Pittsburgh Symphony on Strike

Please read the attached press release from the Musicians of the PSO. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters as they stand their ground. It is sad that the PSI management is shirking their duty as stewards of this storied institution.

Response by the Musicians of the PSO to Management’s statement:

PSI Management claims that the severe cuts it is demanding to the Musicians’ pay, benefits, and orchestra complement are needed or else the PSO will “have to close the doors.” That is not accurate, and needlessly alarmist. By Management’s own admission, the PSO is seeing strong growth in ticket sales, subscription sales, and its Annual Fund – in fact, Management acknowledges “a record-breaking fundraising year.

Management cites a series of misleading figures that the Musicians have thoroughly debunked in face-to-face meetings with Management since February. We were, in fact, surprised to see Management release those figurers publicly, as the Musicians, with the assistance of an experienced actuary, conclusively demonstrated that Management is inflating its forecasted liabilities, and understating its potential revenue, by using assumptions that are inaccurate and unrealistic.

Management’s demands are not driven by necessity. Rather, Management has taken the ideological stance of seeking to impose a “new business model” that Management claims will be more “sustainable.” Management seems to think that such a radical shift will not affect the world-class excellence of the PSO. That is a pipe dream. As has been shown by misguided attempts to impose this “new business model” in other places, such as Detroit and Minnesota, the result is that Musicians will leave. We will not be able to attract replacements of the same caliber. Musicians who do come here will stay for a short time and then leave. Instead of an orchestra made up of the world’s best musicians, who choose to become proud Pittsburghers and raise their families here, the PSO will be a transitional group – a stepping-stone orchestra for lesser musicians who immediately seek greener pastures. The PSO that Pittsburgh has come to know and love will cease to exist.

We again call upon Management to return to the table and bargain for a fair contract that will ensure the continued excellence of the PSO.

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