Save Our SPCO group presses for resolution of orchestra lock out

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians rallied Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, outside the Ordway Center in an attempt to forestall a feared lock out by the orchestra's management. A citizens group today delivered a 3,000-signature petition to the orchestra board, pressing for a resolution in the contract dispute.
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

A citizens group pressing for a resolution in the contract dispute between management and musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra delivered a 3,000-signature petition to the orchestra board on Tuesday.

The petition calls for good faith negotiations, selection and support of good leaders and finding a workable solution to the SPCO's financial troubles.

St. Paul City Councilmember Dave Thune joined group to deliver the petition and called for an end to the current musician lock out. Thune calls the SPCO a jewel on the chest of the city, but said he does not know what it will take to resolve the current contract dispute.

"I keep hoping that they will be reasonable in their negotiations and I certainly hope that if they can't do that then they'll just replace management," Thune said.

The SPCO board met this Tuesday afternoon in closed session to discuss last week's negotiations with musicians. The talks, which occurred under a federal mediator-requested media black-out, were the first negotiations in the dispute since early November.

The group also delivered comments from the public for the SPCO board to consider, said Mariellen Jacobson, who heads Save Our SPCO.

"There are students who are saying 'this is just devastating to me, I might be losing my teacher.' There are people who say 'we came here because of the SPCO.' There are people who say 'How hard could it be to manage an arts organization of 34 people? Come on, you are meant to be arts managers, why can't you find a solution to this?'"

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