Labor negotiations between Strathmore and IATSE Local 868, the union that represents Strathmore’s Ticket Office employees, remain unresolved. Strathmore continues to insist the BSO sign a license agreement that would codify the use of replacement workers, which is in conflict with our union agreements. Such a requirement remains an ethically and legally impossible ask for the BSO.
In the face of such challenges, the BSO has offered several pathways to perform at The Music Center at Strathmore:
- In August, and despite Strathmore’s deletion of all BSO concerts from its website in late July, we offered to relocate our first few dates (at full rent) to give Strathmore more time to resolve its labor issues and pledged 50% rent for any BSO concerts canceled due to potential strike action initiated by Strathmore’s employees.
- On Friday, we offered a temporary license agreement in which the BSO would pay full rent for our upcoming performances (Nov 5, 7, 11) regardless of cancellation due to strike action. We also expressed a willingness to continue such a month-by-month agreement until there was labor resolution
Unfortunately, Strathmore has rejected these and more proposals to find a middle ground. The latest rejection came just this morning – we had asked Strathmore to allow us to ‘play while we talk’ (e.g., present concerts while we also pursue formal mediation) to ensure that the public would not lose out for a dispute that ultimately will be resolved.
Just as we steered Strathmore and IATSE Local 868 to the mediation table, the mediation table is now where we are directing our full energies. And while we remain eager and ready to return to The Music Center when we will be permitted to enter, the fact remains that we are faced with no other options than to relocate or cancel our five remaining programs scheduled in 2021.
In addition, with the continued guidance of epidemiologists and public health officials, the BSO can confirm the following new policies:
- Effective November 4, the BSO will accept either proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative PCR test result for COVID-19 on a sample collected within 72 hours of the performance or event (rapid tests will not be accepted) for admittance. Patrons may show proof of vaccination or testing, alongside a photo ID, via the My Bindle App, a smartphone, or photocopy.
- Also, effective November 4, we are pleased to reintroduce the sale of beverages at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. This return will include a supply of paper straws to help minimize the amount of time that a facemask is removed.
To find a complete list of protocols and answers to frequently asked questions, visit BSOmusic.org/ResponsibleReturn.
We are committed to the return of our extraordinary Orchestra at our second home at The Music Center at Strathmore – for the balance of this season, and for many more years to come.