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ASO’s contract with musicians expires, but talks to avert a lockout go on

Negotiations between the musicians and the ASO continue.
Negotiations between the musicians and the ASO continue.

The collective bargaining agreement between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the ASO Players Association expired at midnight Saturday, but both sides issued statements Sunday saying that negotiations continue.

“While the current contract between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Federation of Musicians has expired, both parties are continuing to work toward a solution,” the musicians union said in a statement released Sunday afternoon. “Negotiations are ongoing.”

Earlier Sunday, the ASO posted a similar statement on its website: “While the current contract between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Federation of Musicians expired on August 25, 2012, both parties are continuing to work towards a solution. Negotiations are ongoing. We have some serious budget issues to address but we are all striving for the same thing — a thriving music community.”

The ASO has accumulated debt since 2003 that it is estimated will reach $19.8 million by the end of the fiscal year.

The union has said the orchestra wants the musicians to accept approximately $20,000 a year each in salary reductions. The last public union counterproposal, on August 15, called for musicians, management and staff members all to take 11 percent pay cuts. Neither side has spoken publicly about specific contract terms since that date.

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