That was good news announced Saturday at the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s season-opening concert in Kleinhans Music Hall. BPO musicians have reached an agreement with the orchestra’s management on a new six-year contract.
The contract was ratified by the musicians Thursday, the orchestra announced. The agreement is expected to be ratified by the BPO’s board later this month.
“This six-year agreement, the longest in the orchestra’s history, represents the shared commitment by the musicians and management of the BPO to the health, economic and artistic growth, and long-term prosperity of the organization,” BPO violist Janz Castelo said in a statement. Castelo is a member of the musicians’ negotiations committee.
He continued: “We look forward to continuing to bring music of the highest quality to audiences in Buffalo and beyond for many years to come.”
The agreement provides for wage increases totaling 12.6 percent over the term of the contract. It also introduces fee minimums for solo and education work outside of the orchestra. It provides for continuation of musician contribution to health insurance and current plan design. And it introduces a peer review committee and process for dismissals for artistic reasons.
Under the agreement, musicians’ minimum salaries will be raised from the current $48,120 to $54,177 in 2022. The contract maintains a schedule of 38 workweeks and two paid vacation weeks.
“I applaud the exemplary vision of our BPO musicians, which bespeaks their profound commitment to our community and their inspiring dedication to our audiences,” BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta stated, in announcing the contract. “Not only is this six-year agreement unprecedented, it ensures that we can strategize and plan for the future together, and continue to provide the highest level of artistic excellence to Buffalo and Western New York.”