Second consecutive contract negotiation to reach early resolution; new agreement secures commitments through 2020

DETROIT, (January 10, 2017) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and its musicians announced the ratification of a new contract today, more than eight months prior to the current contract’s expiration on August 31, 2017. The new agreement—the second consecutive to reach an early resolution—resulted from a great collaboration between the members of the joint Negotiations Committee accomplished over three highly constructive bargaining meetings.

The three-year agreement includes a minimum scale increase totaling four percent over the previous contract, plus two additional performance weeks (38 weeks each season, up from 36), with total guaranteed compensation going from $91,259 in year three of current contract to $96,096 in year three of new contract. The contract also calls for a new, additional weekly stipend for musicians on non-performance, non-vacation weeks, which is partially offset by a reduction in unemployment costs. Additionally, the new agreement provides more flexible work rules in certain performance weeks and more cost sharing of health insurance premium increases. The new contract between the DSO and the members of Local 5 of the American Federation of Musicians goes into effect on September 1, 2017 and extends through August 31, 2020.

A tentative agreement was reached on December 14, approved by the DSO Board of Directors on December 21, and ratified by the musicians of the DSO on Monday evening, January 9. The terms of the agreement fit within the parameters outlined in Blueprint: 2023, the DSO’s ten-year plan for fiscal and artistic sustainability that was instituted in 2013. Securing this new contract enables the DSO to continue presenting outstanding music to audiences in Orchestra Hall, across Metro Detroit through its William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series, and around the world through its pioneering Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series.

“Each member of the oneDSO family works side-by-side to pursue a shared vision around the way our orchestra connects and serves its community,” said Anne Parsons, DSO President and CEO. “This early settlement is a resounding expression of why I believe the DSO will continue to achieve responsible growth, development, and overall health. I celebrate the entire negotiating committee that worked diligently together to realize this critical piece of the DSO’s roadmap, and I invite everyone to join us to support the many other crucial components of our plan."

“The musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are thrilled to again have a new contract ratified ahead of schedule,” said Karl Pituch, DSO Principal Horn and Chairman of the Orchestra Negotiating Committee. “Building on the values of respect and trust earned through the previous negotiations, we were able to quickly come to an agreement that will help move this orchestra forward to a bright future. Our main goal, which I believe we accomplished, was to reach a contract that can attract the world's best musicians to Detroit and keep them in our orchestra.”

“Once again, the DSO has proven that we are an industry leader in all we do,” said Mark Davidoff, DSO Board Chairman. “This agreement reinforces our commitment to work in a cohesive manner to ensure that from center stage to the board room to the front office, we are a oneDSO family.”

“Working to achieve artistic vision coupled with fiscal reality, the musicians, staff, and board of the DSO have made it possible to continue our growth,” said DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin. “This new agreement clearly reflects the partnerships and trust that all of us at Orchestra Hall deeply feel.”

Agreement At-A-Glance
>Contingent of 87 musicians
>Annual minimum scale increase of 4 percent over three years (0 percent; 2 percent; 2 percent)
>38 weeks of performances (up 2 from previous contract) plus 4 weeks of vacation time
>New, additional stipend for musicians for the 10 remaining non-work, non-vacation weeks
>Total orchestra compensation, inclusive of salary and all benefits, fits within the parameters set forth in Blueprint 2023, the DSO’s ten-year plan towards fiscal and artistic sustainability
>Continuation of “optional work” model allowing DSO musicians to offer community engagement services with performances in hospitals, senior living communities, schools, and other venues
>Special Events: Orchestra musicians have offered to donate 4 services per year in part to support high-profile, revenue-generating performance opportunities

Members of the Negotiations Committee included David Everson, Assistant Principal Horn; Linda Lutz, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Peter McCaffrey, Cello; Haden McKay, Cello; Karl Pituch, Principal Horn; Glenda Price, Board Vice Chair; Erik Rönmark, Vice President and General Manager; Bernard Robertson, Board of Directors; and Robert Stiles, Principal Librarian.

“We are again very pleased to have reached an early agreement,” said George Troia, Jr., President of Detroit Federation of Musicians, AFM Local 5. “We believe by doing so we have ensured continued growth, stability, and beautiful music for years to come from our Detroit Symphony Orchestra."

“On behalf of the DSO Board of Directors, I would like to thank all the members of the Negotiating Committee,” said Glenda Price, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. “It was refreshing to participate in a process that resulted in a mutually beneficial agreement and was clear throughout the process that everyone wanted the best for the organization, the musicians, and the community.”

“This process was marked by respectful and professional discussion among all the participants,” said DSO Board Director Bernard Robertson, “resulting in a balanced contract that provides for continued artistic excellence while maintaining fiscal responsibility and compliance with Blueprint 2023. Coming to an agreement eight months early also provides crucial stability to the institution we all love and reflects our shared commitment to oneDSO.”


© 1999 - 2018 Limited. All Rights Reserved