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Minnesota Orchestra management rejects mediation proposal

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Osmo Vanska and orchestra
Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vanska and musicians receive a standing ovation during a concert celebrating a Grammy nomination at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013.
MPR Photo/Euan Kerr

The Minnesota Orchestra rejected a proposal to enter mediation with the musicians' union after its members accepted it, according to a document obtained by MPR News.

The negotiations led by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell are secret at Mitchell's request. However Mitchell has proposed a so-called play-and-talk deal in which management would end its 10-month lock out of the musicians on Sept. 1.

That would allow a rehearsal before the Sept. 9 the deadline set by Music Director Osmo Vanska to prevent his resignation. Under the Mitchell proposal, the musicians would return for two months under the terms of their old contract. If there is no contract deal by then, musicians would take a 6 percent pay cut.

If another two months passed without a deal, then the lock out would return. According to the document, the musicians accepted the deal, but management rejected it.

A musicians' representative said the musicians had no comment. A management representative said the process is confidential and also declined comment.