SPCO musicians want contract details

Carole Mason Smith
Carole Mason Smith has played with the SPCO for over 30 years. She is now chair of the SPCO Musicians Negotiating Committee for the ongoing contract talks with the orchestra.
MPR Photo/Euan Kerr

After two days of contract negotiations, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians say they need more information before responding to a proposal from management.

The latest proposal from SPCO management includes a 15-percent cut in guaranteed pay for musicians and a reduction in the orchestra size from 34 to 28 musicians.

In a statement, SPCO management said it has provided more details on the proposal and answered musicians' questions.

However the chair of the musicians negotiation committee Carole Mason Smith said the musicians want to see the formal wording of the contract proposal before they respond. That wording will not be available until next week.

"The real challenge is that these are still only concepts and ideas. We have not seen any formal written language," Smith said. "We have asked for that and have been told it won't be available until next week at the earliest."

SPCO management also asked for a response before the next negotiating session scheduled for Sept. 21, but Smith says that is unlikely.

The current contract runs out Sept, 30.

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