According to WFPL, the management of the Louisville Orchestra has two more chances to screw things up this week:
After months of talks with no agreement, Mayor Greg Fischer joined contract negotiations with the management and musicians. Last week, he announced that an anonymous donor had come forward to pay for a nationally-recognized consultant to work with mediators. The mayor is encouraging both sides to welcome the help.
Orchestra CEO Robert Birman says the management will decide this week whether to accept the offer. The musicians had previously sought to bring in an outside expert, but Birman says it didn’t work out.
“Cost was a consideration,” he says. “Other considerations were the fact that we have a lot of expertise at the table already between the musicians, the board and the staff. And we’ve had many people from all over this country with extensive knowledge of the industry that have already inserted themselves in the process.”
The chair of the musicians committee welcomed the donation.
The words “inserted themselves into the process” is the “tell” here. It sure doesn’t sound that the LO management is anxious to accept the offer of further “insertions.” But Birman might consider asking himself why so many people with “extensive knowledge of the industry” are so anxious to interfere with his management of the orchestra. Could it be that those knowledgeable people believe he’s screwing up?
Orchestra management will also decide this week whether more concerts need to be called off. Performances for this month and next month were canceled due to the lack of a contract, and a 60-day notice must be given for further cancellations.
No explanation of just why a “60-day notice must be given for further cancellations.” The number is suspiciously identical to the period required for notification of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for expiration of a labor agreement – but the whole point of the current dispute is that there’s no labor agreement. And, given that they cancelled their September concerts a week ago, it seems that the 60-day requirement that management is referring to is… flexible. 60 days for thee but not for me, perhaps?
They sure do seem in a hurry to cancel concerts. Too bad that the same urgency is not felt about getting the orchestra back on stage.