Musicians vote down contract proposal

  • Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 30, 2012 - 9:05 AM

Talks will continue Sunday at the Minnesota Orchestra and the SPCO. No agreement is in sight.

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DufferHSep. 29, 12 7:53 PM

This sounds like both sides need to take a time out and do a reality check. But what management is doing in this situation is bullying -- not negotiating.

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grotvoldSep. 29, 12 8:09 PM

Sorry, but when the Orchestra's offer includes 10 weeks of paid vacation and up to 26 weeks of sick leave, then my alliance is with them. Come on musicians: $89k is darn good here in the TC, especially with the benefits. Many in the orchestra also teach privately, or perform in outside ensembles, so they have some additional incomes on top of the proposed $89k. I was laid off in 2008 as part of the recession. Jobs evaporated, salaries were reduced while hours increased. Maybe it's time the musicians start to feel what the rest of us have been experiencing the past 4 years while they were protected under the old contract.

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furguson11Sep. 29, 12 8:27 PM

Everyone feels that they are not replaceable

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phantasm1Sep. 29, 12 8:46 PM

grotvold summed up my feelings exactly

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kelvin069Sep. 29, 12 9:18 PM

The musicians' vote tonight was not just a vote to not cut their salaries; it was a vote of confidence that they believe the people of Minnesota deserve to keep the top musicians in the world right here in our backyard. Quality costs money. People supporting the musicians know that; it's too bad the management doesn't. When the management comes forward with something other than a completely laughable "negotiation" (would you negotiate for a 50% cut of your salary?), I know the musicians will be willing to vote yes---they want to keep quality music ongoing in Minnesota. I urge all Minnesotans to stand behind the musicians as they fight to keep high art available to every citizen of this state. PS...The idea that the musicians should make less money because many have more than one job is beyond ridiculous. What, we should have a "salary cap" for household income now? Someone who works a full time job AND has a second (and third) job on the side deserves every penny they EARN. Period.

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sukhinoSep. 29, 12 9:19 PM

WHO in their right might would negotiate on 30-50% of their salary? A 30-50% pay cut is drastic, unnecessary and unreasonable. It appears that the management has no intention of "negotiating" -- rather, they seem to be intent on bullying and intimidating musicians into submission. These musicians are some of the best in the world, the Olympians of classical music. The are among the top musical ensembles in the WORLD and they are one of the treasures of our community. Without world-class players, there is no world-class orchestra. It is shocking that the management would propose such a ridiculous contract while at the same time spending $52 million on Orchestra Hall renovations. I would like to know what concessions the management and administration is making.

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akadamsSep. 29, 12 9:37 PM

Applying pressure through publication of salaries and benefits was a low move - I don't care if that's a standard war tactic in negotiations. How many of us could withstand demeaning public judgmental discussion of specific salary details? The musicians want transparency and honesty from management...and management responds with: Here's what we pay you, and here's what you're getting now. Eat it.

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mpschaefSep. 29, 12 9:41 PM

Musicians are required to purchase and maintain their equipment, or instruments. How would you feel about paying for your own computer? Musicians have to continue practicing during their vacation or family time. How would you feel about working for 1-2 hours every weekend or vacation day? They are asking musicians to take a 30 -50 percent paycut. Would you accept or reject that? They have successfully raised over $40 million for "artistic endeavors" and are now cutting pay. They have spent their marketing time and $$ on construction and contract negotiations, then say they aren't selling enough tickets. There are inconsistencies with figures provided by management. Yes $109,000 is a lot more than most of us make. But if you ask donorS to give millions to keep a world class orchestra, then you should keep your world class musicians. BTW, the $109000 is from the independent source linked to the right of the story.

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pdxtranSep. 29, 12 9:56 PM

If a pay cut is needed, management should start with themselves--and perhaps they never should have started that costly Orchestra Hall remodeling project. The building seemed just fine. Management needs to remember that it's the musicians that the audience goes to hear, not the managers. By the way, what the Orchestra musicians earn is PEANUTS compared to Vikings or the Twins, neither of whom is world-renowned or at the top of their form, or even compared to successful pop musicians.

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pdxtranSep. 29, 12 9:58 PM

grotvold: The musicians' salaries have nothing to do with your plight. Perhaps if people in your workplace had stuck together and asked for public support and demanded to see the company's books, you wouldn't have been laid off.

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