Yesterday, the Louisville orchestra musicians voted to accept a five year contract which retains the current compliment of musicians while simultaneously implements large reductions in pay, vacation time, personal leave, benefits, and more at the onset of the contract…
The new five year agreement is, without a doubt, a back-loaded concessionary contract. Among the larger concessions are reductions in base pay and season length. By the end of the five year agreement the base musician pay will only be $113 more than the 2005-2006 concert season:
Of course, the fate of the 2005-2006 season is still undecided and if the organization finds itself in a position to cancel scheduled concerts then the musicians may end up earning less than the minimum guarantees afforded in the current contract.
Another new aspect of the contract is the introduction of an item management was pushing for publicly since the dilemma began: the introduction of tiered system to determine sick and personal leave days.
Previously, musicians were allowed 11 sick days per season, but now their days are allocated based on tenure increments of five years:
1-5 years of service will receive four sick days
6-10 years of service will receive six sick days
11+ years of service will receive eight sick days
In the end, even the musicians with the greatest amount of seniority will lose three days of sick leave.
With regard to personal days, musicians were previously allowed to miss up to seven services per season, but now they are allocated based on the same five year increments as sick days:
1-5 years of service will receive four personal days
6-10 years of service will receive five personal days
11-15 years of service will receive six personal days
16+ years will receive seven personal days
Overall, the new contract contains another 1,357 words in changes to work rules, pay scale, and benefits. We’ll examine more of those changes and the reasoning behind them in future articles once the details solidify.
Correction: In the original publication, I reported that by the end of the new five year agreement, the musicians’ annual base salary would be $743 less than the 2005-2006 season. However, those figures were based on information provided by an AFM source which did not include mid-term changes to that contract which lowered the musicians’ annual salary and season length to the figures now listed.