Minnesota Orchestra: Remainder of season is canceled

  • Article by: Graydon Royce , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 8, 2013 - 10:01 PM

The board also proposed a short summer season and offered dates for new labor negotiations.

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parker0910May. 8, 1312:00 PM

So now the management bashing will start. Those doing the bashing will completely gloss over or fail to acknowledge the fact that the musicians have never made a counter proposal or come to the table.

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sausageMay. 8, 1312:16 PM

This is inexcusable. Please tell us the public, who is the party at fault for this stalemate. This is just not a business, but a part of the character of the twin cities. It is a disgrace to see intelligent persons act in this manner. We may lose the entire program.

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drposterMay. 8, 1312:28 PM

Musicians, how much are you getting paid now?

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jcinmnMay. 8, 1312:31 PM

True to predictions the board has cut a season of "losing revenue" by eliminating its biggest overhead. Wait for it! Wait for it! They will invite the musicians back to work while negotiations proceed AFTER construction has been completed. Congratulations BOD. you've not only cut one year's salary expense you've also eliminated 1/4 of the orchestra. So much for a "World Class" orchestra. You cannot have a world class orchestra and a BOD with no class.

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commonsens4uMay. 8, 1312:49 PM

sausage- "The musicians have never made a counter proposal." This is the last line of the story. At this point, one can only place blame on the musicians as they have rejected the offer and basically refused to negotiate or even offer a counter proposal since the October proposal from management. That's 7 months the musicians have sat in protest and not offered anything to help solve the situation.

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DufferHMay. 8, 13 1:19 PM

An orchestra doesn't define a city's character. With the out-of-sight salaries and exorbitant ticket prices, it is merely a "recreational activity" where the city elite can gather to admire each other. It didn't use to be that way. I attended many times when I could afford the tickets, but that isn't the case anymore. The management and musicians themselves are only to blame for not recognizing the economics of the present situation. The music selections never were for the common man. That's why my favorite concerts at the old hall were Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony, the London Symphony, and Van Cliburn.

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subotai1May. 8, 13 1:41 PM

The idiots of the orchestra management thought they had the upper hand. They were wrong. So while these hypocrites spent their orchestra on a bigger and cushier hall for their fat butts, the orchestra did the right thing. This is not a Minnesota pro sports team where you can pay less, get worse quality and people keep paying to listen to a subpar product. I hope the orchestra musicians starts their own competitor and the hall stays empty while management realizes their folly.

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hansaMay. 8, 13 2:02 PM

We are all at fault to a degree at this point....and we all lose when the music stops.

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d434478May. 8, 13 2:20 PM

I always felt that no one cared if the music went on at the Convention Center...sub-par sound. so maybe this works for the management? And there is declining interest in the future generation to sit in an orchestra venue...where will the new ticket subscribers come from?

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unseeliectMay. 8, 13 2:39 PM

Several writers have weighed in on the point of a counter offer. It has been pointed out that many such labor disputes in the orchestral world have been resolved without the give and take of formal offers, and so one isn’t, strictly speaking, needed here. Participants could negotiate in an ongoing manner verbally, or do it in writing with a piecemeal approach. One writer weighed in on the legal aspects—that the musicians could make an offer that could be declined by the management, who would then have the legal authority to declare negotiations at a standstill and hire replacements and/or impose a new contract unilaterally. The musicians would then be considered on strike, without access to unemployment. And I suspect many musicians feel the management’s first offer was so preposterous it was like demanding a car salesman to sell you a car for $5, and expecting a counter proposal to keep negotiations going. If they made a mirror-opposite counter proposal, with a 40-60% raise, it would constitute a counter proposal but hardly help resolve the situation. Plus, it seems incongruous that management is insisting the musicians negotiate when they also state repeatedly that they’ve made their final offer. President Henson has stated repeatedly that the organization’s budget cannot exceed $25 million and the musicians have to take a $5 million pay cut. So what is there to negotiate, whether the cuts come in one lump sum or are distributed over 12 months? Putting it another way, discussing with someone whether they’re paying an invoice by cash, credit card or check does not mean you’re negotiating the price.

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