Minn. Orchestra, Locked-Out Musicians OK Contract

Updated: 01/15/2014 5:50 AM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

Minnesota Orchestra chief negotiator Doug Kelly
Minnesota Orchestra chief negotiator Doug Kelly
Photo: KSTP Photo/Tom Hauser

Minnesota Orchestra musicians confirm they have approved a settlement with management to end the lockout. KSTP is told both sides compromised.

The musicians had been locked out since Oct. 1, 2012. Minnesota Orchestra chief negotiator Doug Kelley says he's relieved the longest orchestra strike in history is over. "The contract that we signed today is a true compromise contract," Kelley said early Tuesday evening. "Nobody got everything they wanted in this."

The new contract calls for a 15 percent cut to the musicians' base 2012 salaries. KSTP's Tom Hauser reports the average salary of the musicians in 2012 was $135,000.

The musicians say they will also be paying a "significantly greater portion" of their health insurance.

A tentative deal was reached late Monday night into Tuesday morning. The musicians voted to approve the deal Tuesday night. "We are pleased there's a settlement and are really looking forward to getting back to the stage at Orchestra Hall," Tim Zavadil, a member of the musicians negotiating team, said.

The musicians will retain their 10 weeks of paid vacation each year.  In a new contract feature, the musicians can take part in revenue sharing with management based on the performance of the orchestra endowment.

It is a three-year deal that is effective Feb. 1. The Minnesota Orchestra is expected to return to the Orchestra Hall stage for performances in early February.