- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit Symphony Orchestra officials have given striking musicians their `final offer’ _ and a deadline.

Symphony spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said in a release Wednesday that management wants an answer by Thursday on a proposal delivered Tuesday to the musicians’ negotiating committee.

Musicians’ spokesman Haden McKay says orchestra members will meet Thursday afternoon and decide whether to vote.

The walkout began Oct. 4 and threatens to shut down the concert season scheduled to end June 5. Weigandt said an agreement would preserve the remaining season.

Symphony management declared an impasse Sept. 1 and began implementing a 33 percent base pay cut for orchestra veterans, from $104,650 to $70,200 in the first year. Musicians had offered a 22 percent reduction in the first year to $82,000, which would increase in subsequent years.