National Symphony Orchestra Musicians Sign Four-Year Contract

Classic Arts News   National Symphony Orchestra Musicians Sign Four-Year Contract
The musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra ratified a new four-year contract last week, the Washington Post reports.

Minimum pay at Washington, D.C., orchestra will rise from the current level of $95,888 to $108,000 over the course of the contract. In addition, musicians agreed to pay more of their health insurance costs.

The previous contract expired on September 6, according to the Post, but musicians agreed to "play and talk." There was little of the drama associated with contract talks in Philadelphia and Chicago this fall, where strikes seemed like real possibilities.

"From the outset, there was an atmosphere of mutual respect, which set the tone for the entire negotiation," NSO executive director Rita Shapiro said in a statement. "Many topics were raised and thoughtfully explored. All of us were unified in our desire to see the negotiations through to a successful conclusion."

"Negotiations are never an easy time for an orchestra," added violist William Foster, a representative for the musicians. "But the smoothness of the talks here reflects the long-standing positive working relationship among the musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra, our management, our board, and also the leadership of the Kennedy Center."

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