Speculation about new contract at Philadelphia Orchestra

Posted on: March 1, 2011

In Tuesday’s (3/1) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin speculates about a new musicians’ contract at the Philadelphia Orchestra. Dobrin notes that "Representatives from the management and labor sides of the table declined to speak on the record about talks between the Philadelphia Orchestra Association and Local 77 of the American Federation of Musicians." Citing unidentified sources, Dobrin writes that management is seeking pay cuts in the new labor agreement: "Players-who could see a 20 percent cut in base pay and the loss of 10 positions-are taking the threat seriously. They would like any eventual deal to include a commitment that management will not seek bankruptcy protection, whose stigma they feel would both damage the orchestra’s reputation and dampen fund-raising and ticket sales. … Philadelphia’s two sides have been meeting to reach a deal on salary, pension, work rules, size of the ensemble, and other matters as the orchestra’s leadership responds to sagging attendance and a budget gap that administrators and board members variously have stated as being from $7 million to $14 million annually. … While seeking to reduce operating costs, orchestra leaders are simultaneously courting a group of donors who could help increase contributed income with annual support and gifts to the endowment."

Posted March 1, 2011