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February 1, 2021IM -
At the end of October, San Francisco Symphony musicians ratified a 25-month contract modification that runs from October 18, 2020, through November 26, 2022.
The orchestra’s salary was first reduced to 90% of regular wages beginning in April 2020 and then to 65% of regular wages beginning in September. With the new contract modification, the pay rate for October 18, 2020, through January 2, 2021, was approximately 70% of pre-COVID wages; a slight pay increase began on January 3.
Further salary changes taking place from January 3 through the end of the contract agreement will be dependent on the number of musicians who retire under the new Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program. Through that program, musicians over age 60 with at least 25 years of service receive a lump sum payment of $75,000 if they choose to retire.
Under the modified contract, musicians will be scheduled for a maximum of four services per musician per week. Musicians will not be required to repay instrument loans for the life of the agreement.
While San Francisco Symphony musicians recognize the organization’s financial challenges as a result of COVID-19, they feel that the extent of the salary reductions is unjustified. The contract modifications were negotiated under the threat of force majeure; as a term of this agreement, management agreed not to invoke force majeure due to COVID-19.
The symphony’s musicians are represented by Local 6 (San Francisco, CA).