Minnesota Orchestra accepts wage freeze

by Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
August 5, 2009

St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota Orchestra musicians have agreed to contract modifications which will save the orchestra about $4.2 million over the remaining three years of the current five-year contract.

The modifications include a wage freeze, a reduction in pension contributions, and the freezing of open positions and musicians hope it will help the orchestra through the current unsettled economic times.

The reductions follow a few months after the Minnesota Orchestra cut $2.3 million from its 2009-10 budget. Four full-time positions were eliminated, and part-time staffing was reduced, along with salary reductions and wage freezes for orchestra staff.

Music Director Osmo Vanska and President and CEO Michael Henson reduced their salaries by, respectively, 10 percent and 7 percent.

In April musicians at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra agreed to take a 12 percent pay cut for the 2009-2010 season.

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