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January 15, 2016

Hartford Symphony submits final offer to musicians

Submitted photo Carolyn Kuan is contracted to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra through 2022.

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra has announced what it describes as its final collective bargaining agreement offer to the American Federation of Musicians. It is giving the union until Monday night to respond.

The two sides sat down Thursday night when the presentation was made. Michael Pollard, a union spokesman, said in a brief phone interview that union leadership is taking the proposal under consideration for its 75 members who play in the orchestra. The union will be meeting to discuss its next steps and would not have a comment beyond that.

Through its offer, according to a statement, the HSO is asking for approximately $450,000 in annual concessions from the union, primarily by a reduction in the yearly service guarantees to the musicians. The symphony said musicians would still be guaranteed more than twice as many services as musicians in nearby comparable markets: the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Symphony Orchestra, which provide approximately 45 guaranteed services each.

The symphony is offering to make up an additional $700,000 shortfall through a combination of general and administrative expense reductions and interim fundraising. A spokesperson said the symphony would not detail how the shortfall could be made up.

The symphony said in its announcement that it will meet again Tuesday night to act on the union’s decision.

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