Rochester Philharmonic Musicians Sign Three-Year Contract

Classic Arts News   Rochester Philharmonic Musicians Sign Three-Year Contract
The musicians and management of the Rochester Philharmonic have reached agreement on a new three-year contract, the RPO announced yesterday.

The contract calls for raises of 1.9 percent, 2.3 percent, and 2. 6 percent over the next three years. The base salary for musicians will rise from $36,100 to $38,610.

The size of the orchestra remains the same, with 57 full-time players and 25 part-time musicians, and the season stays at 39 weeks per year. Musicians agreed to reduce the amount of work guaranteed to part-time musicians.

A year ago, after several months of negotiations, the two sides signed a one-year contract that included a pay freeze. At the time, the orchestra was facing a deficit of more than $200,000.

The RPO's financial situation is now apparently improving. The orchestra has not yet released final budget numbers for 2004-05, but it announced in August that it had boosted its fundraising by 13 percent for the season.

"After several years of concessions and one-year contracts, it's really wonderful for us to be in a position to make a positive contract commitment to our musicians," said board chair Ingrid A. Stanlis. "The modest increases in base salary help us keep our talented musicians and attract additional high-caliber players so that we can continue to provide the level of artistic integrity that our audiences expect."

"This contract will challenge us, though, as we set forth to achieve some aggressive organizational goals," she added, "and we hope that the community will continue to give generously in support of our orchestra."

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