Columbus Symphony And Musicians Reach Progressive New Three-Year Agreement

Columbus Symphony And Musicians Reach Progressive New Three-Year AgreementThe Columbus Symphony (CSO) board, musicians, and the Central Ohio Federation of Musicians, Local 103, have agreed on a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement that will go into effect September 1, 2018.

Under the new agreement, the 47 full-time musicians of the Columbus Symphony will receive a 3% raise with an additional week of work added in the second year, and another week of work added in the third year. Ultimately, the musicians will be guaranteed 28 weeks of work. In addition, the musicians will perform one benefit concert per year for the next three years.

"The Columbus Symphony is committed to providing the community with the quality institution it deserves," stated Lisa Barton, CSO Board Chair. "As evidenced by the final agreement, it is obvious both sides of the table understand what it takes to do that, and this is the next step in fortifying the organization's stability while progressing to a new level of cooperation, community partnership, and music excellence."

In addition, full-time musicians will have access to employer group health insurance for the duration of the three-year agreement. This is a continuation of the benefits extended to the musicians beginning April 1, 2018, a benefit that the CSO put in place prior to the negotiation of a new contract.

"This new agreement speaks volumes about the hard-won progress the Columbus Symphony has made to stabilize itself as an organization, allowing it to now move forward and begin rewarding those committed to its long-term success," said Doug Fisher, President of the Central Ohio Federation of Musicians, Local 103. "We look forward to all the exciting things ahead for the Columbus Symphony and are proud to be a part of it."

"Our musicians live and work in central Ohio and it is important for us as a board to ensure that we provide them with financial stability," stated Barton.

"The Columbus Symphony board, staff, and musicians came together under the mantra of 'one CSO' to negotiate this contract, and the result is an agreement that positions the entire organization for success in meeting and exceeding our goal of serving the needs of a growing central Ohio community," said Denise Rehg, executive director of the Columbus Symphony.

In the recently concluded 2017-18 season, the Columbus Symphony performed 243 concerts and programs for more than 158,000 people, a 7% increase in the number of concert and program performances and a 9% increase in attendance from the 2016-17 season.

"I have had the opportunity to observe the growth and development of the Columbus Symphony over the past few years, and feel this new agreement truly shows the organization's commitment to serving the central Ohio community," said Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council. "I strongly believe in the value a professional symphony brings to a city, and when all facets come together with that common mission in mind, it creates an environment poised for success for many years to come."

The 2018-19 season is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. The CSO also appreciates the support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city's artists and arts organizations since 1973, and the Kenneth L. Coe and Jack Barrow, and Mr. and Mrs. Derrol R. Johnson funds of The Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the benefit of all its citizens.

Founded in 1951, the Columbus Symphony is the longest-running, professional symphony in central Ohio. Through an array of innovative artistic, educational, and community outreach programming, the Columbus Symphony is reaching an expanding, more diverse audience each year. This season, the Columbus Symphony will share classical music with more than 175,000 people in central Ohio through concerts, radio broadcasts, and special programming. For more information, visit

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