Toledo Symphony Board and Musicians Ratify New 5-Year Contract

Published Thursday, June 20, 2019 3:00 pm

The Board of Trustees of the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), the umbrella organization for the Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony, ratified a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with orchestra musicians at its year-end Board meeting on Wednesday, June 19. The musicians, members of the Toledo Federation of Musicians Local 15-286, approved the contract in voting conducted on Thursday, June 6.

The five-year contract takes effect on September 1, 2019, and provides for a 2 percent raise on base salaries in years one and two, a 3 percent raise in years three and four, and a 4 percent raise in year five of the contract. Musicians who contribute to the company’s 403b plan will also receive modest increases in the company match throughout the duration of the agreement, increasing from 1 percent to 2.5 percent. In addition, there will be an incremental increase in electronic media agreement (EMA) compensation paid to musicians for media use of performance recordings. The five-year contract covers 69 Contract Musicians, and extends to other musicians brought in to supplement the core group.

“Given that the previous agreement was a three-year contract, this new five-year agreement represents a deeper commitment from the Board of Trustees, orchestra musicians, and management to the long-term sustainability of live orchestral music and music education in our community,” says Pam Hershberger, Board Chair. “Toledo Symphony musicians make up an integral part of our growing and vibrant performing arts scene in Toledo. We look optimistically to the future.”

Board members, staff, and musicians of the Orchestra Committee participated in negotiations. “The team approached the table with a unified goal in mind: to ensure that our art form outlives us in this community,” says Zak Vassar, President & CEO. “After just completing our 75th anniversary season, under the guidance of our new artistic leader, Alain Trudel, we continue to build momentum. It is the perfect moment for all of us to come together and to lay the foundation for future growth. This five year agreement is a significant step in the right direction.”

Garth Simmons, Principal Trombonist of the TSO is the Chairman of the Orchestra Committee that participated in negotiations. “After a period of transition in both the administrative and artistic leadership of the TSO, the orchestra is on the upswing in terms of artistic quality, concert attendance, and community engagement,” says Simmons. “The new five-year agreement is a good step forward for the musicians and the organization. It reflects the continuing commitment of the board, management and musicians to plan for the long-term stability and growth of the orchestra.”

“Management and musicians working respectfully together over the last several months led to this new agreement,” says Vassar. “Trust, transparency, and compromise were critical to the negotiation process, and I am very pleased with the outcome.”

Entering its 76th season, the Toledo Symphony annually performs nearly 100 concerts in its Masterworks, Mozart in the Afternoon, Chamber, Pops, Family, Neighborhood, and Regional concerts. Additionally, musicians also perform in Toledo Ballet’s Nutcracker and Toledo Opera productions over the years.

The Toledo Symphony performs its main series performances at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater, the Stranahan Theater, the Valentine Theatre, the Toledo Club, and Rosary Cathedral. Across the region, the TSO has regularly performed in venues as far away as Bryan, Greenville, Fremont, and Tiffin in Ohio and as far north as Temperance, Michigan.

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The Toledo Symphony Orchestra is a community-supported organization of professional musicians and teachers who deliver quality performance and music education for all.

Formed in 1943 as The Friends of Music and incorporated in 1951 as the Toledo Orchestra Association, Inc., the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has grown from a core group of twenty-two part-time musicians to a regional orchestra that employs sixty-nine professional musicians who consider the Toledo Symphony their primary employer, as well as numerous extra players annually as repertoire demands.

On January 1, 2019, the Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony officially merged to form the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), a new non-profit organization dedicated to providing exceptional live music and dance performances and education for the region. This partnership promises to create new and invigorating programs, provide cost and revenue synergies in operations, and integrate the arts through shared educational missions.

The Toledo Symphony reaches more than 260,000 individuals annually through performances and education programs. The series concerts (Masterworks, Pops, Chamber, Mozart in the Afternoon, and Family Series) are the critical underpinning of the orchestra’s artistic mission and regularly draw people from 135 postal zip codes. Education programs, student performances, and community concerts are held in schools, neighborhood churches, performing arts centers, and community facilities throughout the region; many are offered at no charge or provided at a reduced fee to help expand participation.

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra has events all year round. View our upcoming performance schedule now.

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