Pay cuts for Philadelphia Orchestra musicians to continue through Sept. 2021

Posted on: October 16, 2020

“With live concerts and the ticket revenue that comes with them gone for the foreseeable future, pay cuts for musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra will continue for a year under the terms of a new pact,” writes Peter Dobrin in Thursday’s (10/15) Philadelphia Inquirer. “The deal, approved this week by the orchestra’s members, ties pay in part to the fortunes of the organization. Compensation for musicians will be reduced to 75% of normal pay retroactively to Sept. 12 and through the middle of March. Then, between March 15 and Sept. 12, 2021, pay could be lowered or slightly increased depending on the condition of the orchestra’s COVID-battered finances. The new pay cuts replace a straight 20% reduction put in place April 1, so musicians had been earning 80% of normal pay. The new cuts are calculated based on 2019-20 wage levels; a small, previously scheduled raise during the current season won’t happen. ‘We needed to do something to help,’ said double bass player David Fay, chairman of the members’ committee…. ‘This temporary agreement … shows great responsibility and shared sacrifice in light of an incredibly difficult situation,’ said orchestra president and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky…. The addendum to the musicians’ existing contract also suspends auditions.”