Louisville Orchestra musicians reject arbitration proposal

Posted on: February 17, 2012

In Friday’s (2/17) Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), Elizabeth Kramer reports, “Louisville Orchestra musicians rejected the board’s offer Thursday to settle a nearly yearlong contract dispute through binding arbitration, calling the details of the proposal ‘draconian.’ Kim Tichenor, a violinist with the orchestra and the players’ negotiating committee chair, declined to elaborate on the musicians’ decision or on the next action they are considering. A letter from the musicians to the orchestra board’s attorney stated that the musicians rejected the proposal in part because the board chose the initial list of arbitrators, set parameters that would limit the arbitrator’s authority and refused to entertain counterproposals. Orchestra CEO Robert Birman issued a statement calling the decision ‘regrettable.’ … The musicians’ response came a day before the deadline the board had set when it made the arbitration offer in a Feb. 9 letter. That letter also said this was the board’s ‘final attempt to reach an agreement’ and that it would ‘be forced to move forward with new musicians’ if the offer wasn’t accepted. Tichenor stressed that the musicians hope the Fund for the Arts and Mayor Greg Fischer will convene a special panel to resolve the dispute, as suggested in a report by orchestra industry consultant Henry Fogel, who visited Louisville in January at the musicians’ request.”

Posted February 17, 2012