Tucson Symphony musicians get raise in new contract

Posted on: June 15, 2012

In Sunday’s (6/10) Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), Cathalena E. Burch writes, “Tucson Symphony Orchestra musicians will get a 3.5 percent service rate increase in the 2012-13 season and another 2 percent bump for the 2013-14 season under a new contract with the orchestra. The musicians, who are paid a flat rate for each rehearsal and performance, also will have a few more service opportunities; the orchestra added a Classics concert and a MasterWorks concert to the 2012-13 season. … But the rate increase and additional performances do little to restore the musicians’ overall pay to what it was before the 2010-11 season. That’s when the musicians took what amounted to a nearly 10 percent cut in the service rate that was compounded by a dramatic cut in services. … Those cuts cost the musicians nearly 33 percent of their pay, forcing most of them to find other jobs to support themselves. ‘This is not anyone’s full-time job anymore, which is incredibly difficult because during the season it is a full-time job,’ said principal horn Johanna Lundy, president of the Tucson Federation of Musicians Local 33 of the American Federation of Musicians. … The new contract extends through August 2014. The orchestra is financing the musicians’ pay hike through belt-tightening efforts and fundraising, said TSO Executive Director Andrew Birgensmith.”

Posted June 15, 2012