The musicians of the San Francisco Symphony have ratified a new contract, so the looming spectre of another work stoppage, and all of its accompanying ugliness, is over. Here are some of the details, courtesy of the Symphony's Communications department:
The agreement also outlines a new process for sharing information among the musicians, Board of Governors, and administration on an ongoing basis to maintain trust, respect and understanding between the members of a sustainable arts organization. The administration and musicians are committed to working with a third party on an ongoing basis to improve communication and seek a cooperative spirit to address future challenges and opportunities. A shared commitment to grow audiences and serve our community includes broadening musicians’ involvement in fundraising, marketing and audience development activities.
Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement began in September 2012. The previous agreement expired November 24, 2012 and was extended by mutual agreement to February 15, 2013. A tentative agreement on a new contract was reached March 31, 2013 and has now been ratified and approved by the full Orchestra and Board of Governors. Over the course of the 26 months of the agreement, musicians of the SF Symphony will receive a 4.5% increase in salary, with current minimum weekly compensation of $2,725 and increasing to $2,850 by the end of the contract.
“The success of the San Francisco Symphony lies in the dynamic partnership among the musicians, Michael Tilson Thomas , the careful stewardship of the board, hard work of the staff, and the enthusiastic and consistent support of our community,” said Sakurako Fisher, President of the SF Symphony. “This agreement represents a significant amount of collaboration and a recognition that only a shared vision and a true partnership will propel our outstanding 100-year-old orchestra toward an even greater future. We remain deeply gratified by our community’s exceptional commitment to our orchestra and to the arts.”
“The musicians of the San Francisco Symphony recognize the important qualities of partnership and collaboration that defines all successful orchestras,” said violist David Gaudry, Chair of the musicians’ negotiating committee. “Everything we do is for our audiences. We love what we do, and we want to keep providing our listeners the highest level of musicianship, be active in growing our community, and ensure the long-term artistic vitality of our great orchestra.”
“This new agreement recognizes the immense talents and dedication of our musicians and underscores our commitment to their well-being on every level,” said Brent Assink, SF Symphony Executive Director. Their artistry shapes and enriches the cultural landscape of our community in meaningful and far-reaching ways. I want to express my thanks to Dave Gaudry and the musicians’ negotiating team for their many long hours of collaboration on this new contract. I would also like thank the Board Labor Relations Committee, the entire Board of Governors, and our hard working staff. But most of all, I deeply appreciate the patience and ongoing support of our Bay Area community, touring partners, and fans around the country during the past few weeks. We all have a stake in the success of this institution and we look forward to strengthening our partnership to move the orchestra forward.”