The Charlotte Symphony Board and musicians have agreed to a new four-year contract which reduces the number of paid working weeks in the Symphony season. The parties negotiated the contract in the face of significant financial challenges facing the Symphony as part of an effort to restructure and stabilize financial operations. The text of the Charlotte Symphony’s press release follows.
9/4/09 – The Charlotte Symphony Board of Directors and musicians of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Local No. 342 of the American Federation of Musicians have agreed to a new four-year contract, effective this season. The terms of the new contract replace those of the former contract, which would have expired on August 31, 2010.
The terms of the new contract include a reduction in paid working weeks this season, from 38 to 33, with 35 paid working weeks in 2010-2011, 36 weeks for the 2011-2012 season, and 37 weeks for the 2012-2013 season. These reductions represent a savings of $1.2 million to the Symphony in the first two years of the new contract.
“I am grateful to the musicians who, by ratifying this contract, have once again demonstrated their willingness to be partners in addressing the financial challenges of the Symphony,” said Executive Director Jonathan Martin. “Through the decrease in wages, they are effectively donating $700,000 back to the Symphony in the form of savings in just this year alone.”
In March of 2007, the musicians also agreed to a renegotiated contract that resulted in substantial savings to the organization.
The new contract is a critical component of the multi-year restructuring plan implemented by the Symphony to stabilize its financial operations. Other measures include freezes and reductions in administrative salaries and an intensive multi-million-dollar fundraising initiative.
“Over the past several months, the Charlotte Symphony has worked diligently to establish a viable business plan, by both cutting expenses and increasing funding,” said CSO Board Chair Pat Rodgers. “The board has committed more than $800,000 in new donations to the Symphony in the past six months, and contributed income from the community continues to grow. The new contract, along with substantial reductions in administrative costs, is a key factor in creating financial stability, and I deeply appreciate the musicians’ generosity. The Symphony family – musicians, board, and staff – will continue to work together to build a fiscally sound organization to serve the Charlotte region.”
CSO musician representative Elizabeth Pistolesi can be reached for comment at 704-373-1614 or at ezpistol@aolcom.