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Grand Rapids Symphony & Musicians Ratify 2-Year Agreement

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Agreement restores pre-pandemic pay levels with path for future increases.

Grand Rapids Symphony & Musicians Ratify 2-Year Agreement

The Grand Rapids Symphony and the Grand Rapids Federation of Musicians Local 56 have agreed to a new two-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The agreement follows a previous five-year CBA (extended one year) set to expire on August 31, 2021. The new agreement, ratified on September 1, will carry the Grand Rapids Symphony through the 2022-23 season.

"We are pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has unanimously approved a two-year collective bargaining agreement with the musicians' union that is both fiscally responsible and ensures that the Symphony's tradition of musical excellence will continue," said Luis Avila, Grand Rapids Symphony Board Chairperson. "We are excited to be able to support our talented musicians in this way, and feel that this is an extraordinary accomplishment given the unprecedented last 18 months and the uncertainty we still face with the pandemic. The entire Symphony family can now focus exclusively on music and an exceptional 2021-2022 season."

The agreement provides restoration of a 5% pay reduction implemented for a portion of the COVID- 19 crisis. Besides bringing wages back up to pre-pandemic levels, it also includes an additional 2% increase beginning in January 2023.

Under the previous CBA, the Grand Rapids Symphony employed 47 full-time musicians and approximately 30 part-time musicians. During the term of the agreement, the core orchestra position structure will be strengthened.

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Grand Rapids Symphony, musicians ratify 2-year contract - page 2

said Mary Tuuk Kuras, President & CEO of the

Grand Rapids Symphony

Between the months of February and August, Symphony leadership met with members of the Musician Negotiation Committee in a series of discussions of economic and non-economic terms to create a successor agreement.

Musician Negotiation Committee co-chairs Barbara Corbató and Mark Buchner provided the following statement on behalf of their committee. "The Musicians of the Grand Rapids Symphony and American Federation of Musicians Local 56 are pleased with the outcome of this agreement. These negotiations were collaborative and productive and will set up the organization for success. We appreciate the support of the GRS Board and our community leaders as we move forward with live performances and in-person audiences."

In addition to the Grand Rapids Symphony's own concert series, which includes the ten-concert Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series and the six-concert Fox Motors Pops Series in DeVos Performance Hall, the orchestra also performs with Grand Rapids Ballet and Opera Grand Rapids.


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