Today, the management of the Minnesota Orchestra rejected two counter offers by the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, who made the offers in order to prevent a damaging lockout at midnight tonight. Management appears determined to lock out the “Greatest Orchestra in the World,” as Alex Ross of the New Yorker wrote in 2010.
The first offer, to enter into binding arbitration to reach a new contract agreement, was rejected.
The second offer, to “Play and Talk,” was also rejected.
Last week, orchestra management touted $97 million in new fundraising for its Building for the Future campaign, including $14 million in taxpayer funding for the $50 million lobby renovation project.
Yesterday, the Musicians unanimously rejected a management proposal including 30-50 percent pay cuts and over 200 changes to the existing contract. They also unanimously passed a motion urging the Minnesota Orchestra management to “Play and Talk” while negotiations to a new agreement continued. “In the spirit of Minnesota where people work together to solve problems, the musicians also want to work while the negotiations continue,” said Douglas Wright, Principal Trombone and member of the negotiating committee. “The Musicians are very unified and resolved to maintain a world-class orchestra.”