New contract increases pay for Columbus Symphony musicians

Posted on: February 28, 2011

In Saturday’s (2/26) Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), Jeffrey Sheban writes, “Here’s some news that should be music to the ears of Columbus Symphony musicians: Wages are going up. The orchestra board and the Central Ohio Federation of Musicians Local 103 have reached a new four-year contract restoring a portion of the wages lost since 2008, when a financial crisis spurred a five-month shutdown. The new contract, starting Sept. 1, gradually increases the $35,000 base salary for full-time musicians to $40,000 by the 2015-16 season. Most musicians make more than the base because of their years of service and senior status. Also starting in September, the guaranteed weeks of employment will increase from 25 to 26. … The news isn’t all good for musicians: The higher salary is partly offset by rising costs for health insurance and remains below the pre-shutdown base of about $55,000. And the minimum number of full-time positions—previously 53—could be reduced to 42, the number now performing. Given the tough times facing orchestras nationwide, musicians are likely to be encouraged by the terms. ‘We’re thrilled,’ said principal bassoonist Betsy Sturdevant, a member of the negotiating team. ‘We are definitely headed strongly in the right direction.’ ”

Posted February 28, 2011