The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Photo by Jeff Fusco.

In Tuesday’s (9/19) Philadelphia Inquirer, Rita Giordano writes, “The Philadelphia Orchestra’s musicians boarded buses bound for a scheduled North Carolina performance tour ‘under protest’ on Tuesday, despite what their Local 77 leaders called stalled contract talks on Monday, according to a union statement. The orchestra’s planned performances at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Wednesday and Thursday are the musicians’ first since their contract expired on September 10. They had already taken a strike authorization vote last month. In their statement, the orchestra members of the Philadelphia Musicians Union said they had given Philadelphia Orchestra – Kimmel Center Inc. [POKC] management their assurance they would not strike this week’s tour … However, before they got on the buses for the tour that will kick off Carolina Performing Arts’ new season, the union accused their bosses with not bargaining in good faith on the demand for increased pay for full time and substitute musicians, better retirement benefits, and other workplace issues…. POKC spokesperson Ashley Berke said orchestra management’s offer of a 13.5% pay increase plus a $10,000 signing bonus, along with other benefits. was ‘a strong offer’ … ‘We deeply value the musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra and remain eager to bring this process to a positive resolution that improves the livelihoods of the musicians … within the economic realities of our organization,’ Berke said.”