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Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Assists Opera Negotiations

Monday, August, 15, 2011

Joint Contract After Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Participates


The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, an agency of the U.S. Government that assists with arbitration and mediation needs when labor disputes arise, has helped to settle a contract between the San Francisco Opera Association and the American Federation of Musicians Local 6.  The two have come to agreement on the terms of a three-year contract.  The agreement allows for the weekly pay rate of musicians to rise and provides them with 28 weeks of paid employment each year, a figure that includes paid vacation time. 


The 69 members of the union, in turn, agreed to terms that would allow the Opera Association to reduce expenses using flexible means.  The contract negotiations required three months of mediation.  Pay increases for musicians under the terms of the agreement will begin with a two percent raise this year and three percent in subsequent years of the contract.  Other terms will allow union members to migrate to the healthcare plan in use by administration of the San Francisco Opera and adjustments to the provisions for taking leave.


Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service a Key Player


The Commissioner of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Joel Schaffer, was present for the final two days of negotiations when last-minute language was being firmed up for final review.  The service provides labor mediation assistance across the United States and works to settle contracts in a way that is equitable for both sides.