Members of the Musicians' Union voted two to one to accept the offer; wages will increase by 11% this year and 5% in the following two years. The basic rate of pay for a rank and file performer will thus rise from Ô£20,800 to Ô£22,880 initially and reach Ô£25,000 in three years' time, according to The Stage.
The RLPO will be a high-profile player in 2008, when Liverpool becomes European Capital of Culture. Michael Elliott, the orchestra's chief executive, was recently appointed an advisor to the Liverpool Culture Company, which is organizing the city's programs for 2008.
Musicians' Union orchestral organizer Bill Kerr told the paper, "The Liverpool Philharmonic had been sorting out an impending financial shortfall for a number of years and had quite a strict regime while that was happening. There were no pay deals between April 2003 and October 2006. Things had to move on — the status quo was no longer an option."
An RLPO spokeswoman said, "This organisation, like many others, has been stabilising itself financially and that's taken some time and required the cooperation of all of our staff. It has been five years since the managers themselves have had a pay rise. However, we hope this deal will now bring our musicians' salaries in line with those for other orchestras in the U.K."
For their part, the players agreed to switch from an hours-based contract to a session-based contract, like those employed by orchestras such as the Hall_ in Manchester. The union also agreed to the transfer of media rights to RLPO concert recordings, radio/television broadcasts and some film work to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, the orchestra's governing and management body.