Tuesday (5/14) on the Seattle Times online, Melissa Davis writes, “After 15 months of negotiations, the Seattle Symphony players organization and the SSO board of directors have approved a new contract, through August 2015.” According to a release from the orchestra, the new contract calls for a 5.5 percent reduction in salaries for the remainder of the current season, a wage freeze in 2013-14, and a 4.6 percent increase in 2014-15. The new contract also includes a new electronic media agreement. “The length of the symphony season will stay at 45 weeks … The minimum size of the orchestra will be reduced from 85 musicians, stated in the previous contract, to the current level of 81 musicians, with auditions planned next season to fill the openings. ‘With this new agreement, we are pleased to demonstrate our good faith to lovers of classical orchestral music and to the donor community. The musicians have spoken; we want excellence, music education for our children, a vital connection to our community, and stability for the Seattle Symphony,’ said Tim Hale, chair of the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization, in a statement. Leslie Jackson Chihuly, chair of the SSO board, said, ‘We express our deep gratitude to the entire orchestra for its willingness to work creatively with us on this agreement, and for again agreeing to make concessions. Settling the contract is a great step forward and allows the entire organization to move toward our shared goals, both artistically and financially.’ ”

Posted May 15, 2013