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Blog report indicates new movement in Minnesota Orchestra dispute

Posted by: Graydon Royce under Classical, Behind the scenes, Orchestras Updated: July 22, 2013 - 5:08 PM


Work continued earlier this month on Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. Photo/Jeff Wheeler.


Both sides in the Minnesota Orchestra labor dispute are distancing themselves from a blog post that suggests a new offer has been made by management and will likely be rejected by musicians.

British critic Norman Lebrecht, who writes the blog “Slipped Disc,” posted on Monday that he has seen a document that indicated a management proposal to lift the lockout on Sept. 1, for a two-month period of negotiations. Musicians would be paid during that period under the terms of the old contract. If no new contract were reached at the end of that time, a pay cut of 25 percent would be imposed.

Lebrecht wrote that union negotiators have called the proposal “absurd and unacceptable” and that they will recommend it be rejected.

Musicians spokesman Blois Olson would not comment on the report other than to say “there are several inaccuracies.”

Management spokeswoman Gwen Pappas said in a statement, “Our position is that we are respecting the negotiating process, trying to work out of the limelight, so we have no comment on the Lebrecht piece.”

It is known that musicians and management had met with a mediator recently in Washington, D.C. Following that first session, management was expected to produce a new offer that might have served as the basis for new negotiations. Parties to the mediated process were supposed to be bound to secrecy.

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