Pittsburgh symphony strike drags on

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s management and musicians union have agreed to let an independent expert assess the organization’s finances in hopes of ending a musician’s strike that began Sept. 30.

Management is seeking a 15-percent wage cut, plus pension concessions saying that’s necessary to keep the symphony solvent in the face of more than $20 million in debt over the next five years.

The musicians’ union says management is overstating the orchestra’s financial problems.

Both sides have agreed to resume bargaining this week and have a neutral financial expert review the orchestra’s income and expenses.

The orchestra has canceled all performances through Nov. 18 because of the strike.

The 15-percent pay cut would drop the musicians’ base salary from more than $107,000 to just over $91,000 annually.

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