For the second year in a row, musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra have agreed to a major pay cut as a way to reduce expenses for the organization in the troubled economy.
The musicians, who have a union contract, agreed to an 11.3 percent pay reduction; last year, they agreed to a 12 percent pay cut.
The SPCO says it ended 2008-09 with a balanced budget and has no accumulated deficit and no external debt. But continued revenue declines, attributable to the recession, led orchestra leaders to ask for the pay cuts.
Management also will continue its 10 percent pay reduction, and for the second year in a row the organization’s staff will have a pay freeze.
SPCO management says it met with a group of musicians, their attorney, union representatives and board members to discuss how to reduce expenses. The musicians approved the reduction last week.
”We as the musicians of the SPCO wanted to do our part to ensure that the organization remains financially healthy,” said Carole Mason Smith, SPCO bassoonist. “No one wants to reduce compensation, but we all understand that the economic downturn is a reality that we can’t change, and that we need to work together as an organization to face this challenge.”