New Agreement for Wichita Falls Symphony
Musicians of the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra have ratified a two year successor agreement with the WFSO. After years of depending on single engagement contracts to engage Local 72-147 members to perform with the WFSO, the Union entered into a full one-year collective bargaining agreement representing all orchestra members beginning in June 2018.
The ratification of this successor agreement represents an important step for the life of this bargaining unit. Perhaps most importantly, this agreement defines for the first time an official roster of core musicians for the orchestra, which is based on the hiring history for the organization.
There was, however, difficulty coming to agreement over proposed schedule changes pursued by Management which would affect the ability of musicians to accept work, and would result in less overall compensation to some musicians due to the restructure.
In the end, Management agreed to withdraw its proposal and return to the status quo for this year. The Musicians have agreed to continue discussing the topic, that is, to meet with the Association before the end of the 2019-20 Season to discuss and negotiate future seasons’ rehearsal scheduling possibilities, with any agreement subject to ratification by the musicians.
At the end of the day, the Musicians agreed to a two year contract, raising the travel reimbursement to $146.12 (3.3%) for both years of the agreement, and a wage increase of 1.5% in the second year.
“We believe that the setting of the musician roster based on the history of the orchestra and its hiring is an important accomplishment, and has been determined by the fairest process possible. This alone helps to solidify the identity of the group, helps us to better represent members’ needs, and assures our musicians job security,” said Union President Stewart Williams.
Special thanks go to the WFSO Negotiation Committee consisting of Dwight Anderson, Kristin Van Cleve, Nancy Cook, James Sims, and Susan Younghans (chair).