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Spokane Symphony Orchestra musicians strike

(Nov. 5) — The following was distributed  Friday, Nov. 2 by Musicians Local 105 in Spokane:

The bargaining committee for the Musicians of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra have called a strike against the Spokane Symphony, effective at 5 p.m.  on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012.

The Spokane Symphony Society had previously imposed their “final” offer on Friday, Oct. 19. They rescinded that imposed offer on Friday, Oct. 26 following the union’s threat to pursue Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, and further meetings were scheduled on Nov. 1 and 2.

The musicians of the Spokane Symphony, cognizant of the financial challenges the orchestra is facing, offered a total of 6.66% in wage reductions to the symphony, coupled with numerous ideas for fund raising and utilizing their services toward that end.  However, musicians cannot sustain a 13.33% proposed annual wage cut down to $15,132, coupled with an unusually restrictive unpaid leave policy that would severely inhibit musicians’ ability to pursue employment opportunities elsewhere.

The Spokane Symphony’s Society financial proposal has not changed since their “final” offer, notwithstanding the union’s continued efforts to work with the society in trying to reach a livable compromise.  The musicians of the Spokane Symphony and their representatives remain willing to engage in productive talks in order to resolve this contract dispute.

► Nov. 4 coverage in the (Spokane) Spokesman-Review — Picket replaces symphony performance — Musicians of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra took to the picket lines Saturday instead of the stage. The musicians, who announced Friday night they were going on strike after months of contract negotiations with the Spokane Symphony Society, picketed outside Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox on Saturday evening. The group, several dozen strong, also included musicians’ families, audience members and supporters from other unions.

► Nov. 5 coverage in the Spokesman-Review — Orchestra, board hope to talk soon — Both sides in the Spokane Symphony Orchestra’s first-ever strike say they hope to meet again this week to resolve a dispute that’s already canceled one performance.

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