Seattle Symphony musicians sign new deal

The Seattle Symphony & Opera Players’ Organization (SSOPO) has signed a new deal that will see players’ salaries increase by 12% over the next four years. Base salary will incrementally rise from USD98,100 to USD109,745. The players have also signed up to a new pension plan through consultancy firm Milliman.

In a press release, Seattle Symphony stated that: “This unique pension plan agreement came about when the parties agreed to explore alternatives to the pension plan design to reduce financial risk for the employer and increase benefits for musicians.”

Said SSOPO chair Alexander White: “This contract extension is not just about the next four years; it lays the groundwork for our long-term future. Along with the pension changes, these salary increases continue to define the Seattle Symphony as a place where musicians want to come and spend their professional lives – and know they are taken care of in retirement.”

Added Seattle Symphony board chair Leslie Jackson Chihuly: “From the outset of these negotiations, we wanted to think differently about our pension, and this agreement is yet another positive outcome of an aligning of values and a profound shift in culture which we have worked diligently to achieve.”

The new contract runs until 31 August 2022.