In Saturday’s (10/3) St. Petersburg Times (Florida), John Fleming reports, “Florida Orchestra musicians have ratified a modification of their labor contract that will amount to a 5.5 percent cut in pay they were to receive this season. ‘The world has changed drastically in the last year,’ said president Michael Pastreich, citing the recession’s impact on orchestra finances as the reason for renegotiating the contract. ‘We recognized that the contract called for more of an increase than the orchestra could responsibly make,’ said bass trombonist Harold Van Schaik, chairman of the orchestra musicians committee. ‘In essence, it’s a pay freeze.’ This was to be the third year of a three-year labor contract that called for base pay of $30,390, but instead the base will be $28,800 for 31 weeks, roughly the same as last season. The negotiations added two years to the agreement, through the 2011-12 season. Pay will increase to a base of $32,000 for 34 weeks in the final year. … The contract covers 76 full-time musicians. Negotiations began in early September, and musicians completed voting Thursday. … The revised contract will save $250,000 this season.”

Posted October 6, 2009