SSOPO and Seattle Symphony Announce Tentative Agreement
Seattle Symphony and its musicians’ union, Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization (SSOPO), have reached an agreement on a new contract after two days of intense negotiations. Both sides have agreed to work together over the coming years to achieve the level of artistic excellence and financial stability that will enable the Symphony to grow and prosper.
The agreement includes an unprecedented up-front contribution by the musicians to the Seattle Symphony’s Annual Fund. In a new initiative named The 2010 Challenge, each of our 84 musicians will contribute $2,010. This donation, totaling $168,840, from the musicians is intended to be a catalyst for the Seattle Symphony Board’s next phase of fundraising.
“We want to express our deep gratitude to the entire Orchestra for being willing to work creatively with us on a three-season agreement which will surely give us the opportunity to build a more vital and stable Seattle Symphony Orchestra going forward,” remarked Board Chair Leslie Jackson Chihuly. “We look forward to working together on many extraordinary artistic initiatives, and while the process has been challenging for everyone involved, we are full of admiration for the entire staff, our musicians, our negotiating teams, and our Board for the great effort and patience they have exhibited over the past ten months.”
“We are hopeful that this tentative agreement will further the advancement of the Symphony in a crucial time,” said Tim Hale, Violist and Chair of the SSOPO. “It provides the time necessary to put in place new artistic and administrative leadership, while bringing the fundraising of the Symphony to a level necessary to achieve its artistic goals.”
This new three-season agreement will be implemented after ratification by the union, and will be the first step in the new strategic plan that the Board has put forth. Ratification of the contract offer is expected by the full membership of the union in the coming weeks.