by John Stoehr
That's what Christoph Mueller wrote commenting on yesterday's post on reports last week that the management of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra had locked out its musicians after stalled negotiations on a renewed labor contracts.
While management wants musicians to take a pay cut, musicians say they already have. Plus, musicians say, if you want to maintain your budget, raise more money. Jim Van Vleck, chair of the orchestra's board of directors, says the budget would be fine if musicians conceded. In comments reported in the Florida Times-Union, Van Vleck seemed to reflect a perspective among board members that musicians should stop complaining and take what's offered.
“There’s something about a 37-week year and 20-hours a week that doesn’t seem too onerous,” Van Vleck told the newspaper.
In response, City Paper reader Christoph Mueller had this to say:
It is shocking to read that the chairman of a symphony orchestra actually believes that the orchestra musicians only work the hours of rehearsal time.
He ignores the mandatory personal preparation time, which adds up to a 45-55 hour week, plus permanent weekend work, expenses for the maintenance of the instruments, etc.
The business model didn’t work, and the managers responsible are still hired, while the musicians are asked to accept pay cuts. Is that the way how to do business? I don’t think so.