What I haven't read, in any similar detail, is the musicians' side of the issue. Repeatedly, they call the 2002-03 numbers an aberration, but no point-by-point refutation has been published. In one report, I read that both sides cite other orchestras to substantiate their positions, but the musicians' examples have yet to be specified. Most importantly, there hasn't been a word -- or a number -- issued publicly that contains the musicians' counterproposal.
So I called the musicians' designated spokesman, principal trombonist John Bartlett, in an effort to explore the strikers' position and solution in depth. Twice.
There has been no response.
Perhaps the musicians believe they'll get their way -- whatever that may be -- by striking during contract negotiations, picketing with cute slogans outside the PAC, and giving free concerts at Queens University. From where I sit, the musicians need to consider more effective ways of communicating, beginning with a spokesperson who actually speaks. In the early sparring over their new contract, CSO musicians are playing it too close to the vest and too far from the brain.