Negotiation Update 2016

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Most professional orchestra collective bargaining agreements expire during the summer months and since the economic downturn, it is increasingly common to see groups continue negotiating past the current agreement’s expiration date. A decade ago, that used be cause for alarm but in today’s environment, it is practically standard operating procedure assuming groups don’t manage to wrap things up months in advance. Last season witnessed nearly a dozen middle to large budget …

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An Updated Look At Top-Tier Musician Compensation 2016

Currently, two of the top eight orchestras with the highest base musician annual salary are negotiating new collective bargaining agreements: National Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra. Interestingly enough, both of these ensembles are in positions where the outcome of those negotiations will likely have a larger impact on their future competitiveness than some of the upcoming negotiations for their peers. In order to visualize these distinctions, here’s a chart illustrating the current …

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Tensions Build In Philadelphia Orchestra Negotiations

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One item we missed last week was an article about growing tensions in the Philadelphia Orchestra Association (POA) collective bargaining negotiations. Written by Peter Dobrin and published in the 9/8/2016 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the article provides a glimpse of what’s happening at that orchestra’s bargaining table. The article has a few items of note worth pointing out: The Kaiser Report is an expensive dust collector. The contract about to …

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Kaiser Files Philly Orch Report. Zero Surprises.

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Back at the beginning of the 2015/16 season, the Philadelphia Orchestra was primed and ready for a major labor dispute but just when it seemed like things would get ugly, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association (POA) and the musicians agreed to a one-year agreement with the proviso that the orchestra would hire an independent consultant, former Kennedy Center CEO Michael Kaiser, to perform an institutional review (details). Shortly before the July 4th …

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Let’s Take A Look At Big Eight Musician Compensation

Big 8 Base Musician Salary

Now that Cleveland has settled, we can begin to get a sense for how base musician compensation compares across the highest tier of big budget orchestras, which we’ll call The Big Eight (Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, LA, National, New York, Philly, and San Francisco). Granted, we’ll be updating this chart with Cleveland’s figures once that data is available and when it is, it will be interesting to see how they compare with Philly, …

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