San Francisco Symphony and musicians reach tentative agreement to end strike 

San Francisco Symphony musicians walk the picket line. - COURTESY OF MICHAEL STRICKLAND
  • Courtesy of Michael Strickland
  • San Francisco Symphony musicians walk the picket line.

After a weekend of lengthy and intensive contract talks, on Sunday afternoon in the 18th day of a strike, musicians and the administration of the San Francisco Symphony reached a tentative agreement.

The agreement will restore the interrupted season when the new contract is ratified by the full orchestra and the symphony’s board of governors. That action is expected in the next few days.

Confident the agreement will stick, the symphony announced Sunday that concerts would resume Tuesday, with a free performance for school children, and other concerts this week "will go on as scheduled."

Apparently, the Players' Committee is expected to recommend approval to the membership, although at this time there is no news of the tentative agreement posted on the musicians' website.

However, the symphony website has a posting reading: "We are pleased to announce that the SFS musicians have returned to work and all concerts and events will take place as scheduled."

Although no details of the agreement are to be released until the new contract is accepted, it seems clear that it includes many compromises, such as the length of the contract. Initially proposed as a three-year labor agreement, the symphony later offered a two-year term and the actual length will be 26 months.

While negotiations over pay might have been easier to resolve, the knob of the problem until now was the dispute over unspecified proposed changes in work rules and terms of health insurance and other benefits.

The musicians are represented by Musicians Union Local 6 of the American Federation of Musicians.

About The Author

Janos Gereben

Janos Gereben

Janos Gereben is a writer and columnist for SF Classical Voice; he has worked as writer and editor with the NY Herald-Tribune, TIME Inc., UPI, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, San Jose Mercury News, Post Newspaper Group, and wrote documentation for various technology companies.
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