Charleston Symphony Musicians Leave Talks Over Deadline

Classic Arts News   Charleston Symphony Musicians Leave Talks Over Deadline
Charleston Symphony musicians say they have walked away from contract talks because of management threats, the Charleston Post and Courier reports.

Musicians told reporters that a week into the negotiations, orchestra officials told them that if a contract is not signed by February 1, the orchestra would not announce its 2006-07 schedule or make other preparations for the new season. The current contract expires on June 30.

But orchestra officials denied that they had made any threat, and said at a board meeting yesterday that the ensemble's subscription renewal drive would begin on February 8 as planned.

Cellist John Holland, the chair of the musicians' negotiating committee, told the Post and Courier that board president Ted Halkyard had imposed the deadline in order to prevent a strike. "We have never threatened to strike and so I don't know why he is worried," Holland said.

Halkyard said that no such deadline existed.

The musicians' last contract, signed in 2003, included an 18 percent pay cut.

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