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PSO Strike Ends As Musicians & Management Agree On Contract

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) - Musicians are agreeing to a temporary wage cut as part of a 5-year deal that's ending a strike against the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra that began in late September.

The contract will run through the year 2021.

"We're just grateful for our musicians to and our community and our board, and we're thrilled to get the orchestra back on stage again," Symphony President Melia Tourangeau said.

The agreement announced Wednesday calls for a salary reduction of 7.5 percent, followed by a wage freeze, a 3.3 percent increase in the third year and a 2 percent increase in the fourth year. By the fifth year, base salary will return to the 2016 level of $107,000.

"It is a very painful and concessionary deal, but the musicians have made the sacrifices to help insure the future of the organization," said Micah Howard, of the International Musicians Union.

The orchestra will have 99 musicians and two librarians but will not fill three vacant positions.

Management says it's trying to address a deficit projected to be more than $20 million over the coming years.

"We're still going to be needing about $16 to $18 million over the next five years, in addition to any special project funding, like our tours and our recordings and other things," Tourangeau said.

"We want to work very hard with our management and our board to ensure that the finances will be in a better place throughout this contract," said Howard.

The symphony will hold free concerts on Dec. 2 and Dec. 4 with conductor Manfred Honeck.

Musicians have been walking the picket lines since Sept. 30.

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