It was sad to read the news out of Minnesota yesterday in the 5/9/2012 edition of the Star-Tribune where an article by Graydon Royce reports that the Minnesota Orchestra (MO) has eliminated nine full-time administrative positions and laid off seven part-time administrative employees.
In case you missed it, the Minnesota Orchestra (MO) seems to be gearing up for trouble. The 12/7/2011 edition of the Minnesota Star Tribune published an article by Graydon Royce that reports the MO is posting a $2.9 million deficit, or slightly less than 10 percent on of their $30.4 million annual budget. What’s intriguing in this situation are the details from the orchestra’s leadership.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) recently wrapped up a new three year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that flies in the face of the Chicken Little Think Tank sky is falling doctrine. Normally, we wouldn’t spend time looking at what amounts to a typical contract with standard improvements but given the recent concessionary agreement in Philadelphia, it seems appropriate to examine some of the contract provisions.
Among the largest budget orchestras, one of the most competitive issues is the ability to attract and retain the very best talent and perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the primary components in that equation is base wages. So I thought it would be helpful to take a look at what sort of impact the recent Philadelphia Orchestra concessionary agreement has on the big budget orchestra competition landscape.
I don’t know if it is anything more than a coincidence but two stories came out in Minneapolis media outlets that couldn’t do a better job at pointing out opposite ends of the fortune pole. One reported on an 11.3 percent pay cut for St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) musicians while the other reported on a $5 million gift to the Minnesota Orchestra’s Building for the Future capital campaign. It is difficult to imagine more diverse news pairing for a city that boasts two large budget performing arts organizations…