Musicians of the FWSO Ratify New 3 Year Deal
On August 5, the Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra ratified a three-year agreement running from August 2022 through July 2025. For the first time since the musicians’ weeks had been reduced in 2010, provisions have now been negotiated to progressively address the orchestra’s unpaid 6 furlough weeks each year. The musicians will now receive a $400 stipend during furlough weeks, which will be calculated into the musicians’ yearly salary, and these non-working weeks are now guaranteed to be scheduled contiguously during the summer months of the year. With this new yearly stipend compensation added to the pay for the musicians 46 working weeks, the core section musicians’ yearly salaries will increase by a total of 4.6% in the 2022-23 season, and by 2.5% in each of the two subsequent seasons respectively – an increase of 9.6 % over the term of the agreement. Along with these changes to pay structure, the core musicians will now receive their annual salaries divided into 52 weeks of pay.
Musicians who work for FWSO on a per service basis (and not subject to the new stipend pay) will receive the same percentage of increases as core musicians, but the entire increase will be reflected in the per service pay rate. In addition to increases in wages, increases in seniority pay, per diem payments on runouts, and a new reimbursement for instrument insurance will be provided by the employer.
New work rules include expanded relief for all core musicians, numerous rules regarding the scheduling of services (ensuring 28 days of paid vacation), and improvements in the rules governing personal leave for musicians.
In addition, changes were made in the processes determining the rostering of musicians, busing for runouts, parking for rehearsals, the scheduling of publicity photos, the weekly day off, orchestra splitting, and clarifications in the manner in which substitute lists are generated.
The contract now has expanded mutual respect provisions, clarifying policy for the professional comportment expected for the musicians, and the appropriate behavior between Musicians and Management.
There are new rules for auditions clarifying various policies and guaranteeing that all solo audition rounds will be held behind a screen.
Also negotiated was a new tenure review process which now includes a tenure review committee with applicable processes, as well as an entirely new article in the CBA clarifying the company’s progressive discipline procedure.
The orchestra’s negotiation committee consisted of Musicians Buddy Bray, Debbie Brooks, Jeff Hall, Cody McClarty, Cara Owens, Kyle Sherman, with Local 72-147 officers Stewart Williams and Aaron Pino and Local Counsel Kevin Case.