Grand Rapids Symphony, musicians strech new contract

April 5, 2016 - Picnic Time

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand Rapids Symphony and a Grand Rapids Federation of Musicians authorized a five-year, common negotiate agreement that raises compensate and partially restores employer-funded retirement contributions for a orchestra’s 80 members.

The agreement that will lift a Grand Rapids Symphony by a 90th anniversary deteriorate in 2019-20 maintains a benefaction 40-week opening season, preserves a stream element of musicians, and creates no changes to a orchestra’s health insurance.

The agreement finale in Aug 2020 introduces seniority compensate to commend musicians’ years of service, commencement with a 2016-17 deteriorate opening in September.

The Grand Rapids Symphony has 50 full-time, engaged positions with 3 positions now hold open, and about 30 part-time positions on a roster.

The new agreement outlines efforts to lift additional supports to assistance supplement full-time musicians to a ensemble, a growth that violinist Diane Helle, co-chair of a traffic committee, described as “extraordinary and exciting.”

“The musicians are pleased, after months of talks with a Grand Rapids Symphony Society, that a common prophesy for a band includes a joining to boost a series of full-time musicians, stability a sparkling work of building a good band that this village deserves,” Helle said.

The Grand Rapids Symphony behaving during a DeVos Performance Hall in downtown Grand Rapids.  

Having a five-year agreement in place is good news for a whole village of Grand Rapids, pronounced Kate Pew Wolters, president of a Grand Rapids Symphony’s house of directors.

“As a city consistently famous nationally as one that is colourful and growing, we count a Grand Rapids Symphony as one of a biggest informative assets,” pronounced Wolters. “The roles that a musicians play, not only on a stage, though as contributing members of a community, can be seen in a schools, as tutors and as mentors.”

The harmony has an annual bill of $10 million, for a mercantile year that runs Sep by August.

Musicians represented by a American Federation of Musicians, Local 56, validated a agreement on Saturday, Apr 2. The Grand Rapids Symphony’s Board of Directors gave unanimous capitulation on Monday, Apr 4.

Talks lasted 11 months, though a outcome is a labor agreement that “represents a common joining to allege a work of a good orchestra,” pronounced Grand Rapids Symphony President Peter Kjome.

“The successful end of a negotiations will assistance a harmony and a glorious musicians continue to heighten a village during a high turn of excellence, while ancillary ongoing efforts to assure a orchestra’s long-term strength and certain direction,” Kjome said.

The new agreement follows a four-year common negotiate agreement sealed in Sep 2011 that lapsed Aug. 31 2015. The prior agreement froze musicians’ salary for a 2011-12 deteriorate though supposing for compensate increases of 2 percent in any of a subsequent dual seasons and a 3 percent compensate lift this past season.

Though a Grand Rapids Symphony began a 2015-16 deteriorate but a contract, operations continued underneath terms of a prior agreement while discussions went on in a background.

The new agreement includes a 1 percent compensate lift in a initial year, rising to a 3 percent lift in a final year for a orchestra’s musicians.

Employer contributions to a musicians’ 401(k) will resume in September, commencement with a 2 percent contribution, rising to as most as 4 percent in a final year when matched with a 2 percent grant from a players.

The new seniority compensate component, that starts subsequent season, provides for additional compensate for all rehearsals and performances for musicians commencement with their sixth year of use and augmenting each year afterward.

Employer contributions to a 401(k) and a introduction of a seniority compensate complement are ordinarily found among ensembles whose musicians are members of a International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, that represents 52 of a largest orchestras in a United States, including a Grand Rapids Symphony.

“The musicians were aware of an attention customary given apropos members of ICSOM in 2013,” pronounced Paul Austin, a French hornist and co-chair of a traffic cabinet for a Grand Rapids Federation of Musicians.

“Having allied benefits, such as a lapse of a 401(k) grant and substantiating a seniority compensate complement will keep a GRS rival with counterpart orchestras and attract tip talent to join a Grand Rapids Symphony.”

The Grand Rapids Symphony performs about 40 exemplary and Pops concerts annually in further to performances with a Grand Rapids Ballet and Opera Grand Rapids.

The new labor agreement between a Grand Rapids Symphony and members of a Grand Rapids Federation of Musicians smooths a approach for a attainment of a orchestra’s subsequent song director. The hunt for a inheritor to song executive laureate David Lockington is approaching to cap within a subsequent integrate of months.

“The newly signed, five-year agreement will go a prolonged approach to attract a best of a best,” pronounced Mary Tuuk, a member of a GRS house of directors and co-chair of a hunt committee. “And it’ll pave a approach for a new epoch of artistic value and village vibrancy.”

Music of Queen, Beach Boys to title GR Symphony’s Picnic Pops

Shandra Martinez covers business and other topics for MLive. Email her or follow her on Twitter @shandramartinez.

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