Skip to main content

Mediator in Minnesota Orchestra dispute makes minor headway

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A proposed interim agreement by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell in the Minnesota Orchestra labor dispute appears to have won favor with locked-out musicians, but orchestra management has rejected the idea, the Star Tribune reports.

The proposal was reportedly sent to the musicians Wednesday in the form of a confidential letter.

The former Maine senator has been trying to mediate an agreement in the 11-month-long dispute, which resulted in the cancellation of the orchestra's entire 2013-2014 season and proposed shortened summer season.

In a letter to the musicians, Mitchell reportedly proposed a four-month interim agreement that would allow the musicians to return to work from September through December.

According to the Star Tribune, the short-term agreement would have allowed the players to receive salaries based on their expired contract for the first two months, and if a formal pact wasn't reached by the end of October, they would continue to play through December with a six percent pay cut.

If an agreement by the end of the four-month frame, the parties would return to their current positions.

The musicians rejected a similar proposal from management last month, where during a window of mediation they would return to work and for the first two months receive their old salaries. After that, however, a 25 percent cut in pay would go in effect.

When the Star Tribune reached out to orchestra chief executive Michael Henson, he wouldn't on the latest proposal, except to say, "I can confirm that we are in a confidential negotiating process."

Despite the rejection by management of the latest offer, both sides said the process with continue with Mitchell, the Star Tribune reports. Mitchell, in addition to being the former majority leader in the U.S. Senate, also acted as a diplomat to broker peace in Northern Ireland.

Next month will mark a crucial time for the orchestra. Conductor Osmo Vänskä said in May that he would leave his post Sept. 9 if the orchestra loses a prestigious Nov. 3 engagement at New York’s Carnegie Hall because of the lockout.

Next Up

hospital, emergency room

Woman found on side of highway after hit-and-run

The 41-year-old was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Jorden Nicole Borders

Charges: Minnesota woman tortured her kids, removed boy's blood

Warning: This story contains upsetting content.

first snow

Will narrow band of 6+ inches of snow hit Twin Cities Tuesday?

The NWS says a band of 6+ inches is looking likely. It's now a matter of where.


Siblings, ages 19 and 14, killed in crash on icy MN highway

The crash happened around 1:15 a.m. Saturday in Carlton County.

Nicholas Kraus

Man sentenced for fatally striking woman during Uptown protest

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul drove into a protest in Uptown last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Fleeing suspect crashes into vehicle in Woodbury, 2 injured

The crash occurred Friday afternoon after a pursuit with Woodbury police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 8.27.12 AM

St. Olaf football player charged after fatal crash in Chicago

The 18-year-old is accused of speeding and going the wrong way when he crashed into a vehicle that may have been attempting to flee police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 7.41.18 AM

Woman 34 weeks pregnant injured by drunk driver in Cottage Grove

The 49-year-old suspected of DUI was booked into jail around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.


2 dead, 5 injured in Thanksgiving Day crash near Alexandria

The crash involved two people from Alexandria and five from Bloomington.