Three-year contract for Boston Symphony musicians, with pay cuts, expanded work rules, new fellowship program

Posted on: September 14, 2020

“Following a 10-month-long cancellation of all Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops live performances so far … the musicians have agreed to pay cuts in a new three-year labor agreement,” writes Clarence Fanto in Friday’s (9/11) Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, MA). “With a revenue loss of $35 million in ticket sales caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the salary reductions average 37 percent in the first year…. During the contract’s second and third years, increases in compensation will take place as the BSO redevelops ‘sustainable revenue.’ Previously, the musicians took pay cuts averaging 25 percent from last spring through Aug. 31…. The labor accord … went into effect on Aug. 24. It expands the definition of work covered by the contract by adding digital online performances, involvement in ‘community engagement activities,’ educational collaborations, Tanglewood Learning Institute programs and fundraising events…. The contract also calls for a new BSO Resident Fellowship Program to begin in fall 2021 [in which] young musicians of color would study with BSO musicians and also perform with the BSO and the Boston Pops…. On Aug. 21, the orchestra implemented a 28 percent reduction in the size of its administrative staff by laying off 50 out of 180 employees.”