Management and union met at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for the first time in 10 days, continuing negotiations on a new contract.

The orchestra continues to play even though the contract has expired. In the business, this is called “talk and play.” 

On Thursday, musicians rejected a management proposal that would have implemented terms of the board’s most-recent offer, while the two sides talk and play. That proposal guaranteed an annual compensation of $62,500. 

The union then offered a counter proposal: they would play for an annual base of $70,000, with no changes to over-scale payments. Management rejected that idea.

The current situation – playing under the expired terms – benefits players because even the union’s proposals assume a lower base rate of compensation than exists under the status quo.

The two sides have another bargaining session set for Friday.


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