The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra management and the musicians announced the ratification of a side letter to amend the collective bargaining agreement for the 2020/2021 season, effective January 11 through August 29, 2021. The SLSO management says it is grateful for the sacrifices made by orchestra membership, which has agreed to $3.75 million in compensation reduction.

Musicians will retain 85% of their base pay and 80% of other compensation, in addition to health benefits and pension contributions. In the fall, musicians agreed to a significant pay cut of 40% in addition to a further 20% reduction in overscale. The orchestra, which has cancelled all spring performances, expects a negative $8 million revenue impact for fiscal year 2021 ending August 31.

To help offset the projected loss of revenue and financial impact of the crisis on the short- and long-term health of the institution, the SLSO has reduced its $31 million budget to $19 million, making more than $10 million in expense reductions thus far.

Effective September 1, 2020, the SLSO implemented a salary freeze, followed by a furlough week taken by the entire staff in November. Since March 2020, Music Director Stéphane Denève took a salary reduction commensurate to the musicians’ while the President & CEO and Executive Team have taken salary reductions ranging from 10% to 25%, enabling the institution to save significant salary expenses.

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