Katherine Calos reports Monday (12/8) in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Virginia), “Richmond Symphony musicians have ratified a new four-year contract that will raise their salaries back to 2011 levels by 2016. An immediate increase of 1.5 percent has already gone into effect, according to David Fisk, executive director of the symphony. In the second and third year of the contract, musicians will receive a 2.5 percent increase each year. In the final year, they will receive a 1 percent salary increase and the symphony will add a week to the season to extend it to 39 weeks. ‘We’re very pleased that we’re able to come to an agreement,’ said Philip H. Bennett, symphony board chairman…. The musicians have been playing since 2012 under a management-imposed contract that reduced total compensation by 12 percent, according to the Musician’s Negotiating Committee. Wages for the 36 full-time musicians were cut 7 percent … and the season was shortened by two weeks. Other changes in benefits produced a cumulative 12 percent impact, said Rich Serpa, chairman of the negotiating committee.…‘The musicians are hopeful that we’re going to move forward together and see the orchestra grow into the orchestra that the city of Richmond deserves.’ ”  

Posted December 10, 2014