The orchestra in the Broadway production of 'Oklahoma!' (Photo: Little Fang Photo)

Local 802, the union representing musicians playing on Broadway and elsewhere, announced a new collective bargaining agreement Wednesday that entitles Broadway musicians to wage increases and greater healthcare contributions. 

The three-year contract, negotiated between Local 802 and the Broadway League,  provides a wage increase of 3.5% for each year of the contract — the largest wage increase for Broadway musicians in 20 years. Musicians will also receive a 23% increase in healthcare contributions and a new 401(k) plan, which is of particular importance to the musicians’ union as it faces cuts to its underfunded pension plan.   

Additionally, the new contract allows orchestrators to also serve as conductors or instrumentalists on Broadway shows, provided that they had worked on that production before it came to Broadway (either in the off-Broadway production or for at least 50% of a an out-of-town run). This issue was in contention after “Be More Chill” orchestrator Charlie Rosen and “Hadestown” orchestrator Michael Chorney were both in violation of the old rule by playing in the pit. 

The contract negotiations, which have been going on for four months, were helmed by Jan Mullen, chair of 802’s Broadway Negotiating Committee. They were under the leadership of Adam Krauthamer, the new president of Local 802, who began his tenure in January after running on a platform of reforming the union’s pension plan. 

“The Broadway League knows that a big part of their success is the ability to attract and retain the best musicians in the world,” said Adam Krauthamer, President of Local 802. “With this contract, they have solidified that bond.”

This is the first time the League has provided a retirement plan to Broadway musicians — though the plan will only receive contributions from the employee, not from the employers. It comes after Krauthamer, and others who ran on his platform, had been warning members about the declining status of the union’s pension, which is controlled by the American Federation of Musicians and Employer’s Pension Fund.

“The Broadway League is happy to have reached an agreement with Local 802. The League was successful in updating many long-term practices and work rules to more effectively serve our members and community,” the League said in a statement to Broadway News.

The healthcare contribution is split into a 15% increase the first year and 3.5% increases for each year after.

This agreement will be in place until March 3, 2022.