BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians and management continue to negotiate an end to a ten-week lockout, but no agreement has been reached so far.
The musicians have been locked out by management since June, and with the 2019-2020 season fast approaching, the two sides are hoping to reach an agreement.
Thursday morning. The musicians picketed outside Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
“We’re currently negotiating, trying to get back on the stage,” Brian Prechtl, of the Players’ Committee, said.
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The lockout is a result of financial problems.
“Our goal is to have a nationally recognized orchestra, but also get to a financially sustainable model,” BSO President and CEO Peter Kjome said.
Earlier this week, the musicians played an outdoor, rush-hour concert to raise awareness of their continued situation.
“I bought tickets for the fall and I hope their back,” Judith Gardner said.
The season could be just weeks away, with BSO planning to lift the lockout on Sept. 9. While the musicians are eager to get back to work, they say not so fast.
“They don’t seem to be understanding of how much we’ve given, and what’s necessary to get this orchestra back on the stage,” Prechtl said. “They don’t even seem to understand that we need a contract to get back on the stage.
Prechtl says their salaries have already been cut 20 percent and a contract will help ensure that won’t happen again. They also want a say in the decision-making process.
“The problem is that the people who have given their lives to the mission are not included in the decision making that’s going on here,” Prechtl
BSO says they agree it’s important for the musicians to have a say.
The two sides met Wednesday. One of the things discussed was the musicians helping with fundraising which they are willing to do.
The musicians are asking for the Orchestra to continue paying for their health care through Sept. which they will continue to discuss when they meet again next Tuesday.