For Immediate Release
June 10, 2013
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MUSICIANS RATIFY NEW THREE-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and its musicians today announced a new three-year agreement between the PSO and members of Local 60-471 of the American Federation of Musicians.
“During the current Trade Agreement the musicians had agreed, among other things, to a 9.7% reduction in compensation over the first two (2) years of a three (3) year agreement. This settlement maintains the orchestra’s size at 99 musicians and begins to add to orchestra compensation. It was extremely important to both sides that Pittsburgh reaffirm its position as a destination orchestra,” said James A. Wilkinson, Pittsburgh Symphony President and CEO.
The agreement comes well in advance of the expiration date of the prior contract, set to expire at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 season. The new agreement takes effect September 2, 2013, and extends through September 4, 2016. This settlement follows several months of negotiations focused on maintaining the orchestra’s artistic excellence and ensuring its long-term financial stability, while maintaining orchestra compensation within the top tier of American orchestras.
The new agreement calls for a 4 percent wage increase for the 2013-2014 season, a wage freeze for the 2014-2015 season, and a 3 percent wage increase for the 2015-2016 season. Under the new agreement, the annual base salary for 2013-2014 will be approximately $104,114.
PSO Bass player Micah Howard, chairman of the musicians’ Orchestra Committee, said, “The musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra wish to thank the orchestra’s board, management and our many patrons, all of whom made this agreement possible. We are profoundly grateful to live in a community that values the presence of a world-class symphony orchestra. This settlement helps to ensure that we will remain a destination for the world’s best talent.”
“I am so happy that our great musicians and management have successfully worked together and that the musicians have agreed to extend their contract. This is an important signal for the industry. The dedication of our musicians to the community and to our patrons is most appreciated. I am very proud to make music with them and look forward to continuing our tradition of artistic excellence.” remarked PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck.
The new agreement also reflects changes in work rules that provide greater flexibility to the PSO, as well as increases to other financial terms, including musicians’ retirement benefits, while maintaining the size of the orchestra at 99 musicians and 2 librarians.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been a vital part of the City of Pittsburgh’s heritage for more than 116 years. With its noble history of the finest conductors and musicians and its strong commitment to artistic quality and excellence, audiences around the world have claimed the PSO as their orchestra of choice. In September 2008, the PSO welcomed its ninth Music Director Manfred Honeck. Beginning in the early 1900s with frequent performances in Canada, the PSO confirmed its ranking as a world-class orchestra, earning critical acclaim for each tour abroad. Its 36 international tours include 20 European tours, eight trips to the Far East and two to South America. In January 2004, the PSO became the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II, as part of the Pontiff’s Silver Jubilee celebration.
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