MUSICIANS OF THE Detroit symphony orchestra SEEK COMPROMISE agreement

MUSICIANS OF THE Detroit symphony orchestra SEEK COMPROMISE agreement

Members vote to reject one sided management proposal and urge quick talks to save the season

Detroit – Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are seeking a compromise agreement after members voted to reject a contract proposal by DSO executives today. The move follows an intense week of negotiations brokered personally by U.S. Senator Carl Levin and Quicken Loans owner Dan Gilbert for more than 20-hours. DSO executives did not show up for a face to face meeting with Senator Levin, Gilbert and the musicians until the third day. Once they did, they waited until both Levin and Gilbert left the meeting and made significant changes to the proposal the two had brokered. The offer put forward by management included:

  • raising individual employee healthcare deductibles more than 800 percent from $250 to $3,000 (the amount would drop to $2,000 after one payment of $1,000 by the company)
  • requiring employees to cover their own travel related costs for work assignments up to 75 miles away from Orchestra Hall
  • reducing the previous DSO commitment for community outreach by $1 million
  • setting the hourly rate for musicians to as low as $5 per hour for participating in every community outreach effort
  • reducing the ability of the full orchestra to play at community events from 85 to groups of 1, 6 and 12 people at a time
  • requiring the musicians to agree to remove one of their members from their rolls

“Today’s decision reflects our deep disappointment at the inability of the executives to be upfront and honest with people,” said musician’s president Gordon Stump. “Can you believe they asked good people to sacrifice one of their colleagues to save their own skin? That was in the proposal. It was a Faustian choice. I am proud of the musicians for standing up for their colleague despite their own personal suffering.”

No further meetings have been scheduled. Despite this, musicians remain thankful for Levin and Gilbert’s assistance and encourage DSO executives to remove the barriers to compromise and return to bargaining in order to save the season.

For more information about the musicians, visit:

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