Strike Information

Our Timeline...
  • Spring 2021- The Union voluntarily accepted an unprecedented 80% pay cut in order to perform a short season of concerts for the people of San Antonio, young and old alike. 


  • 9/26/21 - After months of bargaining in bad faith and under false pretenses, the Board and Management of the San Antonio Symphony imposed its "last, best, and final" offer. This offer reduces full-time players to 42, their pay to $24,000 a year, and the number of workweeks from 31 to 24. But, most importantly, the other 26 orchestra members left out of this disgusting plan will see their salary reduced to $11,000 a year with no health or instrument insurance, effectively putting them well below the poverty line.


  • 9/27/21- Left with no other recourse, the Union declared a legal Unfair Labor Practice Strike.


  • 9/28/21- The American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the parent union of Local 23, placed the Symphony Society of San Antonio (SSSA) on the International Unfair List. As a result, no union musician may cross the picket line or work for the SSSA until this dispute is resolved.


  • 10/2021 - The Union learned that every member of the SSSA Board, including the Chair, Kathleen Weir Vale, was recently required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. To date, we do not know who instituted this requirement or for what reason. It is, however, highly unusual for an institution that receives public funding and from whom transparency is required by law to shroud themselves in secrecy.


  • 11/1/21- In what can only be described as an act of despicable retaliation for the Union’s legal strike, the SSSA cancels every San Antonio Symphony Musician's health insurance and their covered spouses and dependent children with just one business day's notice.


  • In all of our press statements, both live and written, the Union has been factual, informative, transparent, and truthful at all times. Conversely, representatives of the SSSA have communicated almost exclusively by issuing the same nonsensical statement, via email, to the press. Their statement: they are waiting for the Union to return to the table to resume negotiations. Management's position displays their total ineptitude as stewards of the San Antonio Symphony and the disingenuousness of their bargaining position - they have already declared their imposed terms to be their "last, best, and final." In other words, they have declared to the world that there is nothing left to negotiate, no room for discussion. On the other hand, the Union has negotiated in good faith from the start.


  • 11/23/2021 - In a show of good faith, the Union negotiating committee did meet with Mr. Cowart and representatives of the SSSA Board. SSSA had stated their desire to negotiate, but when the Union arrived at the table with a proposal, SSSA was unwilling to move on any of their imposed demands. It just turned out to be more bad faith bargaining on the part of SSSA. Can it be possible that they truly do not understand what "last, best, and final" means. 


  • If the SSSA's reprehensible plan is allowed to succeed, it will destroy the San Antonio Symphony, our city's flagship arts organization, as we know it. End of discussion. That means the last time you heard your orchestra perform, pre-pandemic, will have been the "last, best, and final" example of the high standard of artistic excellence you have come to enjoy and expect from your San Antonio Symphony.