By Maria Saporta
Late Saturday, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra sent out a press release saying that the ASA management and its musicians had agreed to mediation to try to find consensus on a contract.
The ASO management and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association (ASOPA) agreed to restart collective bargaining agreement discussions using a federal mediator.
The mediator is Allison Beck, deputy director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. She served as the mediator during the Metropolitan Opera Musicians’ labor dispute in August.
ASOPA and Orchestra management failed to reach an agreement on a new contract before the expiration date of Sept. 6 at 11:59. The musicians have been locked out since that time, which caused the opening of the 2014-15 season to be postponed and concerts canceled through November 8, 2014.
“We are pleased that after weeks of an open offer, the musicians’ union has accepted mediation and we’re looking forward to getting back to the negotiating table,” said Stanley Romanstein, ASO’s president and CEO, in a statement. “We are ready to resolve our differences and start the ASO’s 70th Anniversary Season.”
Once an agreement between Orchestra management and ASOPA is reached, the season will be resumed as soon as possible.
“We are all musicians or music enthusiasts at the Atlanta Symphony, and we are all striving for the same thing — a thriving classical music community that will flourish for decades to come,” Dr. Romanstein added. “We hope we can return music to the stage very soon.”
The release did not include a statement from the musicians.
For more information about the ASO’s financials and negotiations, visit: atlantasymphony.org/2014musiciantalks.
Information regarding concerts, refunds, fundraising activities and Orchestra programming is available at atlantasymphony.org.
The visit the website for the musicisians, please visit atlsymphonymusicians.com.