SPCO prepared to make concessions to musicians

Flautists Alicia McQuerrey and Julia Bogora-Kogan
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra flautists Alicia McQuerrey, left, and Julia Bogorad-Kogan.
Photo courtesy Sarah Rubenstein

Officials with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra say they are prepared to make contract concessions to end a 3-month lockout.

Musicians, who responded with concessions of their own earlier this week, see the developments as positive.

In a letter to SPCO supporters, interim President Dobson West said the board's negotiating committee has agreed to a wage increase over the duration of a new contract.

They will also guarantee to pay musicians' insurance and continue to give musicians artistic input. The letter also states no current musicians will be laid off.

West said the sides do seem to be moving forward.

"We are beginning to make progress and I'm becoming more hopeful that we will be able to find a solution that is both financially and artistically viable," West said.

Earlier this week the musicians, said they would accept management's desire to trim the orchestra from 34 to 28 players. They have already responded positively to the proposals in the letter.

West says the sides are exchanging written information and he has requested dates for a possible face to face meeting.

The SPCO locked out its musicians in October, and has cancelled all concerts through late March.

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