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August 19, 2014

Both Sides Make Fiscal Concessions in Metropolitan Opera Labor Deal

Metropolitan Opera musicians and singers accepted two pay cuts in the coming year while management agreed to trim millions of dollars in expenses under tentative labor agreements between the company and its two biggest unions, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal report.

The federally mediated four-year deals, announced early Monday morning after weeks of labor tension and lockout threats, include an immediate 3.5-percent cut in base salary for chorus and orchestra members and a like reduction in six months. Union workers will get a 3-percent hike in the contract's final year.

Met officials, wrestling with a $2.8-million budget deficit, had sought much deeper cuts in costs, largely through changes in work rules for rehearsal and overtime pay. The new agreement leaves the existing rules intact. Management agreed to cut administrative costs to match workers' losses and to eliminate a $11.25-million in other expenses for each year of the deal.