In late June, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) musicians, members of Local 8 (Milwaukee, WI), and management reached a four-year contract agreement that will cover the 2018-2019 season through the 2022-2023 season. Musicians will see an increase of 1.75% in 2018-2019 and increase of 3.5% in 2020-2021, which will bring base pay to $70,722.96. The pay increase in the 2020-2021 season will come with an additional week of services—increasing the season length to 42 weeks. Substitute/extra pay will increase 12.4% per service over the term of the agreement.
“This four-year agreement, following a holding pattern in recent years of short-term contracts, demonstrates a commitment by the MSO board and management to artistic quality and stability for musicians during this exciting time of transition for the MSO,” says Laurie Shawger of Local 8, chair of the players’ council.
During the contract term, MSO will move into a new concert hall—a former theater space that is under renovation. The orchestra is expected to make its debut in the new hall in 2020. The symphony is also currently searching for its next music director. The new season is planned with a series of guest conductors.