SPCO musicians take pay cut to balance budgetby Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — For the second year in a row musicians at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra have agreed to a pay cut to help the organization deal with declining revenues in the troubled economy.
Under an agreement announced Monday, the players will take an 11.3 percent salary cut for the 2010-2011 season.
Bassoonist Chuck Ullery, who served on the musicians negotiating team, said the musicians wanted to help out in difficult times.
"It hurts a little bit when you are expecting a certain income and then you take a cut, but I think everybody felt pretty good about the discussions and generally the orchestra felt good about what we came up with," he said.
The musicians took a 12 percent pay cut last year.
"I think all parties concerned would like to talk about a little bit more money in our next contract, but we'll see how it turns out," Ullery said. "We'll see how the economy turns out, we'll see how our fundraising and ticket sales go and we'll go from there."
Senior management at the SPCO announced in February that they would extend a 10 percent pay reduction on their salaries through the 2010-2011 season, and cease retirement fund payments. The SPCO has balanced its budget in 15 of the last 16 years.