Phoenix Symphony Musicians Agree to 17 Percent Less Pay Over Three Years

In a move that might cause a few sour notes, the Phoenix Symphony convinced its musicians to agree to a 17 percent pay cut over the next three years.

The "landmark" deal between the Phoenix Symphony Association and Phoenix Symphony Musicians had to be done: The symphony says its contributions are way down, forcing cuts to operating expenses despite recent sellout events.

Symphony leaders had already tried several money-saving schemes including "negotiating lower guest artist fees, voluntary staff pay cuts, staff layoffs, staff pay furloughs as well as administrative and program budget reductions." But something even more dramatic had to be done.

A statement from the Symphony says the minimum salary for musicians has been reduced to $35,000. All told, the company will save $2 million in the next three years because of the new cuts.

You'll have to forgive the orchestra a few sour notes.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.