Musicians Reject Final Offer, DSO Suspends Season

DETROIT (WWJ) – Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra rejected a final contract offer from management and shortly after the DSO announced it was suspending the season until June. 

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Musicians voted on the agreement Friday and Saturday after more than 20-hours of last chance negotiations that included U.S. Senator Carl Levin and Quicken Loans owner Dan Gilbert. 

Musicians went on strike October 4th.

One of the proposals, according to musicians, included removing one musician.

“Today’s decision reflects our deep disappointment at the inability of the executives to be upfront and honest with people,” said musician’s president Gordon Stump in a statement.  “Can you believe they asked good people to sacrifice one of their colleagues to save their own skin? That was in the proposal. It was a Faustian choice.  I am proud of the musicians for standing up for their colleague despite their own personal suffering.”

No further meetings have been scheduled.

Management said prospects of rescheduling concerts originally within the season, resuming the 2011 Summer Orchestral Season and announcing a 2011-12 calendar remain possible pending a settlement. 

A statement from the DSO said the “decision comes at the close of a week filled with earnest negotiations, assisted by community intermediaries that began last Friday and included a series of proposals and counter proposals exchanged on both sides.”

“This is indeed disappointing news,” said Stanley Frankel, Chairman of the DSO Board of Directors in a statement.  “For two years, we have tried to engage the Musicians’ elected leadership to join the board and staff and be part of the solutions necessary for the DSO to achieve sustainability.  Over the past five months, the unpredictability of the strike has brought numerous financial hardships to our patrons, artists, community partners, neighbors, those with whom we do business, and the institution itself.  Although it is not our preference, by suspending the season now, we end that cycle and allow these partners to move forward while the DSO focuses fully on the important work of rebuilding its business.

“It is apparent that the members’ expectations continue to exceed what we can responsibly provide.”

Frankel said that while the DSO is suspending its orchestral season, it remains ready to return to talks.  
The Max M. Fisher Music Center will continue to host educational and cultural events.


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