San Francisco Symphony and Musicians Reach Tentative Contract Deal

Classic Arts News   San Francisco Symphony and Musicians Reach Tentative Contract Deal
The management and musicians of the San Francisco Symphony have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract, according to a spokesperson for the musicians.

No details of the proposed contract were immediately available. The spokesperson said that neither side would discuss the agreement until it is ratified by the SFS board of governors and the full membership of the orchestra.

The musicians have been playing without a contract since the last agreement expired in late November. Few details about the negotiations emerged until last week, when musicians publicly demanded higher pay and threatened to boycott the orchestra's upcoming trip to China. That threat was withdrawn on January 27 after the two sides made progress in a new round of talks.

The musicians told reporters at a protest on January 23 that they deserve salaries on par with their colleagues at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic. Currently, they said, their pay is closer to that of the Cleveland Orchestra.

In fact, in 2004-05, base pay was slightly higher in San Francisco ($104,000) than it was in New York ($103,480); Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians made slightly more at $105,300. But New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians received larger bonuses for seniority than their counterparts in the SFS.

Cleveland Orchestra musicians received a base pay of $100,620 in 2004-05.

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