Exclusive: Pittburgh strike ends today with victory for the musiciansmain
An agreement will be announced in Pittsburgh at 3pm local today, announcing a return to work by musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Both sides will claim to have got what they wanted but the leaks that have come our way indicate that one side won.
The musicians have agree to a small pay cut – two-thirds less than the 15% the company demanded – and this small cut will be restored before the end of the present contract.
[UPDATE: In the final settlement the musicians agreed to a cut that was half as much as the PSO demanded but will soon recover to achieve their present wage.]
The musicians have, in other words, maintained their present wage – a wage the company called unsustainable.
We have not yet read the small print on pensions and health care, but the musicians are happy with the deal.
Neither side has yet spoken, but our sources have been accurate throughout.
What happened to end the dispute is that the PSO board and chief executive Melia Tourangeau cracked under pressure from the mayor of Pittsburgh, the public and some of the financial supporters. This was bad for the city, bad for business.
During the course of the dispute the PSO board were shown by an independent assessor to have miscalculated the size of the deficit. It was not $20 million, as claimed by the PSO, but more like $11m. Still a bad number, but no reason to hit the panic buttons and the bunkers, as Melia Tourangeau did in September.
She emerges from the dispute weakened.
This was a strike that should never have happened. Thank goodness it’s over.
You read it here first.
UPDATE (24 hours later): It’s official – the strike’s over.