In mid-August, the musicians of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) ratified a two-year contract that runs from September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2020. It was agreed that a two-year agreement would best serve the situation, as RPO is in the final stages of a five-year stabilization plan and is seeing an improving financial state.
Under the contract, the orchestra will remain at 82 musicians, represented by Local 66 (Rochester, NY), and season length increases from 37 to 38 weeks. Salaries will increase from $43,778.40 to $46,092.48 in the final year of the contract (2019-2020). Any increases in the premium costs of health care each year is covered up to 10% by the employer. Musicians are responsible for any increases greater than 10%. Health insurance is extended to part-time orchestra musicians with at least five years of service.
“Negotiations were conducted in an atmosphere of trust, goodwill, and openness on both sides,” says Stephen Laifer, RPO horn player, ICSOM representative, and a member of the orchestra committee.