Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Symphony players have new contract

The Richmond Symphony and its musicians have agreed to a new four-year contract that during its course will restore income concessions the musicians absorbed under management-imposed terms in 2012.

The musicians, members of Local 123 of the American Federation of Musicians, continued to perform after cuts of about 15 percent in their total compensation, which the symphony said were necessary because of strains on the orchestra’s budget.

In recent years, demands for concessions in pay and benefits have led to lengthy lockouts and departures of musicians at the Minnesota Orchestra and Atlanta Symphony, a threat of a work stoppage at the Metropolitan Opera, and contention between musicians and management at a number of other orchestras.

The new Richmond contract calls for the symphony players to receive wage increases of 1.5 percent in 2014-15, 2.5 percent in 2015-16, 2.5 percent in 2016-17, and 1 percent in 2017-18.

Under those terms, musicians will be earning in 2016 what they had been making in 2011. In the final year of the contract, full-time section players will earn $34,210.80; assistant principals, $39,003.12; and principals, $46,007.52.

The agreement also lengthens the musicians’ working season from 38 to 39 weeks in 2017-18.