MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Orchestra and its locked out musicians are now working with a mediator on stalled contract talks. With no agreement in sight, the mediator's job is to bring both sides closer together and the orchestra faces some serious deadlines over the next several weeks.
The board for the Minnesota Orchestra would like to have a contract signed in advance of a full season, to avoid any potential for a partial season. The new fiscal year for the Orchestra starts September 1st.
Additionally, Orchestra music director Osmo Vaska says if the lockout doesn't end by September 9th he plans to resign.
No matter the potential proposal or mediated agreement, the board said there is not enough money to go to ensure the musician's salaries stay the same.
"We have not gotten any sign, and this is the disappointing part, no sign from the musicians that they're willing to share in our obvious financial problem," said, Douglas Kelley, negotiator for orchestra's board. "We're hemorrhaging at $500,000 a month right now and to come back at full salary is just not an acceptable proposition to us."
"The musician's have accepted the mediator's plan, it was an independent plan and if management accepted it Orchestra could open," explained, Blois Olson, spokesperson for the musicians. "Carnegie Hall would happen and Osmo Vanska would stay with the Minnesota Orchestra."
The Minnesota Orchestra has Carnegie Hall performances slated for November and in order to be ready for those, rehearsal must start by the end of September