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Orchestra musicians vote to reject contract: Management responds

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The board of the Minnesota Orchestra issued a statement Saturday afternoon in response to musicians' vote to reject its latest contract offer. KSTP posted a copy of the statement, which says management has "moved significantly" over the course of its four contract offers and hopes the musicians will compromise too.

The Pioneer Press reported the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra voted Saturday to reject the latest contract offer.

Spokesman Blois Olson called the offer "artistically unsustainable."

"Musicians have long said this is not just about money," Olson said. "It's about maintaining the world-class talent and reputation of the orchestra."

He also said the talks were very fluid, and that the musicians decided to vote this morning so they could try to make progress by Monday.

The Star Tribune  quoted a member of the musician's negotiating team saying he's not sure how firm the Monday deadline is for Osmo Vanska's resignation. “We were told that the 9th was a deadline, then the 15th, and then the 23rd,” Doug Wright said. “Even if Monday is not a hard deadline, we know a deadline is looming.”

Music director Osmo Vanska has said he will quit if the orchestra doesn't start rehearsing this week.

The musicians say the offer on the table would diminish the quality of the orchestra, making it less than "world-class."

The latest board proposal would cut musicians’ base salaries by 18.6 percent in the first year, and then take graduated steps in which the total cut reaches 25 percent in year three. Foundations and a handful of wealthy donors came up with about $1.5 million to sweeten the pot with a $20 thousand signing bonus.

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