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How About That; A New Contract Without Drama

In an age when contentious labor disputes abound, it’s nice to run across a situation where stakeholders reached an agreement without resorting to public mudslinging. Case in point, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) announced they reached a new four year agreement 14 months ahead of the current contract’s expiration date.

shake handsThe agreement itself is interesting in how unexceptional the terms are; in the age of new models, it’s almost quaint in its conventionalism. There are no huge cuts, no sweeping austerity measures, and no one got rid of tenure. Instead, the new agreement provides slight increases in base compensation and pension contributions along with a modest work rule adjustment that provides for scheduling additional concerts.

Here are the agreement highlights (as reported in an SLSO press release):

  • Compensation increases: 0%, 1.0%, 2.0%, and 2.0%.
  • 1.5% increase in pension contribution rate over the term of the new agreement.
  • Work-rule changes that provide for scheduling additional concerts including Live at Powell Hall events.

The organization is presenting the agreement’s stability as a selling point for donors and philanthropic giving. And after a steady diet of pure capsicum extract infused cinnamon cayenne ice cream, folks may be lining up for a nice scoop of refreshing vanilla.

6 Responses to How About That; A New Contract Without Drama

  1. partherton June 27, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    “Work-rule changes that provide for scheduling additional concerts including Live at Powell Hall events”. Is there some place I can read more about this term?

    • Drew McManus June 27, 2012 at 10:47 am #

      The details would be included in the CBA once it is released and/or the settlement bulletin is published.

  2. Joe June 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    What?! No serious orchestra would negotiate a contract with such a lack of publicly aired acrimony these days. This is why SLSO will never be top tier ensemble. The administration needs to be willing to destroy the organization in order to save it.

    • Drew McManus June 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

      I *love* well placed sarcasm :)

      • Joe June 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

        Actually, I remember the tense situation SLSO went through back in 2005, including the thank you concert musicians gave in response to the community support. So I was really quite happy to read things came off so well this time around.

  3. Roger Kaza October 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    I was on the committee, and it did take a lot of work…and some tense moments. Glad it’s over. Morale is pretty good here, given all our challenges. The orchestra took its financial hit ten years ago, and so was better prepared for this latest downturn.

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