Following a tense week of labor negotiations between the musicians' union for the Seattle Symphony and Opera and the management, all agreed to a contract extension late Friday, giving them until January 31 to work out the details of a new deal.
The Seattle Symphony and Opera Players' Organization (SSOPO) took their complaints to the street last week, handing out leaflets at Benaroya decrying a proposed 15 percent wage cut and publicly announcing a strike authorization—a possible but not imminent strike. Contract negotiations started this summer and failed to reverse "concessionary trends" the SSOPO said it had endured since 2005, according to a union release.
With new leadership at the symphony (music director Ludovic Morlot and executive director Simon Woods have both joined within the last year), "we are entering a new era at the Seattle Symphony," cellist David Sabee said in the release. "And [we] need to develop a compensation package reflective of this new period in order to uphold the artistic integrity of the Symphony and attract and retain the highest quality musicians."