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Home » Orchestra News » Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra Agrees to Contract Modification

Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra Agrees to Contract Modification


Musicians of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra have ratified a one-year contract modification that runs from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Although management had aimed for a longer-term contract, musicians succeeded in keeping the concessionary terms to one year only.

In August, Chicago Lyric Opera invoked force majeure and stopped paying wages to musicians; shortly afterward, the company questioned the continuation of health care coverage beyond December. A labor grievance was filed with an arbitration date set for November, and it was just days before arbitration that the company agreed to discuss a one-year modification as opposed to a multi-year contract; from that point, an agreement was quickly reached.

While the season length remains at 22 weeks in the CBA, musicians will be paid for 11 weeks during the 2020-21 season, and vacation pay will be waived. Services and hours will be calculated on an individual basis and the company will make best efforts to be equitable in allocating work among musicians. The number of contracted positions remains at 70, but only the 57 active musicians will receive payment in the current season.

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