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January 9, 2014IM -
After several months of negotiations, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra ratified four-year contracts with both its employers: the Kennedy Center and the Washington National Opera (WNO).
In the Kennedy Center agreement, the weekly performance scales for ballet will continue to match the National Symphony Orchestra’s (NSO) weekly scales throughout the contract, which include increases of roughly 2% per year. The ballet scale for the final year of the contract will be on par with NSO weekly scale as provided in NSO’s future contract for the 2016-2017 season.
Additionally, rates for musical theater and ballet rehearsal will rise approximately 2% annually.
In negotiations with WNO, the negotiating committee sought to regain some ground that was lost in the previous contract due to the opera having reduced the number of annual productions. Although WNO does not have plans to add to the number of productions in the opera house, the orchestra was able to maintain its annual hourly guarantee and secure increases in the hourly wage, in exchange for allowing management more flexibility in utilizing the orchestra for additional opera projects in the Kennedy Center’s smaller halls. The WNO contract calls for increases in minimum annual salary totaling 7.3% over the life of the CBA.
Both the Kennedy Center and WNO agreements include new language calling for a subcommittee to meet at least once per year to discuss work environment conditions such as pit temperature and cleanliness, and equipment conditions such as the quality of lights, chairs, and stands.