Long Beach Symphony Association and Musicians Union Agree on New Contract

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The Long Beach Symphony Association and Local Musicians Union 353 recently announced that they have successfully negotiated a new two-year contract agreement effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016. The labor agreement, approved unanimously by the Association’s Board of Directors provides an increase in rate of pay for all 83 professional musician positions and a guaranteed 37 services per year, the same as in this current season. Services include the Symphony’s six Classical and five POPS! concerts as well as its highly regarded education programs and youth concerts that currently serve more than 24,000 students annually in Long Beach and Wilmington.

Negotiations officially began on April 1, 2014 and concluded on May 7, 2014 after 5 sessions totaling 18 hours of negotiations. Kelly Ruggirello, Executive Director of the Symphony, was the lead negotiator, assisted by the Symphony’s Director of Operations, Peggy Magee and Manager of Operations and Education, Lindsay Pearson.

“The remarkable financial improvement that we have achieved over the past year has helped build the musicians’ confidence in us, and that contributed greatly to the positive negotiation outcome,” stated Ms. Ruggirello. “The negotiation process was based on mutual respect and was designed to secure the success of this beloved institution.”

President of Local 353 American Federation of Musicians, Tracy Wells stated, “Our Negotiations Committee of Orchestra musicians and Union Officers are pleased to have arrived at this mutually beneficial contract with Symphony Management. The Symphony musicians have overwhelmingly ratified it. We look forward to continuing an excellent relationship with the new (since 2013) management team, headed by Kelly Ruggirello, and to a brighter future for the Symphony – beginning now.”

The Symphony’s 80th season will highlight its professional symphonic musicians performing and soloing in 15 concerts led by nationally-renown guest conductors. The Symphony also begins its search for a new Music Director for its Classical concerts. Opening Night will kick off the season on October 4, 2014, with Grammy-winning guest conductor, John Demain, and piano soloist, Christopher Taylor, in a performance of Copland, Grieg, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade at the Terrace Theater. Opening night of its POPS! Series is expected to attract nearly 4000 patrons for a celebration of California Surf music and culture featuring Papa Du Run Run and crowd-pleasing conductor, David Benoit. Long Beach Symphony’s POPS! concerts are held in the newly upgraded Pacific Ballroom of the Long Beach Arena, which allows for over 300 ten-top tables where audience members are encouraged to bring a picnic and socialize before and during the concerts.

During the summer months, Long Beach Symphony will educate and entertain young children throughout the City through its Instrument Petting Zoo sessions at 7 neighborhood libraries, the first of which takes place June 14 at Brewitt Library. For further information about the Symphony’s 2014-15 concert season or to purchase a subscription, please visit www.lbso.org or call 562-436-3203.

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