While the post-pandemic environment may not seem like an opportune time for musician stakeholders to think about overscale, rest assured, it is.
If you aren’t familiar with individual overscale agreements, these are the contracts that certain orchestra musicians utilize to negotiate terms above and beyond those set forth in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). They are negotiated outside the auspices of the CBA between the musician and the association. In short, individually negotiated overscale is the vehicle that allows orchestras to be competitive when attracting and retaining specific talent.
If nothing else, the pandemic has moved orchestras into fertile territory they have traditionally resisted, such as finally seeing the value in remote and hybrid work scenarios. Another has been assessing musician value on qualities beyond traditional benchmarks and rewarding them for putting those skillsets into action for the organization.
Prior to the pandemic, employers either turned a blind eye or wanted employees to provide those skills without any additional renumeration. Funny how quickly that tune can change when demands shift. To that end, I wanted to highlight a post from 2015 that dispels three myths about the black arts of overscale negotiation because the last thing a musician should want to do in this climate is inadvertently leave money on the table.