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Continued: Minnesota Orchestra musicians unanimously reject latest proposal

  • Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 28, 2013 - 9:43 PM

In addition to the Nelson money, the community group SOS: Save Osmo confirmed it has told the board that it would encourage its donors to help bridge the gap on funding issues. “The decision to write a check will be determined by whether the final package meets the organization’s giving requirements,” said a statement from Lee A. Henderson and Mina Fisher, who are leading the group.

Lockout began last year

The criteria include Vänskä’s continued tenure and a compensation for musicians that “is commensurate with the stature of this orchestra as one of the top ten American orchestras.”

It was a year ago this weekend that musicians unanimously rejected a proposal that would have cut minimum salaries by 30 percent. After brief and fruitless negotiations on Sunday, Sept. 30, of last year, management locked out musicians on Oct. 1.

Ultimately, the 2012-13 season was canceled, and the start of this season in a newly remodeled Orchestra Hall has been threatened by the inability of the two sides to come to an agreement.

Bargaining has taken on some urgency — in fits and starts — since July, when Mitchell, the former U.S. Senate majority leader, agreed to help mediate the dispute. Almost immediately, what was supposed to be a confidential process became contentious because of leaks. The board on Thursday released details of its latest proposal outside of the Mitchell process, to avoid the confidentiality requirement.

Musicians are planning concerts for Friday and Saturday at Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis. Pianist Emanuel Ax, who had been scheduled to perform on the orchestra’s season, has agreed to play with the musicians.


Graydon Royce • 612-673-7299

  • related content

  • Video: Musicians vote “no”

    Sunday September 29, 2013

    Unanimous vote of 60 musicians returns labor dispute to negotiations. Board is “disappointed.”

  • Musicians spokesman, Blois Olson said the results of the vote, just ah...

  • Minnesota Orchestra musicians spokesman Blois Olson called the weekend talks “a very fluid situation.”

  • Doug Wright, a musician and negotiator, takes his turn answering question at the Saturday morning press conference.


    July 22: Management proposes lifting lockout for two months of talks, with musicians taking a 25 percent cut in base salaries if no agreement is reached. Musicians reject offer.

    Aug. 16: Mediator George Mitchell proposes lifting lockout for four months, with musicians making their pre-lockout pay, or a bit less, but returning to lockout if no deal is reached. Musicians accept; management negotiators reject.

    Sept. 15: New offer made to musicians through Mitchell’s office, details of which are not revealed.

    Sept. 26: Management makes new proposal, with a three-year salary stepdown ending in a 25 percent cut in the third year, plus a $20,000 bonus per musician. Musicians unanimously reject.


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