The day after Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra management cited the lack of a contract counter-proposal as a reason to cancel all concerts through February 8th, the locked out musicians said they are the ones who are waiting.
The players released a statement saying they are disappointed by the management decision, saying it will deprive the community of exciting concerts scheduled for next year. The statement continued that the musicians are not to blame for the current standoff.
"We are also disappointed that Management continues to mislead the public with claims that the stalemate rests in our hands.
We made it very clear to Management on November 8, 2012 that there would be no further proposals from us until their proposals to have the right to terminate musicians at any time and without recourse, and to change or eliminate their health and other benefits we're taken off the table. They have ignored our concerns and are now misrepresenting the state of contract talks.
If Management would agree to negotiate and continue in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement provisions governing the number of Musicians and the instruments they play, and provisions governing the benefits provided to the Musicians and the costs of those benefits to the Musicians, for the entire term of the Agreement, we could resume negotiations.
We await Management's next move so we can return to the bargaining table as soon as possible and resume playing music for this wonderful community."
In turn SPCO Interim President Dobson West released a statement of his own late this afternoon:
"The Musicians rejected our last offer on October 31, and have not themselves made an offer since September. Our audited financial results for last year show a deficit of approximately $900,000 dollars, a deficit that will grow unless further cost reductions are made. The Musicians know that it is their turn to make a proposal, and that their next offer needs to address the significant financial challenge we face. We hope the Musicians will channel their ideas into a proposal as soon as possible."
The bottom line remains there are no negotiations scheduled at present.