Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra makes new contract offer; musicians skeptical

Posted on: March 28, 2013

Friday (3/22) on Minnesota Public Radio, Euan Kerr writes, “The contract dispute between management and musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra took an unprecedented twist today after St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman attempted to save the rest of the orchestra’s season. Coleman’s intervention has precipitated a new offer from management, which still cuts musicians’ pay, but not by as much as previous proposals. Late Friday afternoon the musicians said they don’t think the offer is legal. Interim SPCO President Dobson West said Coleman approached both sides in the dispute last week. … The mayoral pressure resulted in a new contract proposal from management. It’s a ‘play and talk’ proposal, in which management will resume concerts as the final details of a contract are worked out. … The proposal offers musicians a base annual salary of $60,000. This is an increase over the last offer but still cut about $15,000 a year from the musicians’ contract that expired last fall. … The management proposal also includes an agreement to sign an integrated media agreement with the national union, the American Federation of Musicians.” Musician negotiator Carole Mason Smith said the media agreement, “cannot be part of the local agreement. … She said the integrated media agreement needs to be between management and the American Federation of Musicians. Mason Smith believes this can be done quickly, after which she can present the proposal to the SPCO musicians.”

Posted March 28, 2013