New York Pops Signs New Contract with Musicians

Classic Arts News   New York Pops Signs New Contract with Musicians
The New York Pops has reached agreement on a new three-year contract with Local 802, the New York musicians' union.

The deal was signed on December 13; musicians have since ratified the terms, according to the union.

The negotiation was the first in a round of contract talks with New York's freelance orchestras, which also include the American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and Opera Orchestra of New York. Typically, the first contract serves as a benchmark for subsequent negotiations.

"It was very cordial and productive negotiation with the musicians' union," said New York Pops executive director James Johnson, "where each side was able to get done what it needed to get done."

Under the agreement, musicians' wages for each concert will rise from $200 to $225 over the course of the contract. The contract also includes a one percent increase in pension payments in its final year.

The contract bans the use of the controversial Sinfonia system‹termed a "virtual orchestra machine" by Local 802‹which can be used to replace or supplement live musicians. According to Johnson, the clause will have no effect on Pops performances, but, Johnson said, Local 802 is requiring such a prohibition in all of its contracts.

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