It Might Be An Eventful Week For Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Orchestra Association (POA) is entering the next stage in their will-we, won’t-we future. If you haven’t been keeping tabs over the past few weeks, here is what has been going on: the musicians’ union filed a request to verify the POA’s current financial condition, the POA submitted an objection to that request, and organization’s strategic plan was made available…

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Philadelphia Pensions: Then And Now

Hopefully, you caught Peter Dobrin’s article in the 6/27/2011 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer which examines the Philadelphia Orchestra Association’s (POA) request to be relieved from their musician pension obligations via their bankruptcy petition. Dobrin provides an enormous amount of insight into current events an additional item worth considering here is the POA’s historic position on those pensions…

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Addressing The Heath Care Quagmire Head-On

Ron Spigelman posted an excellent article over at Sticks and Drones on 3/17/2008 which examines the frustrating issue of heath care benefits. The article is particularly thought provoking in that Ron examines the issue of health care benefits from the long tail perspective by focusing on the mid to smaller budget professional ensembles. In particular, Ron recounts some discussions he had with musicians of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra while there recently as a guest conductor and that the conversation focused primarily on auditions and heath care coverage…

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Sorting Out Pension Issues In Seattle

Over the past few weeks, the Seattle newspapers have been reporting on growing labor tensions between the Seattle Symphony and their musicians over the status of their pension fund. So far, details have been slim but the issue of orchestras and pension funding should be of the highest priority for every professional ensemble. Granted, it may not be a very sexy topic but left unattended, an underfunded pension plan can wreck long term havoc on an institution. As such, this article takes a closer look into Seattle’s issues…

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Parallels Among Pension Problems

I hope everyone out there who cares about orchestras is taking the time to follow the airline industry pension crisis.  It’s been captivating to follow the recent round of Senate Finance Committee hearings which are attempting to gather information so Congress can determine how it should update pension-funding rules. In a nutshell, the problem is some of the largest corporations in the country don’t have enough money in their defined benefit …

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