Negotiating Committee email to SPCO Musicians and the list of changes negotiated on April 21 and April 22

Dear Colleagues,

The Negotiations Committee is pleased to announce that thanks to the efforts of Brad Eggen and Mel Schwarzwald we now have complete documents.  Based on the improvements that have been made, and because the Negotiation Committee believes that it is important to have some remainder of a 12-13 SPCO season, we strongly recommend this proposal for ratification.

The following documents are attached.
1  Changes in Society’s Proposals Negotiated on 4-21 and 4-22-13 and
2  2013-4-22 Society’s Proposal
Return to Work Agreement and Mutual Release Pages 1-4

Collective Bargaining Agreement with Appendices A-D    Pages 7-70

Appendix E Special Retirement Package and Separation Agreement, Waiver and         Release relating to the Special Retirement Package    Pages  1-7

Exhibit C to Return to Work agreement and Mutual Release


Return to Work Schedule

Exhibit D

In order to resume performances, we approved several scheduling waivers, including rehearsals on days previously labeled as free days.
Please review the schedules carefully and contact Kelly if you need to.

The documents you have now received from the Committee are what you should vote on, as those received from any other source cannot be considered accurate or complete.

Ballots were mailed to you today, Tuesday April 23, 2013.

The instructions for completing mailed ballots were included with the ballots. Please read the instructions and follow them carefully, so your vote will count.  The deadline for the Union to receive the ballots is Monday, April 29, 2013 at 2PM.  Ballots received after 2PM will not be counted.  All ballots were mailed by express mail and included a prepaid express mail return envelope.

If you prefer to hand deliver your ballot, the Twin Cities Musicians’ Union is located in the Itasca Building, 708 1st Street North, Suite 243, Minneapolis, MN 55401.  If you need more specific directions, call 612-338-5013.  Hand delivered ballots must be also received at the TCMU offices before 2PM on Monday, April 29, 2013.

Management has indicated to our audience members that concerts will resume on May 9, so rehearsals are still set to begin on May 7.  Upon confirmation of ratification by April 29, the Society will begin paying us starting April 30, with insurance benefits beginning May 1.

Carole, Lynn, Leslie, Fred and Julie


This document lists and explains changes that were made in the Society’s proposals before this package would be submitted for ratification. The Union and the Committee insisted on many of these changes because contract language was changed by the Society even though the involved sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement were not mentioned in the Outline which the Negotiating Committee and the Union agreed to recommend for ratification. Other changes that are noted are the result of negotiations related to the Integrated Media Agreement (IMA) conducted by the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). The AFM insisted that Management adhere to the requirements of the IMA that certain actions cannot be taken without the prior approval of the Orchestra Committee.

At the end of each item a reference appears in parenthesis. In most cases that reference is to Exhibit A of the materials accompanying this document which is the new 2013-2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The reference in parenthesis includes the Section and the page number at which the relevant language may be found.

  1. Seniority Pay – Seniority Pay was increased from forty percent (40%) to fifty-five percent (55%) of the total amount of Seniority Pay due for the 2012-13 season. The amount of Seniority Pay due each eligible Musician is listed on Appendix D to the CBA. (CBA, B.2.9, p. 8 and p. 70)
  2. Continuation of CBA During Summer at End of Contract – Management had removed the language assuring that your contract would continue through the summer of 2016 while negotiations might be continuing for a new CBA. This language assured that your benefits would continue during that period of time as well as your weekly pay which is to be made in twenty-six (26) weekly payments. (CBA, B.1.1, p.5)
  3. No Discipline Based on Media Activities – Management had agreed, but then failed to place in the CBA, a provision that guarantees that there will be no discipline because of what occurs during a media recording or appears in a finished product . (CBA, E.3, p.58)
  4. AFM Media Capture Protections – The AFM insisted that there would be no audio or audio-visual capture of any Orchestra activities without prior notice to and/or approval of the Orchestra Committee.
  5. Holiday Vacations – Management had removed the language which guaranteed that there would be no services during the weeks in which Christmas and New Year occur. As in the 2007-12 Agreement there is an exception at one point during the contract but such services cannot begin then until December 29, just as provided in the 2007-12 Agreement. (CBA, B.2.12, p. 9)
  6. Concert Season Within Forty (40) Consecutive Weeks – Management had also removed the language from the 2007-12 Agreement which guaranteed that the concert season would cover a forty (40) consecutive week period between August 15 and June 15. There is also one occasion during the CBA when Management may schedule differently, just as provided in the 2007-12 Agreement. (CBA, B.1.2, p. 5)
  1. Individual Contracts – Management attempted to make a number of changes in the language related to and the text of these agreements. Each of the following changes from what Management proposed were negotiated.
    1. Termination of Contract When CBA Terminated – Even though a number of Musicians have individual contracts which cover multiple years, and sometimes extend beyond the term of a collective bargaining agreement, Management attempted to have all individual contracts terminate when the CBA terminated. That language was deleted. (CBA, B.3.2, p. 10)
    2. Provision of Large Percussion Instruments – Individual contracts had a sentence requiring the Society to provide large percussion instruments when required. Management had removed that sentence but it has now been returned to the individual contracts. (CBA, Appendix A, Para. 4, p. 66)
  2. Notice Requirement for Resignation – Management had added language placing extensive obligations on Musicians when they were considering a change to another Orchestra. All of that language has been removed. The language from the 2007-12 Agreement has been continued. (CBA, B.3.3, p. 11)
  3. Calculation of Per-Service Rate – There was no language providing that the per-service rate would include overscale. Such language has been added in the contract. (CBA, B.2.6, pp. 6-7)
  4. Use of Extras – Management had changed language governing the use of extras from what is “required” to what Management “deemed appropriate.” That language has been returned to using extras as “required.” (CBA, B.4.1, p. 51)
  5. Return to Work Agreement and Mutual Release (RTW)
    1. Requirement of AFM – IMA Approval – Management insisted on including a paragraph which referred to the approval of the IMA. That was paragraph 2 of the prior draft which has been removed.
    2. Open Enrollment for Insurance Coverages – Management had included such a paragraph in its Outline but not in the RTW document presented on April 18. That paragraph has been added. (RTW, Para. 6, p. 2)
  6. Special Retirement Package Payment to Estates – A provision has been added to the Special Retirement Package requiring that if a Musician dies during the payment period the remaining payments will be made to his or her estate. (Appendix E, Para. XIV, p. 7)

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