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In a vote today by secret ballot, the Musicians of the SPCO unanimously rejected management’s latest contract proposal.
In a statement released this afternoon, musicians said they rejected the offer on the grounds that it would allow SPCO management “to terminate musicians at any time with no recourse, drastically reduce their salary and benefits, and even more drastically lower the guaranteed salary of musicians yet to join the Orchestra.”
Management calculated the proposal would cut wages by 14 percent, but musicians argued the cuts actually amounted to 33 percent. The four year contract proposal would have also reduced the number of SPCO players from 34 to 28, and offered buy-outs to musicians aged 55 or older. That’s about half the current players.
SPCO concerts through Sunday are currently cancelled. In the wake of today’s rejection, further cancellations are likely.
In Minneapolis the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra remain locked out.