“Musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra are negotiating to regain their place as among the highest-paid members of U.S. orchestras, while management has offered minimal raises in talks over a new contract,” reports Peter Dobrin in Thursday’s (9/8) Philadelphia Inquirer. “Players called the initial five-year offer, particularly in light of proposed work-rule changes, ‘regressive’ and one that ‘demands concessions from the musicians,’ such as working more Sunday concerts. Management characterized its first offer as coming ‘very early in the process,’ said Ryan Fleur, executive vice president for orchestra advancement.… ‘We have time on the calendar, and we’re planning on rolling up our sleeves and being creative and coming to a good solution.’ The Philadelphia Orchestra Association’s current pact with its musicians expires at 12:01 a.m. Monday. Talks are scheduled for Thursday through Sunday. The first concert of the season … is slated for Sept. 21. The opening session for a new contract was not held until the orchestra was [performing] in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., last month, with a second in Philadelphia Aug. 30. The initial offer from management calls for no raises in the first two years, and 1 percent raises in each of the following three years, according to players.”

Posted September 8, 2016