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The Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike has officially ended

After six long months, the DSO musicians return to the stage
Jennifer Guerra
Michigan Radio
After six long months, the DSO musicians return to the stage

The musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have agreed to return to work after a six-month strike.

They ratified the $34.3 million, three-year contract this afternoon. The deal includes an initial 25% pay cut for the musicians the first year. Starting musicians used to earn $104, 650 their first year; they'll earn $79,000 under the new contract.

There’s an additional $2 million pot of money which management will use to pay musicians for optional community outreach work and educational programs that include teaching, coaching and chamber music.

Greg Bowens is the musicians’ spokesperson. He says the strike is over, but there’s still work to do:

"The situation and the people responsible for the situation are still in place, and if things don't change, we could find ourselves back in the situation again."

The orchestra still faces financial trouble: its endowment has fallen substantially, and last year they ended up $8.8 million in the red.

The orchestra returns to the stage this weekend for two, free concerts, both of which sold out almost instantly.,

With news of the ratification, the DSO announced its Spring season. All tickets are $20. The DSO has yet to announce its 2011-12 season.


Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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