SF Symphony Contract Negotiations Continue In Hopes Of Avoiding Strike

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The San Francisco Symphony could hit a high or a low note Tuesday as contract negotiations resume with a federal mediator. While musicians have authorized a strike, they hope to avoid one.

The orchestra is set to play Carnegie Hall next week, followed by the Kennedy Center.  David Gaudry, chairman of the musician’s negotiating committee, said their wages and health care are stalled and have been on the table since the latest contract expired in February. The negotiations have been ongoing since September of 2012.

“We’re behind several of our peers, including Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic,” Gaudry said, adding that management still receives “generous” bonuses and that the budget seems healthy.

Oliver Theil, director of communications for the symphony, said musicians are at the center of everything they do.

“Our musicians are among the highest paid in the country,” he said.

On average, they receive over $165,000 a year Theil said. While they’re working toward a fair contract, they’re also looking for one that doesn’t compromise their artistic future.

Both sides are hoping for harmony on Tuesday, but a strike hasn’t been ruled out.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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