The musicians of the Omaha Symphony ratified a remarkable, five-year collective bargaining agreement last week that will go into effect July 1 and run through the 2018-19 season. The agreement includes modest increases in wages over the next five years, as well as greater contributions by the Omaha Symphony Association towards the cost of musicians’ health insurance.
The symphony has had a five-year contract only once before, between 1995 and 2000. On average, labor contracts at orchestras the size of the Omaha Symphony are about three years.
Negotiations began more than eight months before the expiration of the current contract, and a tentative agreement was reached nearly three months early.