Louisville Orchestra Reaches Agreement With Musicians, Preventing Bankruptcy

Classic Arts News   Louisville Orchestra Reaches Agreement With Musicians, Preventing Bankruptcy
The musicians and management of the Louisville Orchestra reached agreement on a new contract yesterday, days before the ensemble was expected to declare bankruptcy, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

Musicians accepted a pay cut, a higher healthcare contribution, and less vacation time. But they avoided a reduction in the number of the full-time musicians, a move that management had insisted was necessary for the orchestra's survival.

The five-year contract starts on September 1. In the first year, the number of paid weeks will shrink from 39 to 31, and base pay will fall from $875 to $825 per week. Both the number of weeks and salary will increase gradually over the subsequent four years, reaching 37 weeks and $925 by the fifth year.

Musicians, who currently pay 1 percent of their healthcare premiums, will pay 20 percent under the new agreement. They will get two weeks of paid vacation, down from four weeks.

The cuts will save the orchestra $1.9 million over the next five years, executive director Scott Provancher told the Courier-Journal, and will eliminate the need for a bankruptcy declaration. But he said that April's concerts might not go forward as scheduled.

Provancher had previously said that the orchestra would run out of cash at the end of March.

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