Despite 11 months of negotiations, Chicago Symphony Orchestra ( CSO ) musiciansrepresented by the Chicago Federation of Musicians ( CFM )and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association ( CSOA ) did not reach agreement on a new contract, a CSO press release stated. The musicians are now on strikefor the first time since 2012.
The previous contract expired at 11:59 p.m. on March 10.
The release also stated, "The musicians are now engaging in a strike for terms that the Association and Board of Trustees believe are unreasonable and detrimental to a sustainable future for the CSO."
In 2017-18, the minimum annual salary for a CSO musician was $159,000, the average annual salary was $187,000 and the average total compensation, e.g. including media payments, was $209,000. Sticking points include salary, insurance coverage and benefits.
"We have been clear from the beginning that we will not accept a contract that diminishes the well-being of members or imperils the future of the orchestra," said Stephen Lester, CSO bassist and chair of the musicians' negotiating committee, in a statement that The Chicago Tribune reported.
The Tribune article is at www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/reich/ct-ent-cso-musicians-union-0311-story.html .