Earlier this week, Charleston Symphony Orchestra musicians accepted a proposed contract from the board of directors that would reduce the size and budget of the orchestra. But there’s a catch. The organization can’t move forward until they resolve a complaint filed by the musicians against the board in April, which alleged that the suspension of operations back in March was illegal.
The National Labor Review Board proposed a $250,000 settlement in October, which the board rejected.
In the latest development, according to Timothy O’Malley, President of the AFM (American Federation of Musicians) Local 502, the musicians have offered to settle the charges — if CSOA board president Ted Legasey and board bargaining committee chair Marty Klaper resign. They’re also requesting the appointment of 10 new board members from the community nominated by the musicians, and a security interest in the CSO music library and instruments that will allow them to continue presenting music to the community if the CSO suspends its operations again.
“Discussions I have had with a number of members of the community, including members of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra League, make it apparent that there is overwhelming recognition that a change of leadership on the CSO board is necessary and appropriate to the resumption of the world-class symphonic performances this community has come to expect,” O’Malley says. “The Charleston Symphony serves as a public trust for our community and must be preserved. Over the past 75 years countless individuals have contributed their time, energy and financial resources to nurture it to be the fine artistic ensemble that it has become.”
The steering committee report issued today included the recommendation to “restore trust, both within the organization, and within the community, by recruiting a new Board Leadership team.”