New Milwaukee Symphony Contract Stipulates Pay Cuts for Musicians and Staff

Classic Arts News   New Milwaukee Symphony Contract Stipulates Pay Cuts for Musicians and Staff
 
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's musicians and management have agreed on a new four-year contract that includes a pay cut this season, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The two sides agreed on the contract on September 26, and it was ratified and approved on September 28.

In the 2005-06 season, the players' weekly salary remains the same, but they will play fewer weeks than previously. The minimum salary, therefore, drops from $59,125 to $53,625.

The weekly salary rises gradually from $1,375 to $1,500 over the next three years. The musicians' paid vacation drops from six weeks to five, and contributions to their health-insurance plans may increase.

In return, the musicians have won increased representation on future music-director search committees.

The orchestra's senior administrative staff is taking a pay cut next year as well, of 9.3 percent. Small raises follow in subsequent years. Two full-time staff positions were eliminated.

The orchestra, struggling with declining ticket sales and a projected operating deficit of $2 million in 2005-06, is aiming for a balanced budget in 2006-07.

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