Salaries have been frozen since a 5.25 percent pay cut took effect three years ago. The new contract raises salaries and benefits by $2,000, but falls approximately $200 short of the pre-2003 level, according to the paper. Players will also receive an additional $500 for instrument maintenance.
Entry-level salary for a section player is $41,539, while principal players make much more.
The contract covers only the 2005-06 season, which ends June 7. Musicians were hoping to reach a multiyear contract, but symphony board chairwoman Maria M. Pope, told the Oregonian, "I think it's a good contract. We could not promise a multiyear contract that would meet the musicians' expectations because we do not presently have the financial resources."
The new contract also offers protection for musicians who are not up to par; they will be given a year to improve, instead of six months.