New York Philharmonic Musicians and Administration Approve Five-Year Contract

Classic Arts News   New York Philharmonic Musicians and Administration Approve Five-Year Contract
The New York Philharmonic and the union representing its musicians have approved a new labor contract covering the next five seasons, expiring in September of 2012. The orchestra's board and Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians announced the agreement yesterday.

The new contract provides salary increases in each of the five years. Effective with this season, a Philharmonic musician's base pay grows by approximately 4.6%, from $113,360 to $118,560 annually. The raises in the first three seasons average 4.6%, with raises of 4.0% the remaining two seasons; by 2011-12, yearly base pay will be $140,400, a cumulative increase of nearly 24%.

Annual pension benefits, available to any individual player aged 62 or older with at least 30 years of service, will increase for each of the first four seasons by an average of $2,500 per year, from $60,000 to $70,000. The union and Philharmonic management have agreed to study various pension plan options, including a defined contribution plan, with the goal of reaching an annual benefit level of $75,000 by the 2011-12 season.

The musicians have agreed to perform two fundraising concerts without pay (in addition to the two existing annual pension fund concerts) during the contract's five-year term. They have also agreed to greater flexibility with regard to scheduling and tours, and they have accepted potential cost-sharing if health care expenses increase more than 5% per year.

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