Having canceled five concerts, with negotiations apparently cut off and at a stalemate, the Spokane Symphony Orchestra Board must take whatever action is needed to get the musicians back on stage. What emerges from this community travesty in the making is a picture, not of greedy musicians, but rather of musicians who, having willingly exploited themselves just to play their music, are unwilling to further exploit themselves. And of course there’s that little matter of putting food on the table.
At 50 percent earned income, the SSO is actually doing well. All it really needs is a small amount of additional unearned income. How about corporate America? Millions upon millions to SuperPACs, but no money to save community treasures? Right. In any case, boards have to ask. That’s the gig. (And even at 50 percent earned income, Spokane can still do better — more people need to support our orchestra by buying more tickets. Trust me, the shows are worth it.)
Instead, to balance their books (and that’s what this is about, as the SSO doesn’t have an actual deficit), the board is holding out over a pay cut of a little more than $2,000 per annum, plus new rules that would further restrict the amount of time an SSO musician would have to pursue additional income.
Do I need a sound permit to play oboe in this condo? Don’t care