Strike's Over: Philadelphia Orchestra and Musicians Reach Contract Deal With Administration

The musicians walked out on their Opening Night performance Friday after talks broke down

The Philadelphia Orchestra will be making music once again as its musicians and the administration reached a deal to end a three-day strike on Sunday.

John Koen, a cellist and spokesman for the musician group, said members voted around 5 p.m. to ratify a new contract.

The three-year deal includes a 2 percent increase for the first year and 2.5 percent increases for the following two years, Koen said.

Overall, the increase gives members an extra 1 percent of pay by the contract's end compared to what the orchestra's administration previously offered.

The musicians walked out on their Opening Night performance Friday after talks broke down. They picketed along Broad Street as concert-goers filed out of the Kimmel Center. Concerts scheduled for Saturday and Sunday were also canceled.

The musicians union has complained that members are compensated much less than players in comparable ensembles like the Boston Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony. The base salary for Philadelphia Orchestra musicians under the past offer was set at $127,608 a year.

Koen said the new contract will still leave musicians underpayed compared to other major American orchestras.

The Philadelphia Orchestra filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011 and emerged a year later. The 116-year-old institution is one of America's oldest and most acclaimed orchestras.

"The Philadelphia Orchestra Association has indicated to us that it will be engaging in new methods to enhance the position of the Orchestra in the community and to reach new donors. The musicians have committed to working with the Association in these endeavors," Koen wrote in a statement.

The orchestra will get back to performing Thursday with Audience Appreciation Day concerts.

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