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DSO Musicians Ratify New Contract

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WWJ Photo/Florence Walton

WWJ Photo/Florence Walton

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - The ballots have been counted, and the musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have voted to ratify their tentative agreement reached last weekend.

WWJ spoke with musician’s union spokesman Greg Bowens who said the members are ready to move on.

“Enough of the people are satisfied with the deal.  You know, it’s been a very long and tourcherous route for these last six months, and one of the things that the muscianans have done — they really just want to put the best face forward,” Bowens said.

Bowens said that regardless of what’s transpired, the DSO musicians are happy to be back to work.

“They do recognize that the same kind of situations that existed, that gave rise to the strike, with the same people are still there.  So, what will happen with that, nobody really knows right now. But, one thing’s for certain, the musicans are glad to to be back on stage,” he said.

The nearly six month-long strike began over disagreements on pay and benefits.    The two sides reached a deal last weekend after marathon negotiations. The union began counting the votes Thursday.

Musicians negotiating committee chair Karl Pituch said the problems leading to the strike “and those who were responsible for those problems continue.”

Union president Gordon Stump said the new deal means a nearly 25-percent salary decrease for musicians.

A spokeswoman for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra said Friday afternoon that management is preparing a statement.

The musicians began rehearsing Thursday in Orchestra Hall for free, upcoming weekend concerts.  Tickets are fully reserved.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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