Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra management said Friday that a counteroffer from locked-out musicians is unacceptable.
The counteroffer is the latest in a series of back-and-forth proposals precipitated by the intervention of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Two weeks ago the mayor called the parties together and in the looming shadow of possibly losing the rest of the SPCO season, pressed them to come to a resolution.
SPCO management agreed to offer more money than earlier proposals, although still significantly cutting the salaries of the past contract. It also made other concessions on artistic control of the orchestra. Musician negotiators agreed to put the proposal to a vote. Management said it needs a deal by April 8 to avoid canceling the remainder of the season.
The counteroffer accepts a base salary of $60,000, an orchestra of 28 players, downsized from 34, and a special retirement package for musicians aged 55 or older.
The musicians want a letter removed from the local contract. The letter is attached to what's called an integrated media agreement on broadcast and Internet use of SPCO performances. The musicians want the IMA to be negotiated with the national musicians union, the American Federation of Musicians. Once that is settled, the musicians say they will vote on the rest of the proposal.
SPCO management said it agreed to that change, but is unhappy with further changes made to items on which musicians had earlier agreed.
In a statement, SPCO interim President Dobson West said, "We view their proposal as an abrogation of what we agreed to...and consequently, it is unacceptable. We expect that they will honor the commitment they made to the Mayor and take our proposal to a vote."