SPCO musicians vote today on contractby Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Locked out musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will vote Wednesday on a contract proposal that would cut salaries and the size of the orchestra.
While management calculates the proposed wage cuts at 14 percent, musicians say the cuts amount to 33 percent. The four year contract proposal would also reduce the number of SPCO players from 34 to 28, and offer buy-outs to musicians aged 55 or older. That's about half the current players.
The musicians say they will discuss the offer, but in recent weeks their leaders have described it as dangerous and likely to destroy the SPCO. However management says the organization needs to save $1.4 million dollars a year to become financially viable.
SPCO concerts through Sunday are currently cancelled. If musicians reject the offer, further cancellations are likely. In Minneapolis the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra also remain locked out.