MnOrch board rejects musicians request to meet until contract talks resume

Management of the Minnesota Orchestra today rejected a request by locked out musicians to address todays meeting of the orchestra’s board.

In a statement released by management the rejection was expressed in terms of an acceptance.

“We would be pleased to accept this request when our musicians and their Union return to the bargaining table with a substantive counterproposal,” said Minnesota Orchestra Board Chair Jon Campbell. “We hope the players will consider doing so very soon so that we may come to a meaningful resolution quickly in order to give our audiences at least a part of our regular season.” <

Management has long argued the musicians haven’t actually begun to negotiate yet as they have yet to offer a contract counter-proposal to an offer made back in April.

Musicians who have been locked out since October 1st called for the meeting over the weekend amidst growing concern the board will cancel more concerts. Management cancelled all concerts through Thanksgiving on the first day of the lockout. With holidays fast approaching and no contract agreement in sight, the Minnesota Orchestra it seems inevitable hat the Orchestra will have to cancel more.

Last week management of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, citing lack of progress cancelled all concerts through the end of the year. There is no indication as to how extensive the Minnesota Orchestra’s cancellations might be.

In a response to the management e-mail the musicians renewed their call not to make any cancellations and to end the lockout. They also responded to Campbell’s statement claiming that musicians had been trying to negotiate the contract in the media.

The musicians statement says: “The Musicians had done no negotiating in the media until the management chose to post the entire contract proposal on the Internet and leak it to the media without warning to the Musicians on September 5th.”

Meanwhile in St Paul the two sides in the SPCO dispute are scheduled to meet on November 8th. The SPCO’s locked-out musicians says they will likely have a counter proposal to put before management then.

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