The Latest: Management says Pittsburgh symphony $20M in debt

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 1, 2016 7:50 AM

(Pittsburgh) -- Management says the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is more than $20 million in debt, leading them to ask musicians to take a 15 percent pay cut that has prompted a strike.

Union members also are balking at pension changes and unspecified staffing cuts they say management is proposing.

The union says the consequences of those cuts would be "severe and immediate" and result in musicians leaving and an inability to attract top-notch players.

But symphony management says the orchestra is running a $1.5 million annual deficit and faces more than $20 million in cumulative debt over the next five years - including a pension shortfall of at least $10 million.

The strike has canceled this weekend's pops concerts featuring "The Music of John Williams," the composer of scores for "Jaws," ''Star Wars" and other blockbusters.

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