End the lockout while negotiations proceed in good faith
  • Petitioned Board of Directors of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Society

This petition was delivered to:

Board of Directors of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Society

End the lockout while negotiations proceed in good faith

    1. Petition by


As concerned audience members, we urge The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Society Board of Directors to take the following four actions:

1. Commit to respectful and constructive negotiations – deliver fair pay and treatment musicians deserve.
2. Find and support effective leaders – collaboration inspires growth.
3. Solve the revenue problem – you cannot cut your way to greatness.
4. End the lockout while negotiations proceed in good faith

Petition Background:

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is an award winning, world class, internationally renowned and seasoned family of musicians that we cherish. However, The SPCO’s future is now in jeopardy due to failures in these three areas:

Respectful and Constructive Negotiations:

• The musicians have given salary concessions of $2.2 million over the last ten years.
• Musicians reopened the previous five year contract three times, and agreed to reductions in pay of 11.7%, 11.4%, and 5.8% from the negotiated amounts.
• Current proposals from musicians which also include reductions in compensation have all been rejected by management.
• Protections and rights regarding work conditions as set forth in the previous, union-approved contract must be maintained.

Effective Leadership:

• The SPCO lacks a permanent CEO able to effectively lead a major non-profit institution.
• The current governance structure of having the Chairman of the Board acting as CEO is inappropriate.
• Management must collaborate with musicians on artistic decisions.

Revenue Problem:

• While recently the price of tickets was drastically lowered, plans for increasing revenue or attracting donations are glaringly absent.
• Fundraising efforts need to be redirected towards retention of all musicians. $55 million has been raised for non-musician-related improvements. Only $1.5 million is needed to bridge the current salary gap.

This management-created deadlock could destroy The SPCO. Save Our SPCO, an audience advocate group, asks other concerned citizens to join us and sign this petition.

Recent signatures


    1. Petition Delivery Scheduled for January 8

      by SOSPCO

      Just a quick update for you, dear signer of our petition to The Board of Directors of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Society.

      First, THANK YOU for signing. And double thanks to those of you who added comments. They were so clear and moving and powerful, and therefore so helpful to us in our efforts. You can read all the comments that have been submitted to-date here: http://sospco.org/spco-audience-petition/passionate-commentary-from-signers-of-our-petition-to-the-board

      Second, we will deliver the petition and signatures to the Board at their meeting on Tuesday afternoon, January 8. If you have any friends who have been thinking of signing, this would be a great time for them to do so! Please encourage them.

      Third, we have issued a press release about our petition delivery. It has been distributed nationally, so please let us know if you have seen news in your local press. You can reach us at info@sospco.org

    2. Reached 2,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Linn Kezer PINE ISLAND, MN
      • over 1 year ago

      The skills these musicians have are hard-earned and deserve to be appropriately compensated.

      For every hour of rehearsal or performance time these musicians engage in, many hours of individual practice time are required. Being a musician in an ensemble of this caliber is a full-time job, and they should be paid appropriately.

      The instruments the musicians own are very expensive to purchase and to maintain. These costs must be considered when determining salaries.

    • Ann Forest ST PAUL, MN
      • over 1 year ago

      I love the music

    • Melody Herbst BLOOMINGTON, MN
      • over 1 year ago

      I love the musical gift the SPCO contributes to our community. It is part of what until recently, has made the Twin Cities a special place to live and work.

    • Gregory King MINNEAPOLIS, MN
      • over 1 year ago

      If we want to have a world class orchestra, we must treat the performers accordingly.

    • Pamela Martin RICHFIELD, MN
      • over 1 year ago

      I'm a musician


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