Milwaukee Musicians See 401(k) Match Suspended

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has suspended its 401(k) match until August 31 as part of a broader cost-cutting move.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said 9% salary cuts and the match suspension should shave $960,000 from the organization’s latest budget.

The newspaper said minimum pay is now set at $54,600, down from the current $60,000. Every administrative staff member will take two weeks of unpaid leave this summer, which translates to a 3.7% pay cut. An additional 3% cut is coming in the next fiscal year.

According to the newspaper, the orchestra also canceled a round of summer concerts and diverted U.S. Bank’s summer sponsorship to a regular subscription concert and reduced a planned recording project for a separate $675,000 saving.

“Since October, when the recession really began to settle in, we started taking steps to realign expenses to match our revenue forecasts,” Mark Hanson, the orchestra’s president and executive director, told the newspaper. “Our goal is to adjust our expense structure without our audience noticing. So far, I think we’re succeeding, because we’re still on track to increase ticket and contributed revenue.”