“This is just more of the same—management’s proposal would slash our annual salaries to 2003 levels,” said Ed Jones, a tuba player in the orchestra for 15 years. “Although management proposed a tiny increase in our weekly pay, the cuts to the season would mean that I lose over $5,000 a year in wages--with my health care premiums more than doubling.”
Orchestra members, whose base salary is currently $55,000 per year, took a 13.5% pay cut in 2010, saving the orchestra over $2.3 million to help with the bottom line.
“Management had 6 years in a growing economy to solve their financial problems,” said FWSO cellist Shelley Jessup. “Balancing the budget on the backs of the musicians is wrong. We’ll keep fighting for a fair contract that promotes growth, not cuts.”
Contract negotiations continue on May 19 and May 31. The Fort Worth Symphony’s collective bargaining agreement expires on July 31.