Minnesota Orchestra to save $4.2 million through pay cuts, hiring freeze

Posted on: August 5, 2009

In Wednesday’s (8/5) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce reports, “Musicians at the Minnesota Orchestra have agreed to concessions in the face of financial pressures on the organization. The deal saves about $4.2 million—from salary, pension reductions and frozen positions—over the remaining three years of a contract that expires in 2012. The plan involves pay cuts totaling $1.8 million. The orchestra will also delay filling open positions, which saves another $1.8 million. Reducing pension contributions to 5 percent of salary from 7 percent will save $600,000. Musician salaries make up 51 percent of the orchestra’s annual budget. President and CEO Michael Henson said the 95-player orchestra has 10 positions open, including that of concertmaster following the departure of Jorja Fleezanis. That post will definitely be filled, Henson said. … Minnesota Orchestra management and union representatives first met in mid-May to discuss the financial situation. [Principal Harp Kathy] Kienzle said ‘there was absolutely an acceptance that there would need to be concessions.’ The orchestra announced administrative staff and budget cuts earlier this year that resulted in $2.3 million in savings for the current-year budget.”

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra

Posted August 5, 2009