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Atlanta Symphony Players Cave In to ASO Management Demands

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association (ASOPA) announced that the musicians voted to accept a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the term of September 23, 2012 –  September 6, 2014.

In an unprecedented and extremely painful move designed to keep the music going, ASOPA agreed to every dollar in concessions that the Woodruff Arts Center (WAC) and ASO management have demanded since the lockout began on August 25.  In the interest of continuing to bring music to the community and opening the season on time, ASOPA has accepted $5.2 million in concessions over a brief two-year agreement.

The concessions were made against the backdrop of ASO board chair Jim Abrahamson’s claim that the ASO is “on the brink of extinction.”  Despite its executives’ dire assessment, the only ASO gesture toward sharing the financial pain is an agreement that CEO Stanley Romanstein, his second in command Donald F. Fox (whose salaries alone were $314,000 and $291,000, respectively, according to the most recent IRS documents filed by the ASO) and three other ASO  managers  will merely have their aggregate pay cut by 6%.  No staff running ASO subsidiaries, including Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, will be affected. The musicians had proposed that all staff earning the equivalent of their base salary and above share equally in the musicians’ sacrifices, which would have yielded exponentially greater savings.

Those charged with overseeing the ASO have done historic damage to the future of the Orchestra by insisting on an arbitrary “musicians’ share” of $5.2 million. They have set the ASO back over 31 years in work weeks…

Read more: Norman Lebrecht, Arts Journal


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