Pacific Symphony and musicians ratify short-term agreement during pandemic

Posted on: May 8, 2020

In California, the Pacific Symphony and Orange County Musicians Union, Local 7, American Federation of Musicians, have ratified a short-term agreement to bridge the period through early September that encompasses the concerts the organization has been forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic. The side letters do not replace the labor agreement that expires Aug. 31, 2021, but modify the conditions under which the musicians are working. Pacific Symphony will pay 95 percent of wages for orchestra services through June 6; 75 percent of wages for this season’s final Classical series Mahler concerts on June 11, 12 and 13; and 50 percent of wages for 20 services during the summer season. Pacific Symphony’s Class Act and Heartstrings education programs will continue with new recorded and live online presentations; musicians will be paid 100 percent of wages for educational services through June 30. The orchestra was awarded a $2.1 million forgivable loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program as well as additional funds pledged to its Sound Future Campaign. Both sources will help the orchestra and musicians financially though mid-September. Violist Adam Neeley, chair of the orchestra committee, said, “Pacific Symphony musicians are so thankful that our staff and board of directors have secured federal funding and generous philanthropy to ensure financial stability for our families during this time.” John Forsyte is president and CEO of the Pacific Symphony; Carl St.Clair is music director.