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The Minnesota Orchestra Board of Directors and musicians, who are members of the Twin Cities Musicians’ Union (Local 30-73), today ratified a new collective bargaining agreement, effective February 1, that brings the organization’s lockout to a conclusion. The Orchestra’s first concert performances back onstage at Orchestra Hall are anticipated in early February and will be announced shortly.
“This ratified agreement reflects that both the musicians and the board made concessions on issues of importance to them, which was necessary in order to bring the organization together again,” said Board Negotiating Chair Richard Davis. “Our success now depends on our ability to move forward with positive spirit as one organization, and we are very pleased to begin this work with the musicians and to engage our audiences with music again.”
Clarinetist and musician negotiator Tim Zavadil said, “Musicians are pleased that we have come to a solution with our board, and we are ready to work with them to begin the hard work that lies ahead. We are anxious to start performing for our community at home in Orchestra Hall once again. We know that there is a great love for this Orchestra throughout the community, and we are confident that this community will, in fact, continue to support world-class music in the Twin Cities.”
The terms of the three-year contract agreement include:
o the ability to offer chamber music and outreach performances without additional pay;
o an increase in the number of weekend rehearsals and concerts allowed;
o the ability to offer New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day concerts;
o an increase in concert length up to 2¼ hours when needed;
o changes in the way overtime is calculated.
The agreement continues to rank the Minnesota Orchestra among the “Top Ten” orchestras in the nation according to pay scale, which was a key musician priority.
“Keeping our salaries in the top ten was a critical issue for us, as it allows us to attract and retain the finest musicians in the country, and continue building the tradition of excellence that has been cultivated by the community over the past 110 years,” said cellist and musician negotiator Marcia Peck.
Said Board Chair Jon Campbell, “Meeting the ‘Top Ten’ metric means the organization will need to seek bridge funding to help address financial issues in future years. Now more than ever, we will need members of our community who voiced strong support for world-class orchestral music in our state to help us achieve long-term fiscal health through increased concert attendance and financial support.”
At the Orchestra’s Annual Meeting in December, the board requested that Campbell continue to lead as chair through the conclusion of the labor dispute. With a contract resolution reached, the board will elect a new chair in upcoming weeks.
“With this agreement in place, we look forward to working with new board leadership to rebuild our relationship and trust within our organization and with our audiences,” said Principal Trombone and musician negotiator Doug Wright.
“Our plan is to resume concerts as soon as possible, with “homecoming” programs in early February and then the launch of our 2014 subscription season,” said Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michael Henson. “We are happy to begin a new chapter by welcoming our audiences and the greater community to Orchestra Hall and the musicians back to this stage.”
Details of the homecoming concerts and the 2014 subscription season will be announced soon, and Minnesota Orchestra subscribers and donors will receive advance ordering information.