On October 13, the New Mexico Symphony Player's Association voted against the NMSO's management's last, best and final offer (see "A Sour Note" in the Alibi's News section, printed October 8-14, 2009). The musicians have been without a paycheck for six weeks and have had their health insurance canceled.
"The musicians are determined to preserve the high artistic standards that the orchestra has achieved as well as maintain our dignity as professional musicians," said Richard White, member of the New Mexico Symphony Players Association negotiations committee.
The musicians union and management used the services of a federal mediator, and the case is still open. In the end, considering other changes proposed by the symphony management, the proposal would mean that each individual pay check would be 43 percent less than what they had received last year. The second year of the proposed contract includes a financial contract re-opener which would allow for further salary reductions.
The musician's union attorney Andrew Lewinter is asking that the NMSO management come back to the table and commit itself to bargain in good faith and find an equitable compromise.