News Release
July 25, 2019
St. John’s, NL

 NSO and CFM 820 Finalize Historic First Collective Agreement for Symphony Players

The Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra working together with NSO musicians and Canadian Federation of Musicians Local 820 have signed their first collective agreement following productive and positive negotiations over the last six months.

“We are delighted to have successfully concluded these negotiations,” said Paul McDonald, NSO Board Chair. “With this agreement we have solidified a great partnership with our musicians – one which will increase the professionalism of our orchestra and attract the best musicians to live and work here in St. John’s. This will truly bring benefits to the entire community and province.”

The three-year agreement includes enhancements to compensation, pension contributions to the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada, leave and tenure provisions. The contract will come into effect September 1, 2019 and will run until August 31, 2022.

“This was a great process to be a part of. We were pleased to see the unified commitment of the players and management to create an agreement that protects the rights of our dedicated symphony musicians,” said Rozalind MacPhail, Executive Director of Local 820. “The NSO is leading the way in establishing a high standard of professionalism in our province’s music community.”

The process to move toward this agreement has been unfolding for over a decade. Beginning in 2009 through the work of the NSO’s Peter Gardner and CFM 820’s Past President, Dan Rubin, then continuing in 2016 with CFM 820’s Past President Greg Bruce, this agreement will provide long-term benefit for NSO players and management.

“The committee studied a dozen agreements from other orchestras across the country, including our own former Player’s Agreement” said Carole Bestvater, Chair of the Players’ Negotiating Committee. “We discussed things that were working and things which needed improvement as well as researched national standards that we felt were important for our organization to adopt. We had a great positive rapport when working with our management team, and were able to agree on a contract which really moves our organization forward for both players and management.”

Bestvater was joined on the Players’ Negotiating Committee by Kathy Conway-Ward, Jill Dawe, Nicole Hand, Kate Read, Theo Weber and Chris Williams. The negotiations were carried out with the assistance of CFM Local 820 Executive Director Rozalind MacPhail and Richard Sandals of CFM Symphonic Services Division. NSO management was represented by Hugh Donnan, CEO and NSO board members Heather McKinnon (Past Chair) and Tom Hickey (Vice Chair).


About the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra

Established in 1962 and incorporated in 1979, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra is an 81-member orchestra and is by far the largest single employer of professional musicians in the province.  

Canadian Federation of Musicians – Local 820
CFM 820, the provincial Local of the Canadian Federation of Musicians, was founded by local musicians several decades ago to represent the rights and interests of professional musicians in our province.


Media Contacts

Hugh Donnan, CEO                                           Carole Bestvater, VP
Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra            CFM Local 820                     
hd@nsomusic.ca                                              cfm820@gmail.com

(709) 722-4441 (office)                                   (709) 722-8005 (office)

(709) 689-7237 (cell)                                       (709) 895-7899 (cell)

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