The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) becomes the latest group from our list of mid to large budget orchestras with expired agreements to reach a settlement. The rumor mill was rife with fodder about a potential showdown over the musicians’ defined benefit pension but when the dust settled, the retirement benefit ended up with an improvement.
Terms of the new three-year agreement will be enacted retroactively to 9/13/2015 and includes modest increases in base musician wages and no changes to health care benefits. Here’s a breakdown of monetary conditions:
2015-2016: one percent increase in base annual wage ($152,833).
2016-2017: two percent increase in base annual wage ($155,890).
2017-2018: two percent increase in base annual wage ($159,007).
The defined benefit pension plan will increase from approximately $75,000 per year to $78,225 per year (exact figures vary based on a musician’s start
date due to an accrual rate modification in 2007).
In addition to the CSO’s settlement, a tentative agreement has been reaching in Florida but the ratification process is not expected to be complete until Friday, 10/2/2015.
Here’s an updated version of the fourteen mid to large budget orchestra and opera organizations with a collective bargaining agreement that expired within the last three months; we’re down to the halfway mark.