Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
The author of Apocalypse Later speculates that Mr. Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan opera exaggerated the financial need of the company as a negotiating tactic with the unions. This is presumed because the agreements that were made were no where near as drastic as Mr. Gelb made them sound like the needed to be in order for the Met to survive another few years. Instead of major cuts in union wages and compensation, there are only minor decreases that are scheduled to shrink over time. So what happened to Mr. Gelb’s proclamation, “No cuts means no Met”?
It is possible that during negotiations Mr. Gelb saw alternative ways of cutting costs (i.e. reduce production costs), which allowed him to soften the blow toward the unions. Or as the author of this author suggested, its possible that he did not plan his “attack” properly and exaggerated the need of the company and as a result he now looks like a liar. Whatever the case is, the situation indicates how delicate managing budgets can be; Art Managers needs to be conscious of what they are negotiating for and their tactics especially when they are dealing with the livelihood of their workforce.
As an AGMA member who has experienced cuts in compensation, I applaud the union reps for fighting for their paycheck.