St. Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians outraged over cancelations

2:44 PM, Nov 2, 2012   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - In an e-mail released on Friday, locked-out musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra say that they are outraged at management's decision to cancel all SPCO concerts in 2012.

"The decision to cancel all these concerts and lock the musicians out for over 10 weeks demonstrates management's complete unwillingness to negotiate any of the terms of the agreement," said the letter, which was signed by the Musicians' Negotiating Committee.

The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra made the decision to cancel the performances after musicians unanimously rejected management's latest contract offer.

SPCO President Dobson West said in a statement Thursday the musicians' demands are threatening the organization's future.

"In the SPCO's 53-year history, the musicians have never gone on strike or failed to reach an agreement with management prior to the expiration of a contract," the letter said.

Management has asked for salary cuts and a reduction in the number of performers after suffering a nearly $1 million deficit last year. The musicians have said the reduced wages and loss of musicians will damage the orchestra's artistic standing.

The negotiating committee says musicians have made salary concessions totalling $2.2 million over the last 10 years.

SPCO management locked out the musicians on Oct. 21.
The two sides are scheduled to meet for negotiations Nov. 8.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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