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New pay deal for Seattle Symphony

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Musicians at the Seattle Symphony have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. They have accepted a five per cent cut in pay until the end of this season, with the current pay scale resuming in 2011. Each of the 84 players will also contribute $2,010 towards the orchestra’s annual fund, an initiative that is intended to kickstart the orchestra board’s next fundraising drive.

The Seattle Symphony agreement comes a week after Cleveland Orchestra musicians went on strike over their wage terms. Before their 30-hour walkout they had rejected a management proposal of an immediate five per cent pay cut. After intense negotiations, the two parties agreed a salary freeze this season and the next, with a three per cent raise in the first half of the 2011/12 season and a two per cent raise in the next half.