In Sunday’s (6/12) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Andrew Druckenbrod reports, “Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc. and orchestra members of Local 60-471 of the American Federation of Musicians have reached an agreement for a new three-year contract nearly three months ahead of schedule. The current three-year pact was set to expire Sept. 4 and the new contract, ratified Saturday night, takes effect Sept. 5 and runs through Sept. 1, 2014. The agreement calls for a 9.7 percent wage cut in musicians’ base salary the first year: in 2011-12 the annual base salary will be $100,110, down from $110,764 in this season. … The musicians’ base salary will remain the same in the second year of the contract. The final year will be a ‘wage-opener,’ for which PSO musicians and management will examine the possibility of an increase in salary. … ‘There is no denying that the economic upheaval affected numerous cultural organizations, including the PSO,’ said Lawrence Tamburri, PSO president. ‘This agreement allows us to maintain the highest level of artistic quality.’ … The PSO musicians, board and management ‘have affirmed that a collaborative process can lead to a fiscally responsible outcome, maintain standards of quality, creative solutions to tough challenges, and the fulfillment of the PSO’s commitment to grow its service to its community,’ said Jesse Rosen, president of the League of American Orchestras. … Despite the major pay cuts, the contract is a positive  … said Bruce Ridge, chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians. ‘At a time when there are some in other communities who are doubting the future of the arts and orchestras, the Pittsburgh Symphony has shown that the solution for the future lies in the continuing commitment to artistic excellence, and not in a reduction of service.’ ”


Photo of Manfred Honeck and the PSO by Jason Cohn

Posted June 13, 2011