Contract talks will continue, but management and players of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra have struck a temporary deal that salvages the rest of the 2012-13 season.
The pact carries the orchestra through May 31, and calls for no reductions in the per-service pay scale, pension, mileage, cartage, or per diem, according to a union source. It does not guarantee a set number of services, but does preclude artistic dismissals and demotions this season.
Unable to reach a deal with musicians, the Delaware ensemble had canceled full-orchestra concerts this season and put in place a four-concert series of chamber music programs. (Addition: a musician familiar with talks says the decision to suspend the season came June 1, and was for financial reasons, not because of contract talks.)
While officials aren't certain, they now expect a full orchestra concert will go on in January, with others later in the season. The schedule would still represent a pay cut for players, since last season five sets of classical concerts were performed. The temporary deal also provides for a lower number of rehearsals, and, as a result, less pay. Musicians and management now expect to begin negotiations for a three-year contract expiring in 2016.