Pacific Symphony musicians, management, and the Orange County Musicians Union, Local 7 (Orange County, CA), have ratified a short-term agreement to last until early September, providing the musicians financial support due to concerts the organization was forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The side letters do not replace the labor agreement that expires August 31, 2021, but modify the conditions under which the musicians are working. The Pacific Symphony was awarded a $2.1 million forgivable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program through the Small Business Association as well as additional funds pledged to the “Sound Future Campaign.” Both sources have helped the orchestra to “bridge” financially the period though mid-September.
According to the terms of the first set of agreements, Pacific Symphony will pay 95% of wages for orchestra services through June 6; 75% of wages for this season’s final Classical series concert; and 50% of wages for 20 services during the summer season. To maintain Pacific Symphony’s connections to Class Act schools and Heartstrings, a series of recorded and live online presentations will be produced. Musicians involved in those educational activities will be paid 100% of wages due under both the local contract and/or the IMA for these educational services through June 30.
“The union is gratified the Pacific Symphony took timely decisive action to apply for and receive a Paycheck Protection Plan loan. These funds will replace a significant portion of musician wages lost due to cancelation of scheduled work. This will also provide vitally important contributions to the union health and welfare and pension plans on the musicians’ behalf,” says Local 7 President Bob Sanders. “This agreement was overwhelmingly ratified by Pacific Symphony musicians.”