Temporary pay cuts for St. Louis Symphony musicians, as orchestra curtails spring season on advice of health officials

Posted on: January 12, 2021

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Stéphane Denève in an October 2020 concert at Powell Hall. Credit: Dilip Vishwanat

“The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra said Monday it has suspended the programming … for the spring 2021 season running from this month through May. The SLSO also said Monday that musicians agreed to millions in pay cuts in ratifying an amended contract,” writes Diana Barr in Monday’s (1/11) St. Louis Business Journal (MO). “The programming change was based on guidance from medical experts with Washington University’s School of Medicine and city health officials…. Separately Monday, the orchestra said its members have agreed to receive $3.75 million less in compensation, covering the period between March 13, 2020, and Aug. 29, 2021. The pay reduction is part of a temporary labor contract amendment agreed to by SLSO management, the orchestra members, and their union…. Musicians will retain 85% of their base pay and 80% of other compensation … in addition to health benefits and pension contributions. [The amended contract includes] continued flexibility … to accommodate programming and scheduling needs of performances, educational programs, and recorded content during the pandemic [and] a deferral of instrument loan program payments through Aug. 29.… The contract amendment announced Monday is the latest of several compensation negotiations between the symphony and its musicians since the start of the pandemic.”