In Wednesday’s (7/22) Portland Press Herald (Maine), Bob Keyes writes that the Portland Symphony Orchestra has “announced a four-year labor agreement with its musicians’ union. The agreement is retroactive to Sept. 1, 2008, and runs through the 2011-2012 performance season. It freezes wages at their current rate for the 82-member orchestra, ranging from $95.87 to $143.82 for each rehearsal and performance per musician, depending on their role with the orchestra. … However, in practice, many musicians will receive less pay than before because the number of service days will be reduced. The new contract guarantees 51 service days per season—the same number as before—but the total number of service days in the 2009-10 season likely will be about 75, down from 85 in the 2008-09 season, said the orchestra’s executive director, Ari Solotoff. … The orchestra’s board on Tuesday adopted a $2.4 million budget for the 2009-10 season, down from $2.8 million this past season and from $3.3 million the season before.” Musicians voted for the contract 64-4. “While wages are frozen, the contract allows discussion about the pay scale for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons if financial benchmarks are met.”

Posted July 24, 2009