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.,