BSO inks three-year labor agreement

Tuesday August 30, 2011

LENOX -- With the help of a federal mediator, members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra ratified a new three-year labor agreement that took effect Monday.

The minimum weekly pay for the players will rise from $2,539 in the upcoming year to $2,694 in 2013-14. Principal first-desk players typically are paid well above the minimum.

Until the new agreement was reached, musicians were performing under a two-year extension of their previous labor agreement, with no increases in pay or benefits since 2008-09.

Acknowledging the importance of exposure on radio and digital platforms, the agreement also includes expanded BSO radio presence on stations throughout New England and upstate New York, including WAMC Northeast Public Radio and WFCR New England Public Radio.

"This is wonderful news for WAMC and our listeners," said WAMC President and CEO Alan Chartock. "We have asked the BSO for permission to have all our FM stations play the concerts, and now the permission has been granted. We believe that this is a real education for more than 400,000 listeners in the total WAMC community who might never get to hear classical music anywhere else."

Managing Director Mark Volpe, BSO Players Committee Chairman Jonathan Menkis, and Boston Musicians Association President Patrick Hollenbeck issued a joint statement on Monday.

"The negotiations required accommodations on both sides, but the final terms represent a variety of elements that recognize the collective understanding of the ever-changing landscape and the need for the corporation to have an agreement that ensures its financial strength going forward, especially in this ongoing challenging economic environment," it stated.

"We think this agreement represents a continuing commitment by the trustees, players, and staff of the Boston Symphony Orchestra to remain steadfast in furthering the BSO's position as one of the leading orchestras in the world."

The negotiations were concluded with the help of federal mediator Joshua Flax, commissioner of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.


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