After being locked out since Oct. 21, 2012, musicians with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra are prepared to complete a shortened season with a smaller contingent. A tentative agreement ending the lockout cuts the orchestra from 34 members to 28 and lowers the guaranteed minimum salary to $60,000—19% less than the previous contract that expired last September.
Additional pay will be negotiated on a musician-by-musician basis;has agreed that those rates will be no lower than 20% below those in the old contract. In return for the concessions, musicians will receive better retirement benefits.
Details on broadcast and recording rights remain to be worked out, but management and musicians alike are optimistic they can get the contract completed in time to fit in some concerts before the season ends June 19.
Both sides credited St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s shuttle diplomacy during an eight-hour negotiating session as instrumental in reaching the tentative settlement.