Musicians, orchestra continue labor talks beyond Sept. 12

Musicians and management of the Philadelphia Orchestra have agreed to continue talking for an unspecified period beyond the end of the current labor deal, which had been set to expire at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

The negotiating committee for players updated the orchestra's rank-and-file membership late Friday on the play-and-talk development, which does not formally extend the contract to a specific date, but keeps musicians working under the current terms. An initial offer of a new five-year contract called for no raises in the first two years, and 1 percent raises in each of the following three years.

No further negotiating sessions are scheduled.

"We're not very close at the moment, but are going to allow some time to let both parties figure out how to get close, and we are optimistic we can be closer in a couple of weeks," said cellist John Koen, chairman of the members' committee.

"We have more work to do on an agreement that is both fair and fiscally sound, but there is a genuinely collaborative spirit," said Ryan Fleur, executive vice president for orchestra advancement.

The first concert of the orchestra's 2016-17 season is a free performance for college students Sept. 21, with the first subscription concert the following night.

pdobrin@phillynews.com