Campbell said he was not surprised that Vänskä’s letter was released to news media in a labor dispute that has become increasingly public. “But I’m certainly disappointed that we’re not sitting down in private trying to find a solution,” he said.
In case you forgot, Mr. Campbell was the man who said OK to releasing the entirety of the proposed contract online on September 5, weeks before the deadline of September 30. (It came a day after the SPCO released their proposed contract. Coincidence? ….) In their open letter, the MOA Negotiations Committee said, “For nearly five months, we have held our negotiations behind closed doors to foster a respectful process. With the deadline for contract expiration less than a month away, we feel that now is the time to update all who have a stake in the outcome on the proposals that we have put forth to musicians.”
So, to recap:
Management going public with a draconian proposed contract behind musicians’ backs weeks before the old contract expired = helpful and necessary
Musicians (presumably) going public with a letter their music director wrote to them discussing the future of their orchestra = disappointing
Private negotiations in September = bad
Private negotiations in November = good
Interestingly, it’s possible to read between the lines and realize management is not completely comfortable with what has just transpired. Despite their ridiculous email response, they obviously understand that Osmo’s letter is a PR loss for them…because otherwise they would have wanted to be the ones to release it to the press. Correct? And they acknowledge here they didn’t. So aha, Mr. Campbell. You’ve inadvertently shown your hand. If this letter was such a great bolster to your cause, why weren’t you running to the Star Tribune office with it? (Not to mention…there was no link to Osmo’s full letter in their email response. It’s almost as if they don’t want us to read the whole thing.)
It must be tough to live under the weight of such cognitive dissonance.