Musicians and management reach agreement after 17 months of negotiations.

Musicians of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra will receive a 7 per cent pay increase, putting an end to a 17-month dispute over their wages.

The 70 members of the orchestra took collective industrial action last year, delaying the start of some performances by 15 minutes and donning bright t-shirts printed with the slogan “Great cities have great orchestras” instead of “concert blacks” for the opening of the 2010 Schumann Festival.

The rupture protested the fact that players were paid significantly less than those in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony. They have sought the cost-of-living pay equivalent of the MSO, bringing their salaries to 90 per cent of the earnings of their Melbourne counterparts.

By the same token however, federal funding for the ASO in the 2009 financial year was the lowest of all the major symphony orchestras: $7.3 million compared to the Sydney Symphony’s $12.8 million.

ASO management initially offered a 3 per cent indexed rise with a $2000 one-off bonus payment, a proposal that was rejected.

Following extended negotiations, a new Enterprise Agreement has been finalised this week, endorsed by the players in a secret ballot. Levels of remuneration...