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Pittsburgh On Strike

Musicians Reject Cuts to Pay, Benefits & Orchestra Size

In response to management’s demands for a 15% pay cut, a pension freeze, and reduction in the orchestra’s size, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) musicians went on strike today.

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After more than six months of contract negotiations, management presented a “last, best, and final” offer on September 18 that included:

  • Immediate 15% wage cuts, with only minor wage increases (2% and 3%) in each of the following two years.
  • Slashed pensions benefits in which musicians with less than 30 years of service would no longer accrue pension benefits and instead are switched to a 401k plan.
  • Reduced orchestra size to be unilaterally determined by management.

After receiving management’s so-called final offer, musicians suggested working with mediators to reach a fair agreement. Despite a mediation process lasting more than ten days and good-faith efforts by musicians, management’s demands remain unchanged. Yesterday musicians unanimously voted to reject management’s “last, best, and final” offer and go on strike.