Minnesota Orchestra offers final contract proposal to musicians
The Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA) today offered a final contract proposal to its musicians, who are members of the Twin Cities Musicians’ Union (Local 30-73), in advance of the contract’s October 1 expiration.
(September 25, 2012) The Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA) today offered a final contract proposal to its musicians, who are members of the Twin Cities Musicians’ Union (Local 30-73), in advance of the contract’s October 1 expiration. The final proposal includes clarifications and adjustments to several proposed work rule changes outlined in the Orchestra’s original proposal presented in April of this year. The economic portion of the package continues to offer an average annual salary of $89,000, a guaranteed pension benefit that includes an annual contribution by the Orchestral Association of 7.63% of base salary, 10 weeks paid vacation and up to 26 weeks of paid sick leave.
The work rule modifications were designed to clarify elements of the MOA’s first contract proposal around which musicians had posed questions during negotiating sessions.
“Our Board has managed a precarious fiscal position over the life of the current musicians’ contract, but now we need to face these challenges head on,” said Board Chair Jon Campbell. “We greatly respect the top artistic skill of our players and, as stewards of this organization who are entrusted with its artistic and financial future, our Board is resolved to address these financial issues before they multiply further. We have sought to increase revenues and reduce costs across the organization, and now we are asking our musicians to participate in our financial recovery by accepting this proposal.”
In 2011, the Minnesota Orchestra posted a $2.9 million deficit, the largest in the Orchestra’s history. The musicians’ current contract, which was ratified in 2007, included an increase of 19.2 percent to musician base salary over the life of the contract.
In response to the Union’s call for an independent audit of the Minnesota Orchestra’s finances, the MOA Negotiating Committee declined the request, citing unnecessary delay and duplication of efforts as the Orchestral Association undertakes an annual independent audit and shares its audited results publicly each December.
“When we put forward our original offer on April 12— the first day of our talks—we knew these negotiations wouldn’t be easy but we wanted ample time for a discussion with our musicians on how to reset the organization in a way that allowed for artistic excellence and financial responsibility,” said Richard Davis, Chair of the MOA Board Negotiating Committee. “Nearly six months have passed, and we have yet to receive from our players a counterproposal or even any indication of their priorities in this tough economic climate.”
He continued, “The reality of our situation is that we can no longer afford the terms of the current contract and we need our musicians to participate in a solution. We’ve done our level best to put forward a very solid proposal based on what our generous community is able to support, and we are asking for our players’ support.”
Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations