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14 October 2018

Lyric Opera Reaches Multi-Year Labor Deal with Chicago Federation of Musicians, Ending Work Stoppage

LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO announced today that it has reached a multi-year labor agreement with with the Chicago Federation of Musicians Local #10-208, the union representing members of its orchestra. 

News of an agreement over the terms of new contract with CFM members came after the company was forced to cancel two performances—Thursday evening’s performance of La Bohème as well as Saturday's opening night performance of Idomeneo—following a work stoppage just days into Lyric Opera's sixty-fourth season. The company’s previous contract with CFM expired June 30. The next performance scheduled to take place at the Civic Opera House is now the October 17 performance of La Bohème.

Negotiations over a new contract with the Chicago Federation of Musicians broke down after Lyric Opera reportedly offered its orchestral players wage increases while seeking several concessions from the union that would have brought guaranteed pay into alignment with financial constraints facing the company. Reportedly at issue were proposed terms that would have amounted to a reduction in guaranteed work weeks; a reduction—through attrition and voluntary retirement—to the number of orchestral players guaranteed wages during each performance, regardless of whether they actually performed; and an end to guaranteed fees for eight, live radio broadcasts of Lyric Opera performances that will no longer occur as a result of lack of sponsorship. 

While Lyric Opera did not publicize details of the new labor agreement with CFM, the terms do extend through the company’s 2020-21 season. The contract still must be ratified by members of CFM. spacer 

More information can be found at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the OPERA NEWS Archives.

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