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Documented: the nitty-gritty of Minnesota’s refusable offer

The MOA and some musicians have questioned aspects of our story on the derisory offer that was made to the locked out musicians. Since the veracity of our information has been challenged, Here are the verbatim offer details, as presented to musicians by their negotiating committee this week:



The lockout would end September 1, 2013, and we would revert to the terms of the old contract for a two-month period of negotiations. However, if no agreement could be reached on a new contract at the end of those two months, a two-year agreement would snap into effect immediately, with a 25% “across-the-board” (a term they have not specifically defined, and which could mean any number of things) pay cut. This two-year agreement would also still include many of the working condition changes which we have said are unacceptable. (They have removed a few of the working rule changes, such as restoring our one personal day per season and removing changes to runout and tour conditions, but many of the other “redline” changes would still be in place under their proposal.)

It is the strong and unanimous opinion of the Negotiating Committee that this proposal is absurd and unacceptable, amounting to a demand from MOA that we agree to a destructive two-year contract as a condition of even restarting negotiations. Obviously, if we agreed to their proposal, there would be no motivation for MOA to agree to a contract with cuts any less deep than those in the proposed two-year deal, making negotiation of any kind pointless. Moreover, it is very likely that, at the end of the two years, they would be back seeking further cuts, and doing so at a time when our Local will possibly be unable to afford to pay for our legal representation….

The Negotiating Committee strongly and unanimously recommends a vote to REJECT this MOA proposal.



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  1. Wing-chi Chan says:

    Please disclose to the public any findings in regard of the raised compensation for its CEO and other management staff along the same time line that the Board requests for a substantial cut on the musicians under the new contract.

  2. I’ll say it again, and any bigshots can dispute it…It’s so easy to advance in orchestra management- Wannabees who can’t make it as a singer or player seem to rise to the top. much easier than making it as a player, and their incompetence is DESTROYING orchestras and players.

  3. Steve Foster says:

    “…a 25% “across-the-board” pay cut (a term they have not specifically defined, and which could mean any number of things).”
    “Across the board” means everything, all groups, all categories — take everything they are getting for compensation, subtract 25%, and they come to the answer.

  4. It seems evident to me that the board is behind this management. Therefore the issue is with the board. They are not willing to do their job properly. I believe the solution is for the members of the orchestra to re-form as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra they once were, and return to splendid Northrup Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus, perhaps with the U of M as sponsors. The audience will follow. Orchestra Hall is not worth it. It is an overly reverberant mess with a lobby that looked like the basement of a steamship (now redecorated, I’m sure). They sounded fine at Northrup, which is a stately setting. I feel an educational institution is the proper home for an orchestra, they should not function commercially.

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