At the Cleveland Orchestra, a new musicians contract through 2017-18

Posted on: December 15, 2015

“Union musicians and Cleveland Orchestra managers have struck a new labor agreement,” writes Zachary Lewis in Friday’s (12/11) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). “The two sides announced Friday the ratification of a new contract retroactive to Aug. 31, when the previous contract, signed in 2012, expired. The new deal is valid through the 2017-18 season. ‘There’s a lot of momentum going right now, and nobody wanted to disrupt that,’ said James Menger, the orchestra’s chief financial officer and lead negotiator…. The agreement marks a smooth end to a lengthy so-called ‘play and talk’ period…. Bassoonist Jonathan Sherwin, chair of the musicians committee … said … ‘We have been keenly aware of a widening gap between our compensation and those of our peer orchestras,’ he said. ‘We were successful in stopping that widening.’ … Both parties confirmed that the deal calls for annual increases in weekly compensation and retirement benefits…. The musicians agreed to certain recording and broadcast provisions, to higher shared healthcare premiums, and to donate 12 services over the contract’s duration. Having a new contract in place, Menger said, frees the organization to … push forward with artistic planning, with ongoing strategies for attracting new listeners, and increased fundraising efforts.”

Posted December 15, 2015