New 4-year Contract Ratified for Seattle's Ballet Orchestra

By Tom Dziekonski

On December 22, 2012, the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra ratified a 4 year contract, retroactive to July 2012 and extending till 6/30/2016. The vote was 50-1.

Highlights of the agreement include a 2% raise starting Jan 1, 2013 in its first season with a season guarantee of 85 services which includes 70% of Nutcracker. The scale rises 1.5% on July 1, 2013 in the second season. Season 3 features a breakthrough guarantee of all Ballet performances in the 6-rep season, with full strings in Nutcracker, all in lieu of a wage increase, followed by a 3.5% raise in the fourth season.

  • Allowances for personal leave remain the same except for an expansion of the sick leave definition to meet new city regulations.
  • All benefit levels remain unchanged.
  • Seniority was reformulated, based on $30 for each year of service, increasing annually at the same rate as wages, payable commencing with the 5th year of service with a 25 year cap.
  • Educational service definitions were expanded to help incorporate greater use of the orchestra.
  • Musicians can receive the Section 132 Commuter tax benefit when choosing to park at their own expense in the Seattle Center garage.

Negotiating for the Ballet orchestra were orchestra members Matt Kocmieroski, Karla Flygare and Tom Dziekonski. Representing Ballet management were David Brown, Executive Director, Michael Ann Mullikin, Company Manager and Terrie Flaming, Director of Human Resources. Legal counsel was not present at the table.

The negotiating team wishes to acknowledge the patience, understanding and feedback of the orchestra and the supportive artistic vision of the Ballet management.