6.15pm UPDATES WITH MANAGEMENT REACTION
The locked out musicians of the Minnesota claimed today that management refuses to give them information requested in advance of possible negotiation dates at the end of the month. Meanwhile a letter from management attorney Paul Zech says the lack of a response by 5pm today from the musicians to dates offered for negotiations will be taken as a rejection of the offer.
In a release from the musicians lead negotiator Tim Zavadil says “The lack of transparency from management is troubling to the Musicians, the public, and Minnesota’s legislative auditor, Basic artistic and financial information about the Orchestra is being withheld to seemingly to stall negotiations.”
The musicians sent a list of questions last week saying that getting them answered would make talks productive.
The musicians say they have received some of the financial information requested, but no response to some of the other questions including what management proposes to do about the threatened resignation of Music Director Osmo Vanska and the possible departures of Concertmaster Erin Keefe and star player Burt Hara.
A representative of the musicians say they are still likely to meet with management.
However a release from the orchestra management states many of the questions were not germaine to the negotiations, and seemed to be part of a pattern to avoid serious negotiations.
Now that the deadline is passed, the release continues, “the Board will proceed with other options for resuming negotiations.”.
Meanwhile the Minnesota Chorale, which derives most of its income from performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, says the current lock out is forcing it to cut its staff pay and hours in half. Executive director Bob Peskin says the Chorale’s board made the cuts reluctantly.
“With no resolution to the impasse between the Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians, we have to be able to make the plans that will keep the Minnesota Chorale a viable and vital organization,” Peskin said today.
He says the lockout threatens the Chorale’s future and describes it as “A really painful and almost impossible situation, but the reality is we have no indication as to how things might get resolved at the ochestra and we have to proceed.”
Peskin says the cuts will go into effect July 1st, and will apply to six chorale employees. He says despite the financial stress the Chorale is continuing with its 40th anniversary season using grant funds for the performances.