Striking Utah Symphony musicians Tuesday were expected to reject a management offer that would have eliminated proposed cuts in the season and size of the orchestra but also would have reduced salaries 3.7 percent the first year of a three-year contract.

The proposal, submitted Monday to union negotiators, came in response to a musicians' proposal last week in which the players reportedly sought a 40.8 percent increase over three years. Previously the management had asked that the season be reduced from 52 to 46 weeks and the orchestra from 83 to 75 players for an overall decrease of 5.9 percent.Tuesday the musicians were asked by their negotiators to approve a counterproposal calling for a salary freeze the first year, a 6 percent raise the second and 10 percent raise the third year.

Management officials had been hopeful the compromise might open the door to settlement of the strike, which began Sept. 1. They said rehearsals would have to begin no later than Wednesday for the orchestra to play its opening concerts of the season Thursday at Brigham Young University and Friday and Saturday at Symphony Hall, as well as fulfill its Sept. 21-26 commitment to Ballet West.

However, as one member of the orchestra siad, "That just puts it back to status quo minus 3.7 percent. That's no victory."