After seven months of negotiation, the Philadelphia Orchestra has struck a one-year deal. This is not good practice.
Company press release:
(Philadelphia, October 19, 2015)—The Philadelphia Orchestra Association announces the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement with the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Local 77 of the American Federation of Musicians, effective September 14, 2015, through September 11, 2016. The agreement was ratified by the Board of Directors of the Association and by the membership of the Orchestra.
Under the terms of the ratified one-year agreement, annual salaries for the musicians will rise 3%. In addition, the musicians’ healthcare will move to a consumer-driven plan, with the Association investing in health savings accounts for each musician. This change, brought about because of national healthcare cost trends, both ensures that individual musicians will have equivalent access to health providers, and the Association will achieve meaningful savings. The Association will audition for one position during the course of this contract, reducing the hiring freeze implemented in 2010 from 10 to nine positions. Some changes have also been made to contractual rules governing travel to reduce costs and ensure the viability of future international touring.
Philadelphia Orchestra Association Chairman Richard B. Worley said, “We appreciate the tireless efforts of both parties in achieving this contract. We all share a commitment to assuring the future of The Philadelphia Orchestra and are working toward the same goal—to keep this institution healthy for the next generation to also enjoy.”