In Saturday’s (4/6) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce writes, “St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman appears to have brokered the terms of an agreement in principle that would end a long, bitter labor dispute at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and salvage as many as 14 concerts this season. In a letter to locked-out musicians on Friday, Coleman said he took their remaining contract concerns to orchestra management and received positive responses. … The SPCO season was suspended on Oct. 21 when musicians rejected a contract proposal and were locked out. … There is still some work to be done, said Carole Mason Smith, head of the SPCO musicians’ negotiating team. Their attorney, who was flying to Cleveland, would review the agreement Friday evening, she said. ‘I think this is very hopeful,’ Mason Smith said. ‘We hope to get a vote as soon as possible, but I’m sure there are some clarifications that need to be made.’ Dobson West, interim SPCO president, said in an interview, ‘This does give us a way to at least have the local deal essentially done.’ This deal would guarantee an annual base salary of $60,000, which is down about 18 percent from current levels. Also, the size of the full-time ensemble would be reduced to 28, from 34 players. The deal would also institute an early-retirement program.”

Posted April 8, 2013