MSO musicians agree to forgo pay hike

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:44 am

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra announced it has reached an agreement modify and extend its current collective bargaining agreement with its musicians through the 2014-2015 season.

MSO board chair Douglas Hagerman and president and executive director Mark Niehaus said the agreement features salary savings and trimmed operating expenses that are expected to yield total savings of $1 million over the next three seasons.

A modification and extension of the current contract was ratified by the musicians nine months prior to the original contract expiration.

Musicians will forgo this season’s raise and return to pay levels of the 2011.12 season, resulting in significant savings this season.

Niehaus said, “This is a time when orchestras all over the country are facing great challenges and the MSO is determined to implement a comprehensive set of measures to ensure our financial stability by modifying and extending the current contract with our musicians. In order to continue our great music making, we must plan carefully and earn the conviction of our audience and donors. Reaching this contract agreement is a big win for everyone. Achieving savings and cost certainty for our organization means we can plan for the future with continued fiscal responsibility and we can continue to bring music to the lives of those in the community.”

Hagerman said, “The contract extension demonstrates our collaborative focus on preserving the high artistic quality of the MSO while maintaining fiscal responsibility. The MSO Board has worked hard to demonstrate sound governance and careful expense management, while we execute plans to diversify our revenues and expand our circle of supporters. We could not succeed without the orchestra members’ spirit of co-ownership of our mission. We are grateful to them on and off stage.”

Scott Kreger, Players’ Council chair said, “We see this contract as an important step to help the organization achieve financial stability. The agreement helps ensure the stability of this invaluable cultural asset as we continue to make great music at an artistically high level.”

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