Mayor Chris Coleman, with SPCO board chair Dobson West and Ordway President Patricia Mitchell, announced a tentative agreement earlier this month./Photo by Glen Stubbe

 

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 that was formally submitted to them last Thursday. That step took place after the SPCO had made a deal with the American Federation of Musicians on media rights.

Musicians have said they will vote on the contract by U.S. mail, with a deadline of April 29 (next Monday). If the deal is ratified, SPCO board chairman Dobby West said he expects the ensemble can begin rehearsals on May 7 and be back on stage on Thursday, May 9. West has said previously that the program for the first concert after a six-month lockout has not been decided.

A tenative agreement in the long dispute was reached through the help of St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman on April 9. Minimum annual salaries were cut 18.6 percent to $60,000. The size of the ensemble was cut to 28 from 34 musicians and a special retirement package was approved. Concerts were suspended and musicians were locked out Oct. 21 after failing to vote on a management proposal at that time.