MN Orchestra members in Wayzata
MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Orchestra board is putting a revised contract offer in front of its locked-out musicians, one that reduces salary cuts and guarantees concertgoers a full 2013-14 season.
The revised offer was released by the board Thursday, in the wake of a decision to reject the recommendations of a mediator. It calls for salary cuts of 25%, down from the 34% cut offered in the board's previous proposal. It would end the months-long lockout, provide an average salary of $102,200 per musician, 10 weeks of vacation, and a benefits package the board says is worth $30,000.
The offer would require a vote by the musicians union by September 9.
""Our goal with this proposal is to find an immediate way to launch mediation that will be acceptable to the musicians and will also guarantee our concertgoers a full concert season," said Board Negotiating Committee Chair Richard Davis in a written statement. "The Musicians' Union has made its position clear that they will not negotiate until the lockout is lifted and the musicians are returned to work at their previous levels of compensation, and this offer respects that requirement. The Board is flexible in how we might structure a solution, but it is important to us to be able to guarantee our concertgoers a complete season of concerts even as negotiations proceed."
Musicians would be paid for two months under terms of the previous contract in a 'play and talk' agreement while working with a mediator. If no agreement was reached the sides would revert to the salary/benefits package that would average $135,000 per musician.
Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vanska said Wednesday that musicians must be in rehearsals by September 30 to be prepared for two highly anticipated concerts at Carnegie Hall November 2 and 3. Vanska also said he would resign by September 9 if the lockout is not ended.
The musicians union took the orchestra board to task this week for not agreeing to recommendations put forward by a mediator.
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