San Francisco Symphony musicians ratify new three-year
From the San Francisco Symphony
February 3, 2006, 3:15 p.m.
Musicians of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) voted
today to ratify a new three-year contract between the SFS and
Musicians Union of San Francisco, Local No. 6 of the American
Federation of Musicians. The agreement runs through November 29,
2008 and sets a course for the future of the San Francisco Symphony,
giving the organization enhanced ability to pursue two paramount
goals: achieving consistent artistic superiority, and reaching
a broad and diverse audience.
"The talented musicians of the San Francisco Symphony are
the heart and soul of our organization," said John Goldman,
SFS President. "This contract recognizes our stature as one
of the top orchestras in the country while setting a prudent financial
course for our organization. I commend all those who worked so
hard in these negotiations for their commitment to the future
of the San Francisco Symphony."
"The dynamic partnership between the musicians, MTT and
our loyal audience has resulted in great artistic achievements
over the last several years," said David Gaudry, head of
the players' negotiation committee. "This contract recognizes
those achievements and will propel this orchestra forward to even
greater heights on the American orchestral scene."
In the newly ratified agreement, minimum weekly salary compensation
increases from $2000 per week to $2060 per week in the first year,
$2200 in the second year, and $2300 for the third year. The increase
in compensation places the SFS among the highest paid orchestras
in the U.S., reflecting its position among the country's premier
orchestras and the commitment to artistic excellence. The musicians
also received competitive increases in pension and seniority pay.
Future cost savings were achieved through adjustments to the orchestra's
Other contract highlights include many that increase the orchestra's
ability to compete-not only for the best available talent, but
also for an audience facing an ever-wider variety of entertainment
choices and information sources. Among these highlights are changes
in radio, auditioning, and scheduling policy. The SFS's prominent
position as a national radio-content provider is enhanced by the
agreement to offer simultaneous streaming of radio signal throughout
the world. An additional pension fund concert will benefit the
orchestra's retirement plan. Touring clauses have been reconfigured
to position the SFS for international residencies and at the same
time will recognize and provide for the rigors of touring. Audition
processes have been streamlined to attract high-caliber candidates
and will create a more collaborative process with SFS musicians.
Increased scheduling flexibility will allow the SFS to create
new types of programming to expand audiences.
The Orchestra's negotiating committee was chaired by David Gaudry
and included Steven Braunstein, Melissa Kleinbart, Sarn Oliver,
and Nanci Severance. Also participating was David Schoenbrun,
President of Musicians' Union Local No. 6 of the American Federation
of Musicians. Susan Martin of Martin and Bonnett acted as counsel
to the musicians. Negotiating for the SFS administration were
Executive Director Brent Assink, Director of Operations and Electronic
Media John Kieser, Human Resources Director Jim Robinson, Orchestra
Personnel Manager Rebecca Blum, and attorney James Paras. Federal
mediator Joel Schaffer was also instrumental in enabling both
parties to craft a new agreement.