At press time, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was in the second week of a strike by musicians. The strike began on March 10, following eleven months of contract negotiations. At issue are the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s proposal to replace the musicians’ pension plan, which is a defined benefit plan, with a direct contribution plan, and the amount of salary increases. The Chicago Federation of Musicians, which represents the musicians, has argued that salaries are inadequate, and falling behind those at orchestras of comparable size in other cities. CSOA President Jeff Alexander said the proposed three-season contract includes increases in base pay of 1, 2, and 3 percent, and that funding requirements for the current pension plan are unsustainable. In the Chicago Tribune, CSO bassist Stephen Lester, chair of the musicians’ negotiating committee, said that the decision to strike “was not taken lightly.” Discussions between musicians and management were on hold at press time. Visit The Hub at for regular updates on the situation.