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Local Mediators Handling Orchestra Talks

The Louisville Orchestra's management and musicians continue their mediation this week.The two sides have been at odds over a new contract agreement. The management, which filed for Chapter 11 last year, is seeking to cut the number of full-time musicians. They've put forwrad a plan that would group the players into tiers and sign various tiers to different-length. Another proposal would cut benefits and pay. The musicians have called it unacceptable.The management and the musicians union agreed to use federal mediators last month, but the musicians themselves did not. They sought someone with experience working on musical contracts. Both sides are now working with the city-funded Labor Management Committee.Participants are mum on the talks, but two significant dates loom for the ensemble. The first is August 15th, when a bankruptcy judge is set to rule on the management's financial reorganization plan. The plan is essentially a catalog of the orchestra's finances and debts. It outlines a future where the orchestra, as it does today, relies on grants, ticket sales and donations. Management has sought to avoid the need for large, one-time bailouts.The second date is September 10th, when the first concert of the new season is scheduled.Sources close to the talks say both sides are engaged, but there is no timeline for a settlement.

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