Philadelphia Orchestra musicians perform as contract negotiations continue

Posted on: September 22, 2015

“Musicians and management of the Philadelphia Orchestra have agreed to talk and play as negotiations continue over a new labor contract,” reports Peter Dobrin in Monday’s (9/21) Philadelphia Inquirer. “The expiring deal was one of steep cuts crafted in 2011 under supervision of U.S. Bankruptcy Court after the Philadelphia Orchestra Association filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. The pact was to have expired Sept. 13, but both sides agreed to an extension until 12:01 a.m. Sept. 28—just after a concert and Mass for Pope Francis’ visit, for which the orchestra is playing. Now, with the latest round of talks having ended Friday, players and Philadelphia Orchestra Association management have agreed to talk and play beyond that date and for an unspecified period. Officials from both sides declined to comment. Talks, which began in April, have yielded little progress, [several] sources said, and members of the full ensemble authorized a strike several weeks ago. In current talks, management has proposed a new contract with no raises, or minimal raises with cuts in health care, sources said…. Opening night of the orchestra’s 2015-16 season is Sept. 30…. Talks are expected to resume after the papal visit.”

There have been no updates this week from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where talks continue between musicians and management concerning the labor contract, which expired last week. CSO musicians are continuing to play during negotiations, and the orchestra opened its 125th season on September 17.

Posted September 22, 2015