Tonight we stood on stage before the concert began and spoke to our audience about contract negotiations. Fort Worth deserves a world-class orchestra with a vision for our future that promotes GROWTH, NOT CUTS. See below for the full transcript of the speech.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
We are the musicians of the Ft. Worth Symphony and we want to thank you for attending tonight’s concert.
We are YOUR orchestra.
We live in your neighborhoods.
We shop in your stores and eat at your restaurants.
We attend your houses of worship.
We teach your children music, and our kids go to the same schools as yours.
Five years ago, the musicians took a significant pay cut to help this organization. Now, our president and board want to cut our salaries even more. When inflation is factored in, this will amount to a total cut of almost 23%. And why? Because we are told by our management that there’s just no money in Ft. Worth, while orchestras all over the country are raising millions of dollars, and growing, in economies far less vibrant than ours.
Going backward is not the Ft. Worth way and dishonors the legacy of one of our oldest cultural treasures.
We ask you to stand with us to show our management that these musicians, and this city, deserve a world-class orchestra with a vision for our future that promotes GROWTH, NOT CUTS.
Thank you very much for your continued support!
After months of bargaining, management's proposal has barely changed—they are still demanding givebacks including cutting pay by almost 9%. We accepted a 13.5% pay cut to help with the bottom line in 2010. That would be a cumulative 22.8% cut since 2010 adjusted for inflation.
We musicians understand and are concerned about the financial challenges facing our orchestra. That’s why we proposed a one year pay freeze. We call on management to produce a comprehensive fundraising plan, along with a contract proposal promoting growth, not cuts.
Going backwards is not the Fort Worth way. Our community deserves an orchestra moving forward built on the legacy that musicians and civic leaders spent decades cultivating.