New contracts for orchestras in Chattanooga and Wichita

Posted on: October 28, 2013

Tennessee’s Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and the Wichita Symphony in Kansas each recently announced new contracts with musicians. At the Chattanooga Symphony, musicians approved a one-year contract with a pay freeze for the 2013-14 season, a freeze they themselves proposed; administrative staff will also have a pay freeze for the season. “The management of the CSO, in full transparency, reviewed the financial situation of the orchestra,” said musician representatives from Local 80 of the American Federation of Musicians. “We, the musicians, appreciate the commitment of management to increase revenues through aggressive fundraising and innovative marketing.” The Wichita Symphony Society and Wichita Musicians’ Association have a new three-year collective bargaining agreement, effective July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016. Following a 23 percent cut in wages in 2011 and flat wages for the 2012-13 season, the board and musicians agreed on a 4 percent wage increase for 2013-14.  “Two years ago, the financial situation of the orchestra was critical on account of the economy,” said Executive Director Don Reinhold. “While we are not entirely out of the woods, progress is being made toward a brighter future,” citing a 26 percent increase in subscription sales versus two seasons ago. “The musicians greatly appreciate the good working relationship we have with management,” said violinist Nancy Woodruff, chair of the orchestra musicians’ committee. “We look forward to an exciting season of live symphonic music in Wichita, and anticipate a full restoration of our salaries as the financial picture continues to improve.”

Posted October 28, 2013