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Cleveland strike is over

0 Robert Levine

It seemed to me that this might be a short strike; in the end, it came as close as a strike could be to not being a strike at all. The only work canceled was a concert in Bloomington IN, which will likely be re-scheduled.

What is reported about the settlement makes it sound like a real compromise: management’s proposal had been for a 5% cut in year 1, restoration in year 2, and a 2.5% increase in year 3, while the settlement was a two-year freeze, with a year 3 bump of somewhere under 5%.

It would be presumptuous of anyone outside of the institution to say whether or not this is a good settlement, even if there could be agreement on what “good” might mean. But it is a tribute to the intelligence of the leadership of both sides that essentially no work for the musicians, or income for the institution, was lost in the process of reaching the settlement.

My orchestra pulled off something similar with what we called a “mini-strike” at almost this exact time of year in 1994; unfortunately it took our management and board quite a while longer to figure out how to reach a settlement that both sides could live with. I’m glad for my colleagues in Cleveland that this ended so soon; walking a picket line in a Midwestern winter is no fun at all.

Cleveland Orchestra strike settled

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