Orchestra members are taking our turn. Our proposal is now on the table to freeze salaries and benefits for one year, at which time the economy will likely have stabilized enough to provide a better framework for future planning and negotiating. MAA's refusal to even consider this proposal reveals its true strategy: They want to use the historic recession of 2009 to completely restructure the orchestra, make it more "manageable" and "affordable." If the economy continues to recover, however, the opportunity will slip through their fingers. While the recession did damage the financial health of our organization, the situation is not as dire as MAA claims. The endowment has recovered much of its former value, a large parcel of Blossom Music Center land has been sold to the National Park Service and there are other resources available to help weather this economic storm without compromising the quality of the product. In addition, new programming and marketing strategies are bringing new listeners, and hopefully making more lifelong fans of classical music and the Cleveland Orchestra.
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