SPCO rejects musicians' contract counterproposal

Violinists Leslie Shank and Elsa Nilsson
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra violinists Leslie Shank, left, and Elsa Nilsson.
Photo courtesy Sarah Rubenstein

Management at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is rejecting a contract counterproposal submitted by musicians over the weekend.

In a statement Monday on the SPCO's website, Interim President Dobson West says the musicians' proposal does not save enough money immediately and increases costs in the long term.

The musicians had proposed to cut their base salaries by 1 percent in the first two years, but raise them by 4 percent in the third and final year of the contract. The musicians also rejected a management proposal to reduce the number of players in the orchestra.

West said the SPCO needs to cut costs significantly if the orchestra is to survive. Management proposed a 15 percent cut in musicians' pay.

A representative of the musicians said she couldn't comment on the management statement until the the musicians committee has discussed the matter.

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