Utah Symphony musicians sign three-year deal with $1.1 million cut

Posted on: December 5, 2011

In Saturday’s (12/3) Salt Lake Tribune (Utah), David Burger writes, “Utah Symphony orchestra musicians have agreed to an unprecedented three-year extension of their contract to help sustain the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera through another difficult year for the state’s largest performing arts organization. … In a contract extension that was effective Dec. 1, orchestra musicians agreed to waive $616,000 of their salaries this season, with a total waiver of $1.1 million over the next three seasons. From 2008 to 2015, when the current extension will expire, the musicians will have endured $3.8 million in salary cuts. … Taking a salary cut is a sign of how proud the musicians are of being a 52-week orchestra, said principal trombonist Larry Zalkind, the musician representative on the US | UO board. ‘That still defines us,’ said Zalkind, who was one of the lead negotiators for the contract extension. ‘We look at communities three, four and five times our size who don’t support a 52-week orchestra.’ Musicians aren’t the only ones who have undergone austerity measures. The US | UO’s $19.5 million budget was cut by $1.1 million with a staff hiring freeze, $300,000 in staff salary and benefits cuts, and even a $45,000 contribution by [Music Director Thierry] Fischer. Those measures were implemented in response to a $950,000 deficit at the end of the 2010-2011 season.”

Posted December 5, 2011