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St. Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians ratify two-year contract extension

The musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have ratified a two-year contract extension that will bring raises for the players.

The orchestra endured a 191-lockout in 2013; it ended with cuts in salaries and in the size of the group as part of a contract that expires next summer.

The new extension runs from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018.

According to the terms reached between the orchestra management and American Federation of Musicians Local 30-73, most terms of the current contract remain the same, including the size of the orchestra at 28 musicians. (There had been 34 before the lockout.)

Officials said the extension offers raises:

Musicians making less than $80,000 in total salary will receive a raise of $4,000 in the first year, with all musicians receiving a raise of $2,000 in the second year. The guaranteed minimum annual base salary will increase to $64,000 in the first year and $66,000 in the second year, an increase of 10% over two years.

The two sides offered these statements:

  • Orchestra Committee chair, violinist Nina Tso-Ning Fan: "We are very pleased that the Society engaged with us in a constructive and thoughtful way, helping SPCO musicians regain some of the wages lost in the previous settlement. We have recently welcomed four new members and look forward to focusing our work this season on playing great concerts, rather than on negotiations."
  • SPCO President Bruce Coppock: "This extension reinforces the commitment of both management and musicians to the SPCO’s bold artistic vision and will help ensure that the SPCO will continue to be an artistically vibrant part of this community for years to come. It was extremely important for us to make a further investment in our musicians, whose performances during the past two years have been nothing short of extraordinary."

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