Cleveland Orchestra Musicians Ratify New Two-Year Contract

Classic Arts News   Cleveland Orchestra Musicians Ratify New Two-Year Contract
The musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra ratified a new two-year contract on Wednesday, November 11.

The contract covers issues relating to salary, health insurance, and scheduling. As in the Chicago Symphony's new contract, agreed upon earlier this week, the Cleveland agreement calls for an initial wage freeze, in this case for a full year. Musicians' minimum weekly salaries begin at $1,935, increasing to $2,010 for the last six months of the contract.

Revisions to the health insurance plan include increased deductibles, new preventative care services, and contributions to the premium payments on the part of the musicians. The pension benefit is unchanged at $55,000 per year.

The terms of the contract also allow for the radio broadcast of 24 programs this season, and 36 programs next season. The orchestra will resume its national weekly broadcasts, and initiate international broadcasting.

The orchestra's previous contract expired on August 29, but musicians and management agreed on a two-month extension of the contract while talks, which began in June, were taking place.

After three years of posting operating deficits, the orchestra is in the first year of a financial-recovery plan.

Of the four orchestras facing high-profile contract renewals this year, only the Philadelphia Orchestra remains in negotiations. Agreements have been reached in Chicago and Cincinnati, and for the New York Philharmonic.

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