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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Federal mediation ends with no deal in San Antonio Symphony strike


Federal mediation between management of the San Antonio Symphony and the striking musicians of the San Antonio Symphony has come to an end. That end won’t bring musicians back to the Tobin Center, as both parties seem no closer to agreeing on a contract.

The musicians began the strike Sept. 27 over a planned reduction in the number of full-time orchestra musicians, and large pay cuts for all of them.

Related: Striking musicians propose new offer to San Antonio Symphony

A mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service had been meeting periodically with both parties since Feb. 14 to find a way forward, but that process has now run its course.

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In a letter to the press and symphony management, negotiator and violinist Mary Ellen Goree said that among several other problems, management hasn’t provided requested basic fundraising and budget planning details, and that the mediation was fruitless without them.

Executive Director of the Symphony management Corey Cowart issued a statement about those budgetary numbers, saying that it was a flawed process to budget on numbers that he said were unrealistic and unattainable. He cites previous years where the symphony needed to execute emergency fundraising to meet budget shortfalls.

With no upcoming negotiations scheduled, there seems to be no silver lining to the clouds that have cast a shadow on negotiations for more than seven months.

Related: Musicians of San Antonio Symphony stand in solidarity as strike enters sixth month

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Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii