Federal mediator: Tentative deal reached in Atlanta Symphony labor dispute

Allison Beck, the acting director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, began mediating the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra labor dispute on Oct. 7.

Allison Beck, acting director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, began mediating the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra labor dispute on Oct. 7.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which restarted stalled contract negotiations between Atlanta Symphony Orchestra management and musicians a month ago, released a statement late Friday afternoon announcing a tentative accord between the two sides.

“The parties have been faced with complex issues and some very tough choices, which they were dedicated to resolving,”  FMCS acting director Allison Beck said. “This tentative agreement will help ensure the continuing viability of one of the premier cultural institutions of the South.”

The musicians are believed to have begun voting on the terms at a meeting Friday morning. If the majority of players approve the deal over a 24-hour period ending Saturday morning, it would immediately go to the Woodruff’s governing board for final approval, probably as soon as Saturday afternoon.

The full text of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service statement:

FMCS Statement on Tentative Agreement Between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Musicians and Management

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) today announced that a tentative agreement had been reached between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association (ASOPA) musicians and management, potentially ending their current labor dispute.

The tentative agreement was reached after late-night bargaining Wednesday evening and finalized during a Thursday meeting between the two negotiating teams.  Ratification of the agreement will require approval of the full union membership and the Governing Board of the Woodruff Arts Center.

FMCS Acting Director Allison Beck commended negotiators for the musicians, the Symphony and the Woodruff Arts Center for their commitment and professionalism during the lengthy and difficult negotiations. “These have been difficult times for many arts organizations nationwide,” she said. “The parties have been faced with complex issues and some very tough choices, which they were dedicated to resolving. Thanks to their efforts, the multi-Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony may be able to soon resume the orchestra’s season.”

In addition to recognizing the work of the negotiating teams, Ms. Beck also commended FMCS mediator Richard Giacolone for his tireless effort and long hours he provided in assisting the musicians and symphony management in reaching agreement. “Rich’s work in this negotiation has truly been outstanding,” she said.

“This tentative agreement will help ensure the continuing viability of one of the premier cultural institutions of the South,” Ms. Beck said. “This has been a gratifying experience as mediators in working with these distinguished artists and the professional management of this institution as they worked together to find a mutual path resolving their issues. We are pleased to have been of help.”


View Comments 0