Despite a quiet determination on both sides, musicians and management at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have not settled on a new contract so more concerts have been canceled – through April 21.
Musicians have declined a “play and talk” offer, which would have let the season resume while both sides worked out a lasting agreement. However, the union and management agreed to a “more intense negotiations schedule recently,” according to Dobson West, the board chair and interim president. Multiple meetings have been set for this week.
West described recent sessions as productive, although there is still significant work to be done.
There is still hope of salvaging some of the SPCO season, which started in September but then broke off when musicians were locked out on Oct. 21. After April 21, there remain 21 concerts through the first weekend in June.
At least there are negotiations in St. Paul. At the Minnesota Orchestra, there has been one bargaining session since musicians were locked out on Oct. 1. That meeting, on Jan. 2, put into motion a process for determining the parameters for a financial analysis of the orchestra. Agreement hasn’t been made on that preliminary step and no meetings are scheduled. Concerts by the Minnesota Orchestra are currently canceled through April 7.
SPCO ticket holders will be contacted about their options.
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If everything works out according to plan, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will be back giving concerts on May 9. SPCO musicians are voting on a contract proposal, with a deadline of Monday.
The Twin Cities' two major orchestras meet with their locked-out musicians this week in an attempt to end lingering labor disputes.
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra appears to be on track to end its lockout of musicians and salvage a remnant of the 2012-13 concert season.
Several days of negotiations have hit a brief wall as the two sides wrangle over numbers. The clock is ticking on efforts to save the tail end of the season.
The Minnesota Orchestra board has proposed a short summer season, and offered dates for negotiations