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April 1, 2019IM -
For the first time in its history, The Philadelphia Orchestra musicians and management agreed to a new contract ahead of the deadline, which was September 16. Negotiations for the new four-year contract, which runs through September 10, 2023, began in February.
The contract will reinstate two more orchestra positions that were lost during the orchestra’s 2011 bankruptcy. One will be added in the 2020-2021 season and one will be added in the 2022-2023 season, bringing the orchestra’s complement to 97 players and two librarians. The contract also restores a 10th week of paid vacation lost during bankruptcy.
With a current base salary of $137,800, Philadelphia Orchestra musicians—members of Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA)—will see raises of 2% in the first year of the contract, 2.5% in both the second and third years, and 3% in the final year. There is potential for additional pay, if the organization achieves certain surplus benchmarks. No changes were made to pension benefits or health care.
Changes in work rules will allow for additional Sunday afternoon concerts and an increased number of weeks with two double-rehearsal days, in order to accommodate Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s schedule with The Metropolitan Opera.
“This early agreement is the fruit of years of work invested in strengthening relationships between all of the stakeholders in our organization. Negotiations were conducted in a straightforward and respectful manner throughout. We thank Local 77 President Joseph Parente and Attorneys Melvin S. Schwarzwald and James G. Porcaro,” says Orchestra Committee Chair William Polk. The Philadelphia Orchestra anticipates that the amicable contract will inspire confidence from donors and brighten fundraising prospects.