St. Louis Symphony musicians reach 4-year deal

Monday, June 25, 2012 | 3:50 p.m. CDT; updated 6:02 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 25, 2012

ST. LOUIS — Union-backed musicians with the St. Louis Symphony have agreed to a new four-year contract, more than a year before the current contract expires.

The contract announced Monday by the symphony and the American Federation of Musicians Local 2-197 takes effect in September 2013 and goes through August 2017. It affects more than 90 musicians with the 132-year-old symphony, which is considered among the nation's oldest.

The deal calls for a 5 percent salary increase, bumping the yearly minimum income from nearly $82,000 in fiscal year 2013 to roughly $86,000 four years later. The pension contribution rate also will increase 1.5 percent during the contract.

Fred Bronstein, the symphony's president and chief executive, touted the deal's importance in providing extended labor stability, ensuring confidence in the ensemble's direction from key supporters "and the critical need to be able to plan responsibly and accurately from a financial perspective for the coming years."

"The musicians have spoken; we want stability for the St. Louis Symphony," said Timothy Myers, head of the musicians' negotiating committee. "We expect that this new collective bargaining agreement will lay a foundation for continuing the excellence that symphony musicians, concertgoers and the community expect."

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