San Francisco Symphony musicians and board members have voted to ratify and approve a new 26-month collective bargaining agreement, the symphony announced today.
The contract deal, which ends six months of acrimonious bargaining that resulted in an 18-day musicians strike, awards a 4.5 percent salary increase over the life of the contract, symphony officials said.
It also includes changes in health care benefits, enlarges the symphony’s instrument loan programs and financial aid program for the purchase of instruments, and allows for increased flexibility in scheduling, officials said.
In addition, it includes a new process for sharing information among the musicians, board and administration.
S.F. Symphony musicians ratify new contract [Chron]
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The musicians had asked for a pay increase of about 5 percent. The musicians make an average of $165,000 per year, the third-highest total in the country behind Chicago and Los Angeles, but argued that the high cost of living here and the expense of instruments eat into their wages.
Management had said large pay hikes were not likely because the symphony had operated at a deficit for the past four years.
Contract talks began in September 2012. The previous agreement expired in November, but was extended to February. The tentative agreement on the new contract was reached on March 31.