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June 29, 2020IM -
In mid-May, members of the Grand Rapids Symphony ratified a one-year contract, which extends the wages and other economic provisions of the previous agreement while updating some work rules. Covering the orchestra’s 50 full-time musicians, the contract takes effect September 1, 2020, the day after the expiration of the previous contract.
Prior to the pandemic, the orchestra had been working with management on a multi-year contract, but both sides agreed that current circumstances due to COVID-19 would make it difficult to plan with certainty. Assistant Principal Viola Barbara Corbató and double-bassist Mark Buchner were lead negotiators on behalf of the musicians, members of Local 56 (Grand Rapids, MI).
Corbató and Buchner wrote in a statement: “The musicians of the Grand Rapids Symphony feel very fortunate to have the support of our board, administration, and community leaders as we all navigate these uncertain times. These negotiations were collaborative and amicable, with a shared vision of working for a strong organization. This one-year extension gives the musicians a sense of stability with the knowledge that the Grand Rapids Symphony organization will be prepared to begin performing for our audiences as soon as we can do so safely.”