Has Minnesota Orchestra dispute found a new tune?

  • Article by: Graydon Royce , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2013 - 8:30 AM

Public pronouncements have been tempered, and management and musicians have had behind-the-scenes talks with a mediator.

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turgidJul. 12, 13 1:36 AM

On the one side, I think you have musicians who worked hard and got good notices at the proms, and they come home and, rightfully, think they should be rewarded. Yet, meanwhile, the orchestra itself has been renovating it space, which has taken away capital that could be used to properly pay the players. It's the perfect Petrie dish for an intractable situation, but they are just shooting each other in the foot at this point. I don't know, but seems to me the players need to take a small pay cut, and the board needs to step up to the plate and acknowledge that sacrifice, and meet the players halfway. No one is right - it just needs to get done.

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56stanJul. 12, 13 3:25 AM

The consumers of the product, those who buy the tickets and fill the seats, are left completely out of the discussion and, alas, of consideration. This is always the case in extreme labor conflicts, whether strikes by labor unions or lockouts by management. In this instance, though, the musicians (labor) have done a superior job of relating to and showing a willingness to address the concerns of the consumer (ticket buyers, patrons) than has management. Many of us in this public are upset over the damage already done to an outstanding cultural asset, and many "consumers" have already decided which side is most responsible for destroying the product they value and wish to continue to enjoy as a public good and cultural benefit to the community. This bitterness and resentment will persist after whatever decision is reached behind closed doors. The SPCO settled, but the SOSPCO is still in business and seeking some public role in the management of that organization. Et tu, MOA?

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olson123456Jul. 12, 13 5:43 AM

I fear that even if this dispute is settled, the long-term damage has already been done.

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badcopperJul. 12, 13 6:06 AM

Amazing that the musicians refuse to counteroffer.

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josephisJul. 12, 13 7:03 AM

Sad. The lock-out and demand for 30% wage cuts set the tone for everything that happened since. The two leadership groups clearly hate each other. Tough to sit down and bargain with someone you despise.

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itdoesmatterJul. 12, 13 7:45 AM

Why are the musician bound by this management team. Why don't they start there own company, schedule their shows and keep the money they make?

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lukasweberJul. 12, 13 8:37 AM

Let us stand back, keep our fingers crossed and our hopes high, that this nightmare will soon be over for everyone.

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savagemanJul. 12, 13 9:28 AM

Obviously many of the people posting comments are pro-musician. I don't care either way, I don't go to their concerts. Someone said that the people going are being left out, hog wash. If those people would just step up and say I'll pay a lot more to enjoy the music, than problem solved. As for the remodel. Companies run multiple budgets, just because there is money to renovate does not mean there is money to pay people. It seems that if all you did was pay people more and more and not renovate the building then people wouldn't go because the building is old. The problem is the biggest expense (salaries) is to much, they got out of hand long ago and need to be corrected. Sorry people but that is the way it is in the business world, what makes you different?

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mav132Jul. 12, 13 2:23 PM

Can anyone say how many of the musicians have left the Minnesota Orchestra for other city's orchestras, or just quit out of frustration? I would like to see that question addressed.

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ajnaguyJul. 12, 13 5:14 PM

Savageman, please explain how musicians salaries are too much, relative to both the MN Orchestra budget, its endowment, and when compared to other orchestras around the country. The current orchestra board can't do it. And an arts organization is NOT like any other business, relying as it does on an endowment from donors. Management did not have do this renovation at the expense of the musicians, and if they did, they should have told donors the truth - the Hall or the Orchestra. Unfortunately for donors, they never put it in these terms, which is why so many are so angry, because they would have preferred to keep the orchestra intact. Those who seek to make everything in the graven image of business just want to spread the endless grey purgatory of working in a cube for billionaires to the rest of the world.

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