I welcome your email or call.