The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) and the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) reached an agreement yesterday on a new five-year collective bargaining agreement. The musicians of the CSO, members of the Chicago Federation of Musicians (CFM), Local 10-208 of the American Federation of Musicians and the Board of the CSOA, both voted to ratify the new agreement, which is effective September 2018 through September 2023. The agreement comes after a seven-week strike and final negotiation sessions mediated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on April 26.

The press release says that the five-year agreement creates long-term stability for the organization and offers a comprehensive compensation package for the musicians of the Orchestra including improvements in working conditions, as well as a wage increase of 14% over five years, and the transition from a Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plan to a Defined Contribution (DC) Retirement Plan.

According to Helen Zell, Chair of the CSOA’s Board of Trustees « we look forward to returning to concerts this week along with our Music Director Riccardo Muti and our audiences at Symphony Center.”

“I am pleased that we have come to an agreement on a new contract that benefits both the musicians and the CSOA,” said CSOA President Jeff Alexander.

The terms of the newly ratified five-year agreement include: Annual salary increases each year of 2%, 2%, 2.5%, 3.25%, 3.5% reaching an annual minimum base salary of $181,272 in the final year of the contract. This represents a 14% increase from the base salary for the 2017/18 season.

A phased transition of the retirement benefit from a Defined Benefit (DB) to a Defined Contribution (DC) plan beginning July 1, 2020, with an annual employer contribution valued at 7.5% of the base salary plus additional payments by the CSOA into each current musician’s account for the first three years of the plan based on the musician’s age and years of service. All new hires as of July 1, 2020 will go directly into the DC plan.

No changes to musician’s health care contribution amounts over the life of the contract, and no changes to their comprehensive insurance coverage, deductibles and co-pays.

Negotiations between the CSOA and the CSO Musicians’ Negotiating Committee began in April 2018. The previous collective bargaining agreement expired, after a 6-month extension, on Sunday, March 10, 2019. A tentative agreement for a new contract was reached on Friday, April 26, 2019, after a day-long series of meetings mediated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

  • Pizzicato

  • Archives