25. July 2011 · Comments Off on San Diego Symphony Players Have a FIVE Year Contract · Categories: Announcements

Wow … that’s a nice long time!

The San Diego Symphony and its musicians have reached an agreement on a new five year contract that provides the orchestra’s 80 players with wage increases of approximately 3.5 percent each year over the next five years.

“San Diego still has a way to go to achieve salaries more typical of ‘Tier One’ orchestras,” said Edward “Ward” Gill, the symphony’s executive director in a statement. “But we are pleased to record steady progress in the right direction.”

Orchestra members’ base pay in the contract that ended in June was $57,776. The new contract, which the orchestra voted to approve late Friday, raises that amount to $59,708 in the first year and $68,234 in 2015-2016, the contract’s final year.

By comparison, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra approved a contract in late June setting a $100,110 minimum for its 99 members. That number, however, represented a nearly 10 percent reduction in wages from the previous year, during which the orchestra reportedly suffered a $2 million deficit on a $31 million budget.

The troubled economy, a diversity of entertainment options, and other factors have forced orchestras in Syracuse, Honolulu and New Mexico to cease operations while the Philadelphia Orchestra declared bankruptcy and the Detroit Symphony was eviscerated by a six-month strike.

San Diego ended its 2010-11 100th anniversary season, budgeted at approximately $18 million, in the black.


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