AGMA Ratifies Contract with the Metropolitan Opera

Published June 8, 2021   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

6/8/2021 – The AGMA Board of Governors has ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the Metropolitan Opera.

“Considering what the Met was originally publicly seeking in concessions, which was around 30%, this comprehensive agreement is the best resolution for all our members,” said Len Egert, National Executive Director of AGMA, and the co-lead negotiator of the Met/AGMA contract. “It was a balancing act, a give and take, but we continued to push the interests and needs of our Artists to the forefront of every conversation. We ensured that AGMA members who make their livelihood at the Met can continue to do so and that the Met as an institution can continue to attract and retain the best Artists in the world.”

The Met AGMA Negotiating Committee, which was made up of 36 AGMA Artists representing every category of AGMA working at the Metropolitan Opera, began negotiations in February.

“The 36-person negotiating committee, made up of a cross section of Met AGMA Artists, worked tirelessly for over four months, motivated by the desire to make tangible, systemic, and sustainable change at the opera house - to build a better Met,” said Ned Hanlon, Chair of the Met AGMA Negotiating Committee and Met Chorister.

The 4-year agreement was approved by union leadership after a tentative agreement was reached May 11 and following a shop vote of all work groups of AGMA Artists at the Met. Work groups include choristers, soloists, dancers, actors, stage directors, and stage managers.

The AGMA Met shop voted in favor of the agreement, 334-124. See below for the breakdown of the vote:

Regular Chorus619
Extra Chorus551
Staff Performers80
Stage Directors261
Stage Managers70

“In this contract, we achieved groundbreaking gains in the crucial area of diversity, equity and inclusion, contractual gains for every AGMA work group, as well as unprecedented provisions for soloists including upfront rehearsals payments,” said Egert. “We expect these gains to reverberate throughout the industry and change the operatic landscape for the better. Our members won’t be returning to the same stages as before, but ones that are more equal, just, and safe.”

The full scope of DEI proposals included in this new contract can be viewed in this video, which features the DEI Committee members of the Met AGMA Negotiating Committee.

AGMA will continue to advocate for its members and looks forward to seeing them safely return to their careers.