Mayor, SPCO announce agreement to end lockout

Management and players reached an agreement Tuesday evening

After six months of negotiations, Mayor Chris Coleman joined with the SPCO at the Ordway today to announce a mutual agreement to end the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra lockout.

Management and the musicians reached an agreement Tuesday evening which will allow the orchestra, a Saint Paul institution for 54 years, to resume its schedule shows for the remainder of the season.

“I am sincerely thankful to both the SPCO musicians and management, who have worked tirelessly for the past six months to reach an agreement and end this lockout. Both sides made significant concessions in order to bring this treasured institution back to the Ordway, and I recognize their sacrifice,” Mayor Chris Coleman said. “For decades, this orchestra has attracted audiences from across the nation to Saint Paul, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them and their music back to the Ordway.”

“We are very pleased to have come to agreement on a proposal that will be taken to the Musicians for ratification, and we are thrilled that we can now begin planning for the return of the SPCO’s great music to this community,” Dobson West, SPCO Society Interim President, said. “We express our deep gratitude to Mayor Coleman and Joe Spencer, Director of Arts and Culture, who worked valiantly to bring forth this agreement.”

“We are pleased to finally say that we have mutually agreed to a proposal that will be taken to the Musicians for ratification once the Society and the American Federation of Musicians reach an agreement on media. We are excited to return to the stage as quickly as possible,” Carole Mason-Smith, Co-Chair of the SPCO Musicians Negotiating Committee, said in a written statement released Tuesday evening.

“All of us at the Ordway are delighted at the prospect of having our wonderful Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra back on the stage, and their loyal audience back in their seats,” Patricia Mitchell, President and CEO of the Ordway, said. “Congratulations to all parties for working so diligently to find a path to this welcome moment. We are deeply grateful to Mayor Coleman and his staff for their help in bringing these difficult negotiations to a successful conclusion.”

On Tuesday night, the musician’s negotiating committee agreed to recommend its members approve the current offer from the SPCO Society. The SPCO Society will soon meet with the American Federation of Musicians to approve a media rights agreement, which is expected to pass. Once an agreement has been reached with the AFM, SPCO musicians will take a formal vote on the current Society offer.