San Francisco Symphony musicians ratify new contract

Posted on: April 15, 2013

In Sunday’s (4/14) San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman writes, “The musicians of the San Francisco Symphony voted Friday to ratify a new contract, two weeks after voting to return to work after a strike that led to the cancellation of a prominent East Coast tour. Provisions of the new 26-month contract include a wage freeze through September increasing to a 4.5 percent raise over the life of the contract, changes to some work rules and an increase in funding for the orchestra’s instrument loan program. But the musicians, who walked out on March 13, had to give up on the increased pension funding they were pushing for and accept higher out-of-pocket costs for medical coverage. ‘The musicians believe that this is not the right financial package, based on where the Symphony is right now,’ said violist David Gaudry, the chairman of the musicians’ negotiating committee. ‘But there was a limit to what we could do, and the potential for a destructive turn of events was pretty strong.’ Executive Director Brent Assink said, ‘Our overall objective was to strike a balance that would maintain the orchestra’s top standing, but to do it in a way that was financially sustainable. This agreement puts us on that trajectory.’ … The new contract is retroactive to November, meaning it has only 20 months to run.”

Posted April 15, 2013