Detroit Symphony has a new three-year contract, eight months ahead of schedule

Posted on: January 16, 2014

In Wednesday’s (1/15) Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker reports that musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have ratified a new three-year contract “that includes modest annual wage increases of 2% a year [providing] the strongest evidence yet of just how much the culture has changed at Orchestra Hall since a six-month strike in 2010-11…. The deal, which will raise minimum salaries to nearly $88,000 in year three, comes a full eight months before the current contract expires…. Both sides said the new contract was negotiated in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust that has flowered since the strike. Principal trombonist Ken Thompkins, a member of the joint negotiating committee, credited Phillip Fisher, board chairman since December 2012, with setting a collaborative tone from the outset. … Fisher … praised musicians, board members and management. … Musicians will also be able to make an additional $5,200 or more annually for optional outreach work…. On health care, the musicians brought to the table a proposal that saved money over its previous plan.… The musicians agreed to donate four services (a rehearsal or performance) for high-profile fund-raising concerts.… Executive Vice President Paul Hogle said a true understanding of the financial realities allowed all parties to understand how any single decision might impact the whole. The musicians’ proposed savings on health care, for instance, allowed for larger pay raises.”

Posted January 16, 2014