The musicians of the Louisville Orchestra have turned down a contract offer put together by the mediator of the orchestra’s labor dispute. The offer fell between two previous proposals and called for the orchestra to be cut from 71 to 54 players, with one more to be added later.
Hours after the decision, orchestra management released a statement. It outlined the management’s previous offer, which was to have a 50 member orchestra for 30 weeks in each season. It further mentioned both sides’ work with nationally-known consultant Ralph Craviso, who was hired with an anonymous grant secured by Mayor Greg Fischer. The statement concluded with:
“We appreciate the mediator’s work in attempting to help the parties reach an agreement, and the Orchestra thanks the Mayor for his efforts and resources devoted to assist in our process,” said [board chair Charles] Maisch. “This offer represents a cost limit that our board cannot agree to exceed.”
Maisch said the board now faces a challenging alternative to ensure the survival of the Louisville Orchestra.
But Henri Mangeot with the Louisville Labor Management Committee, who has been mediating the dispute, says talks will continue and Craviso remains involved.
“I don’t give up easily,” he told WFPL Thursday evening.
The musicians countered the management’s offer earlier this week with a plan that called for 57 players for a 30 week season at first, then an increase to 60 musicians for 33 weeks. The players say the plan would keep all of the musicians who have not left Louisville in search of other work.