New contract for Kansas City Symphony musicians includes 19.7 percent wage increase

Posted on: June 6, 2016

“The musicians of the Kansas City Symphony voted to ratify a four-year contract that will give them a 19.7 percent increase in wages over four years, as well as greater benefits in health care and long-term disability insurance,” writes Patrick Neas in Saturday’s (6/4) Kansas City Star (Missouri). “The agreement was reached in eight meetings with no attorneys present. ‘Something special is happening here,’ Frank Byrne, Symphony executive director, said…. The current contract … is a significant move up for the Symphony musicians.” During negotiations, Brian Rood, trumpet player at the orchestra and chair of the negotiating committee, “made a presentation to members of the executive committee, stressing that the musicians wanted the Kansas City Symphony to become a destination orchestra.… Byrne believes trust and transparency have been at the core of the good relationship between musicians and management. Four musicians are on the Kansas City Symphony’s board of directors, with two musicians on the finance committee. Byrne says the musicians are aware of everything the board discusses and the musicians see the same documents that the finance committee sees. One senses that the orchestra’s esprit de corps is at an all-time high…. ‘We take none of this for granted,’ Byrne said.”

Posted June 6, 2016

Pictured: The Kansas City Symphony performs at “Celebration at the Station” at Union Station in Kansas City, May 24, 2015. Photo by Allison Long