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Proposal violates agreement, say locked-out Minnesota Orchestra musicians

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Locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra reacted angrily to a new management proposal, saying it violates an agreement to set aside differences until after a celebration concert Friday.

Management released suggestions to expedite an independent financial analysis. For months, players have requested the analysis but board negotiators only agreed to it Jan. 2. Management and board negotiators also suggested a fundraising feasibility study to see if the community might give more money, as well as a review jointly funded by the board and musicians which will test the accuracy of management's account of the current financial position and future revenue projections. 

Hearing about the proposal from reporters, musicians released a statement saying "management has decided to try to bully and intimidate the Musicians through the media instead of meeting and negotiating in 'good faith.'"

Earlier this month, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak asked all sides to set aside differences until after a concert Friday in celebration of the Minnesota Orchestra's Grammy nomination.

Orchestra President Michael Henson says he is very happy discussions with musicians are underway.

"What we are obviously keen to do is expedite the process moving forward," Henson said.

Meanwhile, locked-out musicians at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra set a Friday deadline for a management response to their latest proposal.