Philadelphia Orchestra approves 1-year musicians contract

AP News
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Posted: Oct 19, 2015 2:50 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Orchestra has approved a one-year contract that gives its musicians a 3 percent raise.

The deal approved Monday increases the size of the ensemble from 95 to 96 members, while saving on health care costs.

The orchestra, which emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2011, says it will invest in health savings accounts for each musician. Changes were also made to travel rules to ensure the viability of future international touring.

Musicians approved the deal last week even though the union negotiating committee didn't formally recommend it.

The negotiating committee had said talent would go elsewhere unless Philadelphia's contract kept pace with other top orchestras.

The deal through next September pushes the musicians' base salary to $2,472 per week.

By then, the New York Philharmonic's base pay will hit $2,824 a week.