Labor talks at SPCO apparently fruitless

St. Paul Ordway Theatre Center
The St. Paul Ordway Theatre Center, home to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Courtesy of the St. Paul Ordway Theatre Center

Contract talks between musicians and management at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra broke up for the day on Saturday, apparently without an agreement.

The musicians' contract expires on Sept. 30. Management said it would release a statement about the negotiations on Monday. More talks are scheduled for Sept. 29-30.

Management's most recent proposal would cut musicians' guaranteed pay by 15 percent, to $62,500 a year. It would also reduce the size of the orchestra from 34 to 28 players. The SPCO management says the cuts are necessary to deal with a deficit and to make the orchestra more financially stable.

Musicians say drastic cuts threaten the SPCO's famous quality, as it's likely musicians will seek work elsewhere if salaries are cut dramatically.

Management and musicians at the Minnesota Orchestra will meet for contract negotiations on Monday.

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