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Locked-out SPCO musicians reject contract offer

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Locked-out musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have unanimously rejected management's latest contract offer.

The musicians voted by secret ballot Wednesday. In a statement, musicians said the proposal would have drastically reduced their salary and benefits.

Management calculated the proposal would cut wages by 14 percent, but musicians argued the cuts actually amounted to 33 percent.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports the four-year contract proposal also would have reduced the number of SPCO players from 34 to 28, and offered buyouts to musicians ages 55 or older. That's about half the current players.

SPCO concerts through Sunday are currently canceled.

In Minneapolis the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra also remain locked out.

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