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.
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.