A five-year trade agreement between the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, and the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York, Inc., was announced today. The agreement covers the period from September 21, 2007, through September 20, 2012, achieving parity in annual compensation and pension with the major American orchestras.

The new contract calls for increases in the minimum weekly salary every year, beginning with the 2007–08 season when it will rise from $2,180/weekly ($113,360/annually) to $2,280/weekly ($118,560/annually); 2008–09 season, $2,380/weekly ($123,760/annually); 2009–10 season, $2,495/weekly ($129,740/annually); 2010–11 season, $2,595/weekly ($134,940/annually); and 2011–12 season, $2,700/weekly ($140,400/annually).

The current pension benefit will rise from $60,000 to $63,000 in the 2007–08 season; $65,000 in the 2008–09 season; $67,000 in the 2009–10 season; and $70,000 in the 2010–11 season. Both parties have agreed to a study of pension plan options, including a defined contribution plan, with the goal of increasing the benefit level to $75,000 in the 2011–12 season. Pension is payable to an individual who completes 30 years of service, and has reached the age of 62.

In addition to the two existing annual pension fund concerts, the musicians have agreed to perform two concerts without pay, for fund-raising purposes, during the term of the contract. The musicians have also agreed to greater flexibility with regard to scheduling and tours, and have agreed to potential cost-sharing if health care expenses increase more than 5% per annum.

“With the ratification of this new five-year contract, I believe we have reached an agreement that continues to build on the strong foundation of this Orchestra,” said New York Philharmonic Chairman Paul B. Guenther. “I am pleased to say that an atmosphere of respect and collaboration continues to prevail between the musicians and management of the New York Philharmonic.”

“Our industry continues to face challenges, and the direct approach taken by our musicians in these negotiations has enabled us to begin addressing important topics in a forward-looking manner,” added New York Philharmonic President and Executive Director Zarin Mehta. “I’d like to express my gratitude to Fiona Simon, Chairman of the Orchestra Negotiating Committee, and to each of her colleagues. We look forward to the ongoing institutional stability and strength this agreement brings.”

“We are pleased to have reached a fair settlement to our contract negotiations in a timely manner,” said Fiona Simon, Chairman of the Orchestra Negotiating Committee. “I would like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of everyone involved. We can now look forward to many successful seasons of great music-making.”

“I am delighted that the Philharmonic has responded positively to the needs of its musicians in agreeing to the new contract,” said Mary Landolfi, President of Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians. “This productive relationship allows the musicians to concentrate on the most important task — making beautiful music for the public.”

During the negotiations, the Society was represented by Mr. Mehta, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer Leonard Zinnanti, Orchestra Personnel Manager Carl R. Schiebler, Director of Operations Miki Takebe, and Martin J. Oppenheimer of Proskauer Rose, Counsel to the New York Philharmonic. Representing the Orchestra were Philharmonic musicians Ms. Simon, Erik Ralske, Kenneth Mirkin, R. Allen Spanjer, and James Markey; Bruce H. Simon of Cohen, Weiss, and Simon LLP; and Ms. Landolfi.

 

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