The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and Local 80 of the American Federation of Musicians have agreed to a two-year contract covering the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons with no cuts in the size or scope of the orchestra and with an increase in musician wages. The agreement maintains the number of rehearsals and performances and the number of musicians as in previous years. Musicians will receive approximately 2% in wage increases over the two-year agreement. It is the first contract to cover more than one year since 2008.
“We are delighted to reach this agreement, especially in light of the continuing bad news from other orchestras,” said Molly Sasse, CSO Executive Director. “We are off to a great start for our 2014/15 season, with our highest subscription ticket sales in more than six years and nearly sold-out houses for our opening concert on September 11 and our gala concert with Yo-Yo Ma in October. It’s a very exciting time for the CSO.”
“While we had deficits for the past two seasons, the size of the deficit dropped significantly last year. We’ve had a number of donors who have responded with significant new gifts in the past 12 months. We’ve also eliminated an administrative position and cut back on production expenses for the upcoming season as we work toward a balanced budget this year,” said Sasse.
Taylor Brown, principal bass for the CSO and orchestra representative, stated,“The Musicians of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera are pleased with the outcome of the most recent negotiations. We know the board and management are working hard to overcome the past seasons’ deficits by raising new funds and moving forward in a positive direction. We are dedicated to engaging the community through high quality, professional performances in Chattanooga and the surrounding areas. It is obvious that the management and board have recognized our dedication by continuing to invest in the musicians. We look forward to this season and hope that it is a season of growth for the organization, the audience, and, most of all, the artistry.”