Minnesota Orchestra and Musicians Agree to Extend Contract

Classic Arts News   Minnesota Orchestra and Musicians Agree to Extend Contract
The Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians have agreed to extend their current contract indefinitely while talks continue, a representative of the orchestra confirmed today. The two-year pact was set to expire last night.

"[The extension] doesn't mean that we're committed to playing and talking until an agreement is reached," Ron Rollins, an attorney for the union, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "It's just that we need further negotiations, and we're actively pursuing those."

Tony Woodcock, the president of the orchestra, told the paper that he expected a settlement to be reached, and added that discussions were "warm" and "constructive. "

"If it doesn't sound too contradictory, I actually enjoy the meetings," he said.

According to the Star Tribune, the main issues on the table are pay and health insurance. Musicians accepted a pay freeze for 2002-03 and got a 3 percent salary increase in 2003-04 to a minimum of $91,052. Rollins would not reveal the details of offers from either side, but told the paper that management was not seeking a pay cut.

Musicians at the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, and Cincinnati Symphony are also currently playing under contract extensions.

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