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Classical 101

More Orchestra Contract Woes, This Time in Minnesota

Both major orchestras in Minnesota's Twin Cities are facing uncertain futures. If Minnesota Orchestra musicians vote Saturday to reject the orchestra management's most recent contract proposal, the musicians will be locked out of performing until an agreement can be reached, according to the Minneapolis StarTribune. This most recent contract proposal would reduce the average annual musicians salary from $135,000 to $89,000 and guarantee other benefits, including paid vacation time and company pension contributions. Minnesota Orchestra President Michael Henson says the orchestra faces a $3 million deficit and that musician salaries are the organization's largest expense. Meanwhile, the management of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra recently rejected a contract counterproposal from the orchestra's musicians, according to Minnesota Public Radio News. The counterproposal would cut average annual musician salaries by 1 percent in the first two years of the four-year contract, but raise them 4 percent in the third and fourth years. Management says it needs to reduce musician salaries by 15 percent as it faces a $1 million dollar operating deficit. Read more:

  • Musicians Facing Lockout If No Deal (MST)
  • Trouble in the Twin Cities: Two Orchestras in Labor Disputes (DC)
  • SPCO Rejects Musicians' Contract Counterproposal