Minnesota Orchestra musicians weigh “final offer”; face possible lockout

Posted on: September 28, 2012

In Friday’s (9/28) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce writes, “Minnesota Orchestra musicians will vote on Saturday whether to accept a contract proposal that management has characterized as its ‘final offer.’ If the musicians reject the deal and if talks on Sunday fail to produce an agreement, the board has indicated it will lock the musicians out. The Minnesota Orchestra last had a work stoppage in 1994. The board’s proposal would reduce the average annual musician salary to $89,000 from $135,000. The deal would include guarantees of 10 weeks of paid vacation each year, a company pension contribution of 7.63 percent and up to 26 weeks of paid sick leave for musicians with 11 or more years of experience. The proposal mirrors the offer made when negotiations started in April. The musicians’ union has not offered a counterproposal. In a letter that accompanied the final offer, the board stated that ‘all employees in the bargaining unit … shall be locked out effective at midnight Monday,’ when the current five-year contract expires. A lockout prevents employees from reporting to work or receiving pay. Musicians may still picket in the case of a lockout. However, Orchestra Hall is undergoing renovation and will not be used for concerts when the season begins Oct. 18 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.”

Photo by Randy Salas

Posted September 28, 2012