Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric and Musicians Union Settle Orchestra Contract

Press Release Letterhead
For Immediate Release:
Friday, December 4, 2009

Lyric and Musicians Union Settle Orchestra Contract

Terms of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new contract with the Chicago Federation of Musicians were released late this afternoon following completion of negotiations and ratification by the orchestra members.

The new contract covers three seasons: 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12. It guarantees orchestra members 26 weeks of employment in the first year of the contract, with a reduction to 24 weeks in the second and third years.

Annual salaries for orchestra members essentially remain unchanged for the term of the contract.

The weekly wage is frozen at current levels for 2009/10, with an increase of 4% in the second and third years. However, because of the two-week reduction for 2010/11 and 2011/12, orchestra salaries are essentially frozen.

Other guarantees include the continuation of the Bucksbaum Family Lyric Opera Radio Broadcasts through the 2011/12 season.

William Mason, general director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, stated that the contract terms “were prudent and reasonable in a time of great economic challenge.”  

Gary Matts, president of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, said, “The Chicago Federation of Musicians and the musicians of the Lyric Opera Orchestra are pleased an agreement has been reached. We believe this demonstrates how people of good will can work together and compromise for the common good.”