Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians go on strike

Posted on: September 30, 2016

“The musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have gone on strike for just the second time in the orchestra’s 120-year history,” reports Elizabeth Bloom in Friday’s (9/30) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The musicians, members of Local 60-471, and PSO management were unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement after months of tense negotiations that were conducted in private. The PSO roster includes 99 musicians and two librarians, although a few positions are unfilled right now.… Musicians and management had fundamental differences on the issue of musicians’ salary. The players’ base salary was about $107,000 under the latest contract. ‘We hope to reach a new agreement,’ percussionist Jeremy Branson, vice chairman of the musicians’ committee, said. ‘The musicians have been bargaining in good faith, but management made their last, best and final offer.’ … The management believes cutting musicians’ salaries is the only way that the organization … can achieve financial sustainability.… Management said this morning that its offer ‘would have ensured that the members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra remained well compensated,’ while also maintaining benefits.… The most recent pact was originally going to expire on Sept. 4, but … management and musicians agreed to a ‘talk-and-play’ scenario but were unable to come to terms on a new pact.”

Posted September 30, 2016