New York Philharmonic, musicians agree on new contract

Posted on: January 30, 2012

In Monday’s (1/30) Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Maloney writes, “The New York Philharmonic, which faces $24 million in unfunded pension liabilities, has reached a deal with its musicians’ union on a two-year contract that postpones a fight over the players’ pension plan. The deal was struck Saturday and must still be ratified by the union members. It would give the musicians no wage increase for the 2011-12 fiscal year and a 2% increase this September, the philharmonic said Sunday. The musicians had been working without a contract since September. The new pact would end in September 2013. K.C. Boyle, a spokesman for Local 802 of the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, said the orchestra’s management had pushed to ‘drastically’ cut pension benefits by moving from a defined benefit pension plan to a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan. In negotiations aided by a federal mediator, the philharmonic ultimately agreed to extend the musicians’ current pension plan, which has a maximum benefit of $70,000 for all members of the orchestra. … The minimum salary for an orchestra member is $134,940 a year, philharmonic spokeswoman Katherine Johnson said. Zarin Mehta, the philharmonic’s president and executive director, said the agreement serves the needs of both musicians and management.”

Posted January 30, 2012