SPCO musicians ratify contract, ending lockout

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ST. PAUL — Musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have ratified a new, 3-year contract, ending a 6-month-long lockout.

Carole Mason Smith, who chairs the musicians negotiating committee, says the musicians are “eager and excited” to return to the stage and play music again. But she says the musicians remain concerned about the artistic quality of the SPCO for future generations.

The musicians also called for an immediate search for a new leader for the SPCO.

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The new contract will reduce musicians’ annual pay by $15,000, include a retirement buyout for musicians 55 and older, and reduce the size of the orchestra from 34 to 28 players.

The musicians of the SPCO will have been locked out for 191 days when the dispute officially ends Tuesday.