Guest Editorial - Louisville Orchestra (1/26/06) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Guest Editorial - Louisville Orchestra (1/26/06)

I'm Joe Pusateri, President of the Louisville Orchestra Board.

The headline this weekend said "Red Ink May Silence Louisville Orchestra". What a shame.  It didn't have to happen.

Tim Zavadil, the musicians' representative says he is stunned and didn't know there was a problem. That is simply not true.

While meeting with Tim last summer to discuss our upcoming contract negotiation, Tim told me: "We will never give up anything we already have."

We asked the musicians to meet on September 1st but they wouldn't until November 14th.  At that meeting I begged them to not reject out of hand, as Tim did, any proposals we might make.  We told them we were going to make a reasonable offer as our first offer and wanted to work constructively with a win-win approach.

 Their attorney, Leonard Leibowitz, says we are trying to force them "to accept a really substandard, concessionary agreement." Our last offer was a 2.8% pay increase over the next 21 months, minor concessions on our extremely generous health care plan and very modest changes to some of the work rules.

 The musicians' committee has clung to an old style, hardball approach.  Now that the impasse has been made public, the musicians and Mr. Leibowitz say they want to get back to the table and that some of our proposals are "perfectly reasonable." 

 But they are the same proposals we made last fall.

 Our ability to raise significant charitable donations is now gone.  We needed a different approach this time.

 But it didn't happen. And that's a shame.

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