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Minn. Orchestra Musicians Reject Contract

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You can check out free outdoor concerts on Peavey Plaza downtown in the summer during Sommerfest. (Credit: www.minnesotaorchestra.org)

You can check out free outdoor concerts on Peavey Plaza downtown in the summer during Sommerfest. (Credit: http://www.minnesotaorchestra.org)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota Orchestra musicians voted unanimously on Saturday to reject a management proposal to cut pay by 30 to 50 percent, in addition to over 200 changes to the existing contract.

The musicians also passed a unanimous motion to urge Orchestra management to “Play and Talk” – allowing the musicians to work as both parties were in the negotiation process.

Management’s offer would cut yearly salaries from $135,000 a year to $89,000, and musicians would also pay more for health insurance.

Douglas Wright, trombonist and member of the negotiating committee, says joint cooperation is in line with Minnesota values.

“Tonight the musicians of what has been called the ‘The Greatest Orchestra in the World’ by Alex Ross of the New Yorker, rejected a music killing contract proposed by management,” Wright said. “In the spirit of Minnesota where people work together to solve problems, the musicians also want to work while the negotiations continue.”

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