The rejected 4 year agreement included substantial cuts in annual income for the musicians in its first three years – ranging from a 7.5% cut in year one to a 2% cut in year 3. By the fourth year of the agreement, musicians’ income would still be more than 5% below what the musicians earned in 2010.
Last Wednesday, after 14 months of nearly continuous negotiations and 4 days with a federal mediator, the musicians' negotiating team had reached a tentative agreement on this offer as a last ditch effort to reach an agreement with management. “It was not until these last sessions in mediation that management started to make any meaningful movement away from the nearly 9 percent cuts they have been demanding for over a year. We worked diligently in mediation so that we could recommend to our musicians the best deal management would offer,” said Local Union President Stewart Williams.
But on Sunday the musicians stood together and voted a resounding “no” for continued cuts to their beloved orchestra. This vote adds to the refrain of what the musicians have been repeating now for over a year: Growth, not cuts for the Symphony and for Fort Worth.
The musicians call on Symphony management to resume talks immediately, and have offered to meet on Labor Day. A strike authorization vote has been scheduled for Wednesday.