As concerned audience members, we urge The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Society Board of Directors to take the following four actions:
1. Commit to respectful and constructive negotiations – deliver fair pay and treatment musicians deserve.
2. Find and support effective leaders – collaboration inspires growth.
3. Solve the revenue problem – you cannot cut your way to greatness.
4. End the lockout while negotiations proceed in good faith
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is an award winning, world class, internationally renowned and seasoned family of musicians that we cherish. However, The SPCO’s future is now in jeopardy due to failures in these three areas:
Respectful and Constructive Negotiations:
• The musicians have given salary concessions of $2.2 million over the last ten years.
• Musicians reopened the previous five year contract three times, and agreed to reductions in pay of 11.7%, 11.4%, and 5.8% from the negotiated amounts.
• Current proposals from musicians which also include reductions in compensation have all been rejected by management.
• Protections and rights regarding work conditions as set forth in the previous, union-approved contract must be maintained.
• The SPCO lacks a permanent CEO able to effectively lead a major non-profit institution.
• The current governance structure of having the Chairman of the Board acting as CEO is inappropriate.
• Management must collaborate with musicians on artistic decisions.
• While recently the price of tickets was drastically lowered, plans for increasing revenue or attracting donations are glaringly absent.
• Fundraising efforts need to be redirected towards retention of all musicians. $55 million has been raised for non-musician-related improvements. Only $1.5 million is needed to bridge the current salary gap.
This management-created deadlock could destroy The SPCO. Save Our SPCO, an audience advocate group, asks other concerned citizens to join us and sign this petition.