Chicago Lyric deal: Musicians give up 4 jobs and 2 weeks work

Chicago Lyric deal: Musicians give up 4 jobs and 2 weeks work


norman lebrecht

October 15, 2018

The musicians have voted to accept the deal. It’s not a good one.

Here’s the musicians’ version, stripped of the bromides:

When we started bargaining in March, management was demanding pay cuts of up to 43%.  That was still on the table as recently as ten days ago.  The final agreement includes a reduction in the number of main opera season weeks from 24 to 22 and a reduction in the number of musicians, but those concessions are mitigated by more favorable terms we were able to obtain:

– There is now a 5.6% increase in weekly salary over the 3-year contract term.

– The 2019-20 season now includes a guarantee of five (5) additional weeks for the “Ring” cycle, outside of the 22-week main opera season.

– The orchestra size will be reduced by four instead of five musicians, delayed until the 2019-20 season.

– The Spring musical is now guaranteed to employ 37 members of the Orchestra, and the salary for the musicals increases significantly (by 6.6%).

– There are new guarantees regarding the hiring of Orchestra musicians for Joffrey Ballet productions beginning in 2020.

– Health care benefits are maintained as is; family leave is now 8 paid weeks; and there are numerous other improvements in working conditions.

UPDATE: Why the strike failed


  • Bill says:

    Did they lose the broadcasts as well?