Musicians and the Union Continue to Misjudge the Orchestra Board's Resolve (1/12/12)
It appears the musicians union, and perhaps many of the musicians themselves, have misjudged the resolve of the Louisville Orchestra Board and board president Chuck Maisch to once and for all have an orchestra that the community can afford. That's the key: what the community can afford.
The playbook in the past was for the union to dig their heels in and refuse to consider a smaller orchestra. And if they were stubborn long enough the board would eventually cave in. That strategy always worked in the past and they thought it would work this time. But while the musicians haven't had a paycheck since May, the board is no closer to caving today than they were in the spring. I know because I am on that board.
Last week the state ruled that the musicians have been on strike since sometime last summer, and is now requiring the musicians to pay back all the unemployment they have drawn but are not entitled to as striking employees. What a shame it has come to this.
The board is not the enemy. They are sincerely doing the best they can to keep the organization viable. It's time for the musicians to get a contract done that recognizes the economics of modern day symphonies, because this board isn't going to agree to another contract the community and its donors will not support. Not this time.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.