Minnesota Orchestra Musicians Headed for Lockout
There's still no agreement between musicians and management of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Tim Zavadil is a musician with the Minnesota Orchestra. He says he is a bit mystified at the moment. He says two proposals were put on the table to management to prevent a lockout expected to start at midnight Sunday. Both offers were rejected.
"The first offer was to go to binding arbitration, that offer was rejected by the board of management," Zavadil said.
Their second offer was to play and talk, that offer was also rejected.
"It's our intention to avoid a work stoppage, we want to start the season," Zavadil said.
As management walked out of negotiations they didn't speak, instead they released this statement.
"We respectfully decline the musicians' request to continue playing after the expiration of their contract. We have tremendous respect for our musicians, and hope that they come to the table with a reasonable counter offer and begin to negotiate with us."
Zavadil says, at issue is management's proposal for salary cuts between 30 and 50 percent for Musicians. Base salaries would go from $111,000 to $77,000. And sick and injury benefits would be cut by 25 percent.
Management says the cuts they are proposing are based on future financial concerns. Zavadil says the timing does not make any sense.
"We're seeing these cuts at a time when the board and management are in a very successful $97 million fund raising campaign and they are spending $50 million to refurbish our lobby," Zavadil said.