Musicians at San Francisco Symphony agree to reductions in pay

Posted on: November 4, 2020

The San Francisco Symphony performs at the opening night of its 2019-20 season on September 4, 2019. Photo by Gabrielle Lurie

“The musicians of the San Francisco Symphony will take a 30% pay cut for the remainder of 2020 under the terms of a newly ratified contract revision that went into effect Oct. 18,” writes Joshua Kosman in Tuesday’s (11/3) San Francisco Chronicle. “The announcement on Monday, Nov. 2, by the Symphony management cited a cumulative revenue loss of $40 million by the end of the 2020-21 season as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All of the orchestra’s live performances through the end of the calendar year have been canceled. The collective bargaining agreement between the Symphony board and the orchestra musicians, represented by the American Federation of Musicians, Local 6, runs through November 2022.… Violist David Gaudry, the chair of the musicians’ emergency negotiating committee, declined to comment on the revised agreement. This is the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures instituted by the Symphony in the face of the coronavirus-induced financial crunch. An across-the-board pay cut in April was followed in June by a second round of reductions for all employees earning more than $75,000 annually.… The Symphony is among many other performing arts organizations … trying to cut operating costs to accommodate lost performance revenue.”