Fort Wayne Philharmonic and musicians approve new contract, following $500K donation

Posted on: February 24, 2014

“One week after its union musicians ratified a proposed labor contract, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic announced its board also had approved the deal,” reads an unsigned report in Saturday’s News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana). “The previous contract expired in August…. A four-year, $500,000 donation from the Madge Rothschild Foundation helped make the agreement possible, J.L. Nave III, philharmonic president and CEO, said in a news release issued Friday afternoon. The foundation gift was made specifically to lessen the impact on musicians as the orchestra tries to regain sound financial footing. The Philharmonic currently has debt of $2.3 million, the news release said…. The new contract, which takes effect immediately but expires Dec. 31, cuts musicians’ guaranteed weeks of work to 33 from the previous 40 weeks, resulting in a 17.5 percent pay cut, the news release said. The agreement maintains the number of full-time core musicians at the current level, 41 people…. Philharmonic administrative staff are taking similar cuts…. Musicians also will serve on the orchestra’s Vision and Planning Committee, help with fundraising and take part in regular discussions about concert profitability…. ‘We are profoundly grateful to our musicians for their spirit of shared sacrifice,’ Nave said.… ‘I knew that both sides needed to give some in order to make this work.’ ”

Posted February 24, 2014