Some musicians told the paper that they feared a strike was possible. But piccolo player Jan Gippo, who is representing the musicians, said he is optimistic.
"I'm looking to have it settled by the [end of the present] contract," Gippo said. "I'm positive‹and I'm the one doing most of the talking at this point. We're all working on the same side."
A statement from the orchestra also expressed optimism, adding that "both sides have agreed not to disclose any details relating to the discussions."
According to the Post-Dispatch, management made a proposal in November that included a pay cut. Musicians rejected that proposal overwhelmingly. Orchestra officials told the paper that management would not agree to higher salaries unless additional funds were raised for the SLSO's endowment.
Three years ago, with the SLSO on the verge of financial collapse, musicians agreed to a pay cut. The orchestra has since boosted its endowment with the help of a $40 million challenge grant from the Taylor family, the owners of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.