St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's six-month lockout to end
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman with Dobson West, the Orchestra Society's interim chair, at left, and Ordway President Patricia Mitchell at right, announcing the end of the lockout on Wednesday.
For six months, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has had to cancel its concerts as musicians and management tangled over the terms of a new contract.
The labor dispute began when the musicians' old contract expired at the end of September 2012. Three weeks later, musicians were locked out. Now, after months of stalled negotiations, the two sides have reached a tentative agreement.
The deal involves compromises on both sides, reports the New York Times: The orchestra will lose six players, and those who remain will suffer an 18.6 percent guaranteed salary cut, to $60,000. But in exchange, the musicians will get better retirement benefits and a guarantee that individuals' extra pay will not be cut more than 20 percent.
In order to reach a resolution in the tense lockout, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman got involved. He shepherded the deal, and on Wednesday, announced the agreement at the SPCO's home, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.
The musicians' negotiators agreed to recommend approval of the
current offer on Tuesday night. Once the American Federation of
Musicians grants the expected green light for broadcast and recording rights, the SPCO musicians will come
together for a formal vote, and concerts will be able to resume for the seven weeks left in the season.
Management at the still-locked-out Minnesota Orchestra, your move.
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